International team of runners to pass through Lewis County on June 20 for Peace Run


History’s largest peace torch relay will pass through Lewis County on the morning of Thursday, June 20, and all are welcome to participate, according to a news release from organizers.

The peace run, inspired by Sri Chinmoy, began in 1987 to promote peace, harmony and friendship.

Since its first year, the relay has brought in more than seven million participants, and commendations have come from many prominent individuals, including Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mother Teresa, olympians and Pope Francis, who lit the Peace Torch in March in the Vatican.

An artist, athlete, philosopher, musician and poet, Chinmoy inspired the Peace Run, which is meant to give citizens a dynamic way to express their hopes and dreams for a harmonious world.

He dedicated his life to advancing the ideals of world harmony and said, “How can we have peace? Not by talking about peace, but by walking along the road of peace.”

The Peace Run has traversed over 150 nations. This year, the international team of runners is from six different countries and will be on the road for four months.

A team of runners left New York City in April, passing the torch along the over 10,000-mile route. The continuous relay will also run through three provinces of Canada during the four-month journey before arriving back in New York mid-August.

Runners participating in the June 20 journey from Napavine to Des Moines on state Route 507 will meet with schools, youth organizations and local officials. They will conduct educational presentations that promote self esteem and the oneness of humanity, according to the news release.

The organization invites community members to participate in a few steps, several miles or a whole day.

For more information regarding the route and ways to participate, visit