• 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

Serbia 24 October 2005: Novi Sad - Subotica

The team today was split into two separate teams as the plan today was to cover a wide area of Serbia-Montenegro (SCG) to bring the wishes and hopes of the torch to as many children and people as possible. One team headed north east from Novi Sad towards Becej, whilst the other team headed northwest to Vrbas. We were all to meet up at the end of the day at Subotica for a grand finale.

Route north east (Temerin - Becej - Backo Petrovo Selo - Ada - Senta - Coka - Novi Knezevac - Kanjiza).

By 08.00 the team caught up with the Serbian runners, who had set off earlier, to join some children from the local judo club from Temerin. At the town, the meeting was to be brief as our schedule was rather tight. To the waves and wishes of the children we headed swiftly to Becej. At Becej, children at a school were waiting for us, as they lined the street and on mass they followed behind the torch to yelps of laughter and joy. As we turned the corner of the street we were met by a second school of younger children who were so excited to see the runners they joined the rest of the many runners and filled the whole street, running with abandon. All the children absolutely adored holding the torch, and their wishes and dreams of harmony now had to be carried onwards and upwards as the runners ran to Backo Petrovo Selo.

At Backo Petrovo Selo more eager children lined the street with placards of peace. The mayor stated how overjoyed he was that the World Harmony Run decided to come to the town. He said that as this was the first time the World Harmony Run had come to the town, next year a bigger reception would welcome us. The day was already feeling full of dynamism and full of expectations as we were all aware that people were so receptive and wanted so much to aspire to a more harmonious way of living. As runners ran towards Ada the cloud began to lift to reveal a most beautiful day. The conditions of a flat countryside, long straight roads and the vastness of the blue sky made running effortless, and there was a wonderful flow to our running. Motorists responded constantly by waving, honking their horns, and asking why we were running.

We ran into Ada to be met by hundreds of children of the school. This ceremony didn’t go quite to plan. As the English was translated into Serbian we noticed that the children were not responding the way children normally responded as they had to play a game and guess the nationality of each of the runners. Was something lost in the translation or were they just disinterested? Finally we twigged as the school principal spoke in Hungarian. This was a part of Serbia where the children speak Hungarian and learn Serbian as a second language. The children simply had not understood, but they had understood the spirit of harmony as they joyfully ran a short distance with us.

The road was straight and long with the whispering willow trees swaying in the wind to accompany the runners as they sped into Senta. Here we were warmly welcomed by groups of children on every street corner as they excitedly ran, joined by many more and encouraged by onlookers. As the runners turned the final corner into the centre they were met with a marvellous reception of over 300 people, the town band and the World Harmony Run song being played. After the ceremony over 50 children ran with us, out of the town and over the bridge. They so wanted to be part of our team, and one runner talked to a group of boys about English football. Sport and especially football has this capacity of uniting people from different countries - it seems football is an international language. There was talk of the English teams they support and about David Beckham. Constantly the children had to be reminded this was a run and not a race, so enthusiastic were they to demonstrate their capacity to run hard and fast. They laughed as instructions were given, “Slow down and all keep behind the torch!” and they repeated it out aloud in their perfect English and cheekily grinned back at us. It felt like a carnival and had a somewhat circus atmosphere. The children wanted to continue with us to the next village, Coka, 5k away, but as we were slightly behind schedule and had to meet other children on the outskirts of Coka, we had to sadly leave them and say goodbye. They were so disappointed but smiled as they waved farewell. Maybe next year they can run with us for longer.

At Coka there seemed to be even more of a carnival atmosphere as the runners were met by delighted school children. At a brisk pace they ran to the welcome of over 300 waiting people. There the runners were treated to fantastic, vibrant performances of traditional dancing. The impetus of today was in full flow as was our running as we ran to the outskirts of Novi Knezevac. There we were met by children spread out at 50 metre intervals ready to receive the torch. Each time the torch was handed on to a different child, the pace was notched up a gear and despite all attempts to slow them down, their energy was boundless. So much so that they ran past the mayor only to be called back. Unleashed they would undoubtedly have run to the next town Kanjiza.

The runner was met on the bridge out of Novi Kenezevac by three representatives of the city council of Kanjiza. As the runner chatted to them like they had known them for years the 4k soon passed quickly. We were met by school children who led us to a new 5 a-side artificial football pitch where our international team formally opened it. Two local football teams were patiently waiting to start their match. Never to miss an opportunity to kick a football around the boys proposed that we christen the penalty spot by taking a penalty kick against each of the team’s goalkeepers. The television cameras avidly filmed our antics. First up, was our English runner. English players and penalties do not go together as anyone who follows international football well knows. And to no great surprise the goalkeeper saved the first penalty. Each in turn the rest of the international team struck their penalties in, some with pin point accuracy, others with more luck then judgement. The second penalties were a different story though, as our English runner with much relief scored, but only after rebounding off both posts, much to the bewilderment of the goalkeeper. Others missed, others scored, but aptly on such an outstanding day our Serbian runner was the winner, striking two accurate and unstoppable penalties; one mused that he must have played a bit in his younger days. As much as the boys wanted to continue, we had to leave, to finally run to Horgos, so we left the two teams to commence their match.

In a glow of evening sunshine the team reached Horgos. From there it was a fast 10 minute drive for our final grand ceremony at Subotica where we met up with the other team (who had run the distance).

Route north west (Vrbas - Kula - Lipar - Bajsa - Backa Topola - Backi Sokolac - Strna Moravica - Tavankut - Subotica)

Team two headed northwest direction Vrbas. The weather, together with a straight road, and not too much traffic compared to the day before, allured all runners to start running immediately. Though the distance is relatively short today we decide to be as quick as possible in order not to miss a single ceremony. After a nice introduction of all runners by doing “the-guess-where-I’m-from game” (we all say something in our mother tongue and if necessary add a clue) the first school almost strangled our Bulgarian runner, Petar, in order to obtain his signature - finally he was set free and able to join us to next ceremony. Here in Kula a 12 year old made a very good drawing of many different hands holding the torch even before our visit: how appealing the idea is to children of contributing to greater harmony in the world by carrying the light and taking the first step.

After some nice running, the sun comes through; all cars were honking, switching on their biggest light or waving while we run. It feels like having wings on your feet. The same is happening when the runners meet all the smiling faces of the children and their teachers: it gives new energy and inspires every runner do run faster, longer and further on the next k´s.

The next village receives us with lots of children, some parents and teachers. All children are looking with adoration on the torch, and all want to hold it as long as possible. Since our schedule for today is rather tight we regret to have to leave them quickly. An interesting question comes up when the team presents itself to the group: how old is the oldest runner in the group and with the answer given the interviewing teacher concludes that this shows that one is never too old to run: everybody contributes in his own way, so creating a real team. This school really shows that running is in their thoughts and hearts - water, lemon in parts, sandwiches with salad, tomato and cucumber are prepared to take away.

At one small school they receive us with rose leaves on the street, big and shiny cleaned apples and touching poems. Unlike the earlier schools all children listen focused on us; they do not sprint when invited to join us in running, all three teachers run spontaneously in slippers with the team - here is real oneness. When the representative of the runners asks the children whether they have questions to us the first question is: can I join WHR right now (this boy seems 8 years old). This is the spirit we need.

At the main square in Subotica hundreds of people had gathered for us, and the street we ran in on was also flanked and filled with people. During the grand ceremony we had three of our torches being passed around the spectators. There were many children present with their teachers and they were extremely eager to hold the torch and asked lots of questions from the runners. Some of our runners were buried in children wanting autographs. One teacher commented that the children had told her that it was astonishing to see many from our team, because they were smiling all the time, and they thought it looked so beautiful. It is fair enough to say that it is them who helps bring the smiles to our faces. Like Salil says in many of his presentations, “Without you we’re just runners, but with you we’re the World Harmony Run”.

Distance: 140km and 130km

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< Serbia 23 October 2005
Hungary 25 October >