Video added

Peace Run makes its way through Belfast, down coast

By Stephanie Grinnell | Aug 09, 2018
Photo by: Stephanie Grinnell Mayor Samantha Paradis speaks with runners during a stop of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run Aug. 9 at City Hall.

With a just one step, Belfast Mayor Samatha Paradis did something no other mayor has done — participate in the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run.

Runners with the international torch relay were in Belfast Aug. 9 after leaving Bangor that morning. They stopped at Belfast City Hall on their way down Route 1, heading to Camden and Rockland later in the day.

Paradis joined the torch run from City Hall. She said she was excited to welcome the Peace Run to the community and urged runners to return to Belfast for a relaxed visit someday.

In Belfast, the group represented six countries in addition to several U.S. states. Country Coordinator for Canada Yatkara Aleksapolskyy, originally from Ukraine, said the group, for the most recent leg, is split into men and women, allowing for runners to take breaks along the 10,000-mile journey. Most runners average between 10 and 12 miles per day, he said, with “time off” spent updating social media and blogs.

Non-runners also prepare meals so the food is ready when the runners stop; he noted the women had prepared lunch before spending the afternoon running and the men would prepare dinner. Aleksapolskyy said many runners have joined and left the group along the way, but two have participated in the entire run.

The group is assisted by two minivans and a recreational vehicle, which help protect runners on the route and serve as resting spots as well as gear transportation.

Arpan DeAngelo, a New Englander with connections to several Northeastern states, spoke about the roots of the Peace Run to a small group of bystanders and media gathered in front of Belfast City Hall. He said it was founded by Sri Chinmoy in 1987 as a grassroots event that has now expanded to more than 100 countries. Its goal is to promote peace and harmony.

“Peace begins with each person,” DeAngelo said, adding participation in the run by officials such as Paradis and media coverage help spread the good news of the effort.

It’s not a race, he said, but a chance to encourage peace and oneness all over the world.

After presenting certificates of appreciation to Paradis and the city, runners sang a song penned in 1991 by Chinmoy called “Peace Run.” The torch was passed among people in the group, who were encouraged by DeAngelo to “think of a good thought” or say a prayer while holding the torch.

A short time later, the runners, with Paradis in the lead with the torch, set off around 12:30 p.m. down Church Street for the next leg of the trip. Runners expect to arrive in Portland on Friday.

For more information about the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, or to follow its progress, go online to

'Peace Run' song
(Video by: Stephanie Grinnell)
Mayor leading Peace Run
(Video by: Stephanie Grinnell)
Mayor Samantha Paradis is interviewed by a local television station Aug. 9 prior to participating in a Peace Run. (Photo by: Stephanie Grinnell)
Runners with Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run present a certificate to Belfast Mayor Samantha Paradis. (Photo by: Stephanie Grinnell)
At left, Arpan DeAngelo is interviewed by a local TV station, while at right, Belfast Mayor Samantha Paradis poses for a photo in front of City Hall. (Photo by: Stephanie Grinnell)
Comments (3)
Posted by: Bradley Williams | Aug 11, 2018 13:14

I'd run too with old Walter Ash and the crooked Belfast City Counsel chasing me!

I'm guessing that she can run faster than they can waddle!

Run, Mayor, Run! Run again next time!

I'll vote for you just to piss them off!

Lobsters, Not GMO Salmon!!

Posted by: Edwin E Ecker | Aug 09, 2018 15:31

Not a very good advertisement for your cause when nobody can explain how these events promote peace .Hollow words and sweating never solved a thing but did give people a platform for their personal enhancement.

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Aug 09, 2018 15:20

Good cause! Think peace and act accordingly.

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