• 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

Netherlands 30 April: The Hague - Amsterdam

Today was a big day in Holland, for the 30th of April is called “Koninginnedag” (‘Queen’s Day’) and is a national holiday, celebrating the birthday of the Queen. In many places the entire city becomes one big flea market or garage sale. Everybody cleans out their attic and collects old books and other paraphernalia to be sold on a blanket in front of their house. Everywhere people are celebrating in the street. Music, whistles, and car horns are heard at every bend. Orange is Holland’s national colour and happens to be the dress code for the day. Koninginnedag is biggest in Amsterdam, the nation’s capital and our destination for today.

We touched off in Scheveningen, a ‘borough’ of The Hague, which was eagerly anticipating a visit from the Queen later that day. From there we ventured into a challenging 14K beach run to Katwijk, where we were received by the Mayor at the finish of the “Tour of Katwijk,” a popular local 6k running event. The speaker of the race introduced us to the crowd and we passed the torch to the smiling runners after their finish.

From Katwijk we ran to the historic city of Leiden, where a sumptuous lunch was prepared for us inside the building of ‘Minerva,’ one of the oldest student societies of Leiden. The excellent lunch, consisting of trays with fresh fruits and vegetables, pasta salads and bread with French cheese, was shortly but happily interrupted by a visit from the Mayor, who had made time in his busy schedule to offer us his support. He was accompanied by an even busier man, the coordinator of events of Leiden’s Queen’s Day celebrations. Both were very kind and generous, and we in turn rendered them our World Harmony Run theme song.

Then we headed off to Lisse, where lies Holland’s most famous and renowned flower garden: ‘De Keukenhof’. This is the place where more than seven million tulips grow. It is Holland’s main tourist attraction and according to investigations by a photographic company it happens to be the second most photographed place in the world, next to the Disney parks. All the more astonishing if you realize the fact that ‘De Keukenhof’ is only open two months out of the year. In those two months the park draws over 700,000 visitors, mainly tourists. We were a little embarrassed to discover that many of us Dutch runners had never visited ‘De Keukenhof’ before in our lives, but that’s what usually happens if you live too close to the source, isn’t it?

In ‘De Keukenhof’ we were guests of honour at a special event: the ‘baptizing’ of a tulip, named after the founder of the World Harmony Run, Sri Chinmoy. Mr. Jan Pennings, himself a tulip grower, spoke warm and encouraging words on behalf of De Keukenhof and conveyed his respect and admiration for Sri Chinmoy’s widely varied work. The actual grower of the Sri Chinmoy tulip, Jan Ligthart, answered a few questions on the origin and growing processes of the tulip. The tulips were then ‘baptized’ by pouring non-alcoholic champagne over them and by releasing one hundred coloured balloons. After that, our international team sang two songs composed by Sri Chinmoy, one being the World Harmony Run song, and the other a song specially dedicated to The Netherlands. The bright sunshine added to our merriment and joy.

After the ceremony was over we took a leisurely walk through the lush gardens and feasted our eyes on its astonishing beauty. But not long after we were off running again towards the town hall of Hoofddorp where we were supposed to meet with the Mayor.

A slight miscalculation in the distance caused for some rushing and hurrying and the inevitable delay, but we made it nevertheless and were greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of city representatives and the Mayor of Hoofddorp. After the meeting half of our team drove back to cover some of the miles that were still ‘unrun’, while the other half proceeded towards Amsterdam.

The capital still celebrated the remaining hours of Queen’s Day and would do so until the small hours of the morning, but we ended our own daily celebration of world harmony and enjoyed another sumptuous meal, prepared by some good friends.

Distance: 58km

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Netherlands 1 May >