• 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

Ukraine 31 May: Briceni (Moldova) – Chernivcy (Ukraine)

The early morning sun glistened off the roads from the pouring rain of yesterday. The beginning of the day felt anew and fresh. Today was a Moldovan national festival where it was the celebration of the last day of the school year for the children, and the beginning of their long summer vacation.

For the World Harmony Run it was sadly our last day in Moldova – an ending, and the beginning of a new journey in a new country – Ukraine.

Once again to achieve as always the dynamic Moldovan schedule the Team was briefly split up. One Team visited an end of school year ceremony in Briceni where almost 1,000 children gathered to greet the runners.

All the children were so smartly dressed and it was so refreshing to see this – in England children nowadays tend to be only smartly dressed for weddings and funerals!

Before the teams sped off, we said our goodbyes to Dipavajan who returns to Graz, Austria. We will gladly see him again when the run goes to Austria.

The other Team went on to the small villages of Beleavinti and Ghilavat where similar end of school ceremonies were taking place. The visit of the runners was simply one part of the children’s celebrations and it was a great pleasure to be part of this joyful moment. As a child the end of the school year is a moment of reflection on what has been achieved and learned, and the learned experiences of sometimes failing in order to succeed in the future, and the joy of looking forward to the summer with friends and family.

The two teams became one again as the finality of our experiences of Moldova was edging closer, and we were on time to arrive in the town of Lipcani. Two of the representatives from Briceni who we so enjoyed their company at yesterday’s evening meal, were ever present to savour our memorable moments on this last day. There was such a tangible feeling of joy and happiness in the air. As always in Moldova we were warmly welcomed with smiling faces, open hearts and beautiful colourful flowers. People are so smiley here – their smiles melt everyone’s hearts. We enjoyed the children’s performances of dance and singing.

They had one last surprise as when all the teachers and children danced they grabbed all the runners to dance as well. We couldn’t refuse – we couldn’t spoil their party! And anyway, we all had so much fun. Aware that the scheduled time was approaching for the border crossing, we said our goodbyes and all of the International Team longed to return next year to Lipcani.

More of the same was to occur at the border crossing. We enjoyed fantastic traditional singing and dancing, and again the runners danced as the they grabbed our hands and we all danced for one last time in Moldova. You felt that the people of Moldova didn’t want to let us leave.

They had taken us all into their hearts that in a way our hearts had also become theirs – a true sense of oneness. One of the guys from Briceni lovingly said, “You are always welcome here, and you will always have friends here”. It was a sentiment that all of us cherished and leaving Moldova was heart tugging and our hearts sank as we left them, but we must continue our run and so we took their hopes and wishes of harmony to Ukraine.

Yevgeniy, our Ukraine country co-ordinator and Mikail Fedorovich Dyrda (Chief of District Sports Committee) crossed the Ukraine Moldova border to embrace our new Moldovan friends.

It was a touching moment. Even the Moldovan Inspector General of Police on the border smiled, and despite his official uniform, we could all see he was in the heart.

As we ran into Ukraine we turned and continued to wave to Moldova until we could see them no more. We all look forward to renewing our friendships with the people of Moldova again next year. At the end of the day I read something very apt from Sri Chinmoy’s book entitled My Life’s Soul Journey, which is instantly recognisable in the people of Moldova:

“Man can be happy and safe only when the heart feels faster then the mind thinks”.

The people of Moldova live in the here and now, they are spontaneous, and are so open and have big hearts. Personally it is something that I will always cherish, and I will never forget their kindness and generosity, their sense of joy, their infectious smiles and sense of happiness. Those moments are eternal and will always stay in my heart. Many, many, many thanks for the Moldovan country co-ordinators Ion and Gheorghe and all the Moldovan runners for making our stay so special and memorable. Words cannot fully express our eternal gratitude.

Our first meeting in Ukraine was in the city of Novoselyca where children warmly applauded and cheered us. We sang together the Ukrainian arrangements of the World Harmony Run song.

After the ceremony Mikhail had generously organised a four-course meal for us!

It was delicious, and the best was saved for last – ice cream and fruit! Valentine, our big Ukrainian runner didn’t have enough room to eat the ice cream!

Later on in the day the International Team was increased by the arrival of two Czech girls, Ivana and Stepanka. It was good to see them. The Czech Republic is now certainly well represented on the World Harmony Run.

Our final destination of the day in Chernivcy, known as the ‘Paris of Ukraine’, was a well-organised ceremony with a good mix of the attendance of important official representatives, and children from Chernivcy Athletics Club running with us. The whole event was filmed by local and national television. We met medical students from Sudan, Syria and Pakistan who were so happy to run with us.

We even had a dog running with us today.

At the ceremony we met such a contrast of people. For instance, we met a nice woman from America and a mute man who during the whole ceremony was crying and praying. He was so in the heart and he wished to run with us tomorrow.

Many special thanks must go to Mazurashy Georgiy Georgiyovich (Chief of Region Sport Committee) for organising our accommodation and great evening meal.

Special thanks and for their generous support also must go to Scoreyko Yuriy Mukolayovich (Director Centre ‘Sport for Everybody”) and Dyakonyk Svyatoslav Vasylyovych (Chief of Chernivcy City Committee).

After the ceremony Mark, Mikael and Valentine took a well-earned chocolate break.

Today was a day of endings and new beginnings, as it seems is always the case on the World Harmony Run. The dynamic nature and continuity of the run makes the runners’ experiences so special and memorable. These are memories that individuals will cherish for a long time. Runners and people that we meet are touched and affected by the World Harmony Run experiences, creating a better understanding and a true world family and sense of oneness. What the runners see and experience is that it simply confirms the belief that there is goodness in everyone in every country.

Distance: 99km

Team Members:
Ivana Bauernoplova (Czech Republic), Mark Collinson (England), Mikael Vilpoux (France), Ondrej Vesely (Czech Republic), Stepanka Sarvaicova (Czech Republic), Valentine Bebik (Ukraine).

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

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Ukraine 31 May(Team 2)