Monday, July 26, 1999

Runners carry torch for peace

Runners carry torch for peace
The Ann Arbor News
By Pamela Appea
Kapila Castoldi is modest about her two-mile daily running habit.
But the Ann Arbor resident can take pride in her efforts to coordinate Peace Run volunteers who have been running longer distances--eight to 10 miles a day, every day--for the past three months.

“Peace run 1999: the run to 2000” started with a team of European runners in Portugal on Jan. 1. U.S.-based Peace Run athletics started passing the torch April 17 at New York City’s U.N. building, where the team will conclude its segment on Aug. 17. Participating runners from 119 other countries will continue the run until Dec. 31.

The runners--who take turns carrying a lit peace torch symbolizing world-wide peace--trekked Sunday through Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

“It’s a simple idea, but we get enthusiastic responses from many people,” said Castoldi, a visiting Oakland University assistant physics professor.

Peace Run volunteers, a 12-person team with U.S. and international members, visit various schools, community centers and city halls, where they talk to local children and community groups.

“It’s exciting for the kids and it puts a seed in their mind about .. Peace,” said Castoldi, who coordinators the Michigan and Tennessee runs.

Tom Taylor, a Peace Run captain and a carpenter in New York City, said he took the time off work to focus on ways of being a peace-oriented person.

“I don’t think about peace every day when I’m working. (But now) I think of peace every day, 100 times a day when I am running … an I meet good people (who also care about peace),” he said.

During the runners’ stop in Gallup Park at 10:40 a.m. Sunday, the volunteers were joined by U.S. Rep. Lynn Rivers D-Ann Arbor, who walked a half-mile.

The group also was joined by Ann Arbor YMCA runners along with some local citizens.
In Ypsilanti, where the runners stopped at 12:40 p.m., a few Eastern Michigan University students ran three miles with the team toward Depot Town.

“I really liked the idea of getting people involved in peace,” said G. Summer Scarbough, an EMU senior and the student body vice president.

“People don’t get involved unless it is reactionary like the protest against the … (1998) Khan (rally) in Ann Arbor. (the Peace Run) is proactive, and something positive,” she said.
Castoldi who couldn’t run with the group due to a recent injury, said that since the event fell on the weekend, it was low-key. She predicted that the Peace Run shop in Detroit today might have a higher attendance.

Mary Roberts, YMCA senior program executive, said even if the Ann Arbor event was on a smaller scale, the principles of peace are still important.
“(Peace Run) is something that we believe in,” she said.

Originally published Monday, July 26, 1999