Professor co-plans international Kenyan relay race to promote peace

Topic: College of Applied Sciences and Technology

August 22, 2013

Ball State University's Sotiris Hji-Avgoustis will be among thousands in attendance at an international cross-country race for peace in Kenya this September.

Hji-Avgoustis, newly appointed chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, will represent the university as a planner of the international MUKESCO Peace Run. Held on Sept. 28 in Eldoret, the run gives participants a chance to stand for peace in an area that has been rocked by violence in recent years due to political and economic instability.

Hji-Avgoustis said the intercultural race is one where everyone is welcome and everyone wins. “There aren’t any winners or losers,” said Hji-Avgoustis, who co-planned this year’s race with IUPUI’s Ian McIntosh, director of international partnerships. "The main goal is to create an understanding of peace in this area. The prizes will include community needs such as school uniforms, books and a new well for one of the villages.”

The run will include 12 distance categories to choose from, with the longest distance at 12 km (7.5 miles). Nine teams will be anchored in the villages surrounding Kenya's Moi University, where the race will start and end. The teams will include a full representation of village members who will be led by world champion Kenyan runners including Kip Keino, Moses Tanui, Patrick Sang and Lorna Kiplagat.

Along with Ball State, additional sponsors of the event include Moi University, IUPUI, Athletics Keny Rivatex, Colgate, Forus Shoes, Medals 4 Mettle and the Efroyson Family Foundation. For more information about the race, visit the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies or call 765-285-1622.

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