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Peace run makes Sandpoint stop

Here’s your chance to carry a torch for world peace: Join a team of World Harmony Runners Sunday in Sandpoint.

The relay runners will be bringing a lighted torch to Idaho after passing through Spokane earlier in the day. Runners from around the world participate in legs of the event every four years.

Sunday’s runners are covering a portion of the U.S. run, which starts and ends in New York City and passes through all 48 contiguous states. There are also runs in Russia, Europe, Australia and Japan.

Begun in 1987 as the Peace Run, the event aims to nurture world harmony and tolerance. It was the brainchild of late philosopher, artist, musician and athlete Sri Chinmoy, according to the group’s Web site.

“Everyone can carry the torch a few steps … or just come out and cheer the runners as they pass through Sandpoint … stopping to join us,” according to a press release from the co-hosts, the Bonner County Human Rights Task Force and Sandpoint Parks and Recreation department.

The runners will be guests at a free, public potluck picnic beginning at 3 p.m. in Sandpoint’s City Beach Park gazebo.

There will be food, games and activities for kids, live musical performances, poetry, juggling workshops, yoga practice and a group meditation for peace, said Christine Holbert, event coordinator.

During an open-mike session, guests will be invited to share their peace-themed songs, poems and writings, Holbert said.

The community’s hospitality always makes Sandpoint one of the runners’ favorite stops, she said.