World Harmony Run reaches resort


A dedicated runner who has pounded pavements around the world – literally – passed through Queenstown for the World Harmony Run this weekend. 

On the global torch relay, joggers are travelling through 100 countries across six continents and covering a staggering 70,000 kilometres. 

Runners on the international epic don’t fundraise, but merely visit schools along the way to raise awareness of harmony and promote understanding. 

The 12-strong core team for this leg of the journey – from New Zealand, Czech Republic, Guatemala and Wales – arrived in the resort from Wanaka on Saturday and are continuing to Kingston today (Sunday) with any eager locals in tow. 

For running stalwart Apaguha Vesely, 32, New Zealand has the most spectacular scenery – and he has a lot of terrain to compare it to. 

The Prague salesman strapped on his running shoes about eight months ago, and has trekked from Dublin, Ireland across Europe to Moscow, Russia, prior to jetting to New Zealand. 

“It’s the most beautiful nature I have ever seen anywhere else,” Vesely claims. 

“Europe is like a museum – if you want to see good nature, come to New Zealand.” 

He’s trotting through Central Otago and Southland to Dunedin before slogging from Wellington via the East Cape to Auckland. 

Vesely’s marathon mission will finish in Canberra late November after running through Tasmania and eastern Australia. 

Vesely says changing the world starts with yourself – and doing good things in different areas, such as art and sport. 

“Harmony is something special that we have inside ourselves and it’s something you have to share with the world.” 

Bangladeshi athlete and poet Sri Chinmoy set up the run in 1987.