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10,000-mile Sri Chinmoy Peace Run visits Scappoose, St. Helens

Runners traveled north on Route 433 to Napavine, Wash.

COURTESY PHOTO: SRI CHINMOY PEACE RUN - Pujari Schaeffer of San Diego carries the Sri Chinmoy Peace Run torch as the 10,000-mile journey passes through Scappoose on Sunday, June 19. The Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, humanity's largest grassroots effort for peace, passed through Scappoose and St. Helens on the way to Napavine, Wash., on Sunday, June 19.

The eight-runner international team ventured north to Route 433, which connects Rainier to Longview, Wash.

"By carrying the torch, [runners will bridge] cultural and social barriers and all the boundaries that separate nation from nation," nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis said. "You will be the living proof of the ancient vision of having a beautiful and harmonious world."

The 10,000-mile, four-mouth relay started in New York City in April and will link Mexico, Canada and the United States and arrive back in New York in August.

The European relay started in Portugal in February and will end in Rome in October.

Runners, who give educational presentations in the name of self-esteem and friendship, will also visit the South Pacific in May.

The Peace Run visits 140 countries, and an estimated 50,000 children in over 1,000 North American cities and towns participate when the Peace Run visits schools and youth organizations.

Five million people have taken part since 1987, and Pope Francis, Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mother Teresa have lent a hand.

Sri Chinmoy, 85, an athlete, philosopher, artist, musician and poet of Bangladesh, India, created the Peace Run in 1987 to help citizens express their hopes and dreams.

"If we have perseverance, then that is our first step towards world harmony," Chinmoy said.

The Peace Run is online at www.peacerun.org/us/.