• World Harmony Run

    World's Largest Torch Relay
    World Harmony Run

  • 1,000,000 Participants

    Across 6 Continents
    1,000,000 Participants

  • Dreaming of a more harmonious world

    100 countries
    Dreaming of Harmony

  • Schools And Kids

    Make a Wish for Peace
    Schools And Kids

  • Sri Chinmoy: World Harmony Run Founder

    World Harmony Run Founder
    Sri Chinmoy

  • Carl Lewis: World Harmony Run Spokesman

    World Harmony Run Spokesman
    Carl Lewis

  • New York, USA

    New York

  • London, Great Britain

    Great Britain

  • Shakhovskaya, Russia


  • Around Australia

    15,000 kms, 100 days
    Around Australia

  • Around Ireland

    14 Days, 1500km
    Around Ireland

  • Wanaka, New Zealand

    New Zealand

  • Arjang, Norway


  • Rekjavik, Iceland


  • Beijing, China


  • Prague, Czech Republic

    Czech Republic

  • Belgrade, Serbia


  • Lake Biwa, Japan

    Lake Biwa

  • Kapsait, Ethiopia


  • Pangkor Island, Malaysia

    Pangkor Island

  • Bali, Indonesia


  • The All Blacks, New Zealand

    The All Blacks
    New Zealand

Moldova 29 May (Team 1): Chisinau - Balti

Today the European WHR Team split up for the second time this year to cover the continuous European route of 27,000 km. From the city square where we finished yesterday it was a hive of activity, as runners said their fond farewells. The two teams will reunite in Helsinki, Finland on 22 June. One Team headed northwest whilst the other Team headed southeast, each entering Ukraine at different border crossings to continue their separate journeys.

Five of the International Team headed 144 km from the capital to Balti. The day started overcast and rather cool but once on the road the weather brightened up and was to be a glorious warm day.

The first meeting of the day was slightly spontaneous and unprepared. A large group of young children and their teacher on the opposite side of the road at a place just outside Magdacesti beckoned Mark. As the rest of the Team and the Moldovan translator was ahead in the van, there was not much verbal communication as none of the locals could speak English. The children danced and sang three songs and passed the torch from hand to hand. There might have been no verbal communication, but the smiles and joy that the torch brought to them spoke volumes.

Outside Peresecina a local football team ran fast with us to attend a meeting at the local school. Running with the children with the torch around the school could be quite hazardous. There were plenty of massive puddles from the rain the previous day, and also uncovered manholes, or should it be "children holes" - a small child would quite easily disappear without anyone noticing, or even a runner for that matter!

By lunchtime we reached the town of Orhei, one of the oldest towns in Moldova. From the outskirts of this town we were met by local football teams, and the local running club who swiftly ran with the torch. Many reminders of running slowly with the torch were given, but as they were so eager and enthusiastic, running with the torch inspired them to simply run fast. In the town square the mayor greeted us and as guests of the town the customary bread and salt was presented to the runners.

The town generously provided us with a superb meal, but sadly we couldn't eat all the courses, so we had to make our apologies as we still had 85 km to run by 19.00.

At the village of Ratus over 70 children and about 20 boys on the bikes greeted the runner. The boys on their bikes lined up like a guard of honour as the runner gleefully ran between them. Each child gave a flower to a runner, and at the end some runners were quite overwhelmed with flowers. Secretly, some children had a favourite runner more than others!

The boys on their old bikes cycled over 7 km with the runner. At times they had difficulty to keep up with the runner on the rolling hills as they had no gears, but they thoroughly enjoyed cycling with the torch in one hand. The good nature of the boys inspired the runner to run at a brisk pace and the kilometres flew by in the beautiful rolling perfect countryside. Peace and harmony can be felt residing in this landscape - everything is so tranquil and fresh.


At the village of Copacemi the runners were once again overwhelmed by the loving children who presented us with so many flowers. By this point the whole of the middle row in the van was covered with sweet smelling and colourful flowers. For a day the World Harmony Run could have opened up a florist!

At the small village of Grigorauca, very young, smiley children waited for the runner to arrive. There were a few comical moments as Valentine spoke to them in Russian, Ondrej stepping onto an ants nest and the ants biting his ankles much to the amusement of the children, Ondrej then stepping onto something rather unpleasant left by a horse or cow, and finally as the lady opened the lemonade bottle it exploded all over her and some of the children. It was a hilarious meeting and one that we got so much fun from. We left there with huge grins on our faces.

Outside the town of Sangerei a local football team lined the road and they ran in formation, one behind each other on either side of the road. It was very organised and disciplined - something the Team is not used to from running children! But, more importantly after a tiring day the pace set by the children was nice and easy as we jogged into the town's main square to be greeted by well over 150 people and children, and an all girl's rock band played for us.

The town kindly treated us to another sit down meal of the day. It was gladly received and eaten ever so quickly as we had 16 km to do within 45 minutes. We were totally full and all realised it would be difficult to run fast.

One of the Moldovan runners began the leg of the run to Balti with the children once again running in formation. Once the International Team was in the van Dipivajan announced, "Second runner get ready". This was met by silence and each of us looked at each other hoping someone else would volunteer, as we were all still rather full from the meal. After what seemed liked eternity the hero of the day was our French runner, Mikael who volunteered to run. We all felt inspired by his example and each of us ended up running a fast 2 km leg to Balti.

Sometimes on the World Harmony Run there are times when wires get crossed and there are things that don't always go to plan. The International Team were under the impression from the schedule that we were to arrive at the city centre of Balti for 19.00. On route we met no local runners, and we speedily ran through the city with police escort to the city square. We arrived on time - in fact 1 minute early - a first since running in Moldova. But ... no one met us at the city square. Why? We were rather puzzled. A few phone calls later and in fact we should have met runners from the on the prominent city limits of Balti - a huge statue of a motherly figure with a loaf of bread. We promptly drove back and met all the children and ran again the last 3 km.

It was well worth it! There were over 60 children from football, orienteering, and acrobatic clubs. All of them running together with us was the highlight of the day. The girls whooped and shouted as each driver honked their horns - everyone was in such a party mood. Meeting the mayor and passing the torch to each and every one of them was the icing on the cake. They were such big-hearted children and the feeling was so tangible.

The tendency on the World Harmony Run is that things must happen for a reason and a purpose. Running the route to the city the first time was a comical moment - yes, communications between the Moldovan organisers and the International Team had gone awire - something lost in the translation? However, as they say in the theatre, "it will be all right on the night". The second time we ran the last few kilometres into Balti was not just all right, but absolutely brilliant!

As the sun dipped below the city buildings, to reveal the blueness of an evening sky tinged with white wispy clouds, we waved goodbye to the happy children and so ended another fantastic memorable day.

Distance: 144km

Team Members:
Dipavajan Renner (Austria), Mark Collinson (England), Mikael Vilpoux (France), Ondrej Vesely (Czech Republic),Valentine Bebik (Ukraine).

You can send a message to the runners or read the messages.

< Moldova 28 May
Moldova 30 May >
Moldova - Ukraine 30 May(Team 2) >

Moldova 29 May (Team 2)