ALMOST 13 years since the Olympic torch passed through Kiama on the way to Sydney, a second torch passed through Kiama with a different mission.
Seven runners brought the Peace Torch to the Kiama Council Chambers last week as part of Peace Run Australia.
Coinciding with Canberra’s centenary celebrations, the run’s aim was to spread hope and goodwill.
Leading the team was Bahumanya Guy from Oxford in England, who has participated in similar runs for the past 13 years.
He said locals’ reactions to the run across the world were the same.
‘‘They love the idea, it’s a very simple idea – there’s no political angle, there’s no religious angle, everyone gets it,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s hard to find a problem with this message.’’
He said the team effort to complete the runs was like working for peace.
‘‘If everybody is doing a little bit, that’s how peace is managed,’’ he said.
‘‘All together, we can make a difference.’’
Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler welcomed the runners, who then presented him with a letter of goodwill from Chief Minister for the ACT Katy Gallagher and a certificate of appreciation.
Participants also included Australians Steven Elliott and Martin Fryer, Jaivae Dudko from Ukraine, Odgiiv Jadambga and Purevdorj Daxhzegve from Mongolia and Drsalu Grunstorudl from Austria.
About 50 runners from 16 nations have carried the torch 15,000 kilometres around the coast of Australia, starting and finishing in the nation’s capital.
While most of the runners stayed with the group for three weeks, others ran for two months or longer, arriving at their final destination on Wednesday.
Mr Guy’s favourite part of the journey was the Hunter Valley national parks and the east coast.
‘‘It’s a glorious place, I can understand why there’s such an outdoor culture,’’ he said.
Worldwide, runners have covered the distance from Earth to the moon twice since philosopher Sri Chinmoy founded the movement in 1987.