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Harmony Runners Refuel in Westport

Runners with the World Harmony Run USA, a global torch relay, took a pit stop outside the Westport Library on Tuesday afternoon before making their way to Norwalk.

The 13 runners were greeted by Jonathan Steinberg, Democratic candidate for state representative in the 136th District, and Bill Hass, chairman of the UN Hospitality Committee.

"I think it's a wonderful thing," Hass said of the Harmony Run. "It brings people together, and it draws attention internationally to goodwill and peace."

As Westport is on the runners' route back to New York, World Harmony members have visited the town in the past, Hass said.

In 2006, runners where greeted by former First Selectwoman Diane Farrell. And in 2008, First Selectman Gordon Joseloff welcomed them. Because Joseloff had prior commitments, Steinberg was this year's host.

"I'm glad I was available to do this," Steinberg said. "Anything to promote dialogue, I'm happy to be a part of."

Thanks to the lunch provided by Westport Pizzeria, the runners fueled up before taking off toward Norwalk, Stamford and eventually, New York.

The 10,000-mile U.S. World Harmony Run passes through all 50 states. This year's run was launched in New York City on April 18.

Arpan DeAngelo, 58, one of the coordinators on the U.S. team, said seven of the 13 runners currently on the team have been on the road since the run was launched. Usually one person will run at a time in 2- or 3-mile segments. On average, each runner will rack up eight to 10 miles a day.

Founded in 1987 by the late peace visionary Sri Chinmoy, the World Harmony run aims to encourage goodwill, friendship and understanding. To learn more about the run, visit the official website .

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