YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Sunday morning, lots of runners ran for peace in Youngstown, throughout the city and through Mill Creek Park.
They gathered at the corner of Kirk Road and South Schenley Avenue for the 47th annual Peace Race.
It serves as the official training race for the Youngstown marathon and it brings together elite runners from around the world.
“I’m passionate about running. The Peace Race is probably one of the first races I ever did and I like being able to give back,” said runner and organizer Becky Rudzik.
There were three different races including a 400-meter kids fun run, a 2-mile run and walk and a 10K run.
“I’ve been running the peace race for many, many years and I love including my family on that,” said Youngstown runner Monique Kane.
“She brought us in on it, so now it’s a family tradition,” said Youngstown runner Robert Melczak.
Just a few hundred feet from the 10K starting line, Emily Dunn and her family created the race’s first stop in their front yard.
They cheer on runners and even give them drinks to fuel them for the race ahead. They’ve been doing it for the last 12 Peace Races.
“It was just a fun tradition for our family and friends to get together to support peace in Youngstown, free love, and just an excuse for us to have a really good time on a Sunday morning,” Dunn said.
The race has changed a lot over the years.
It started in 1975 as a 25K race through Mill Creek Park. That race was taken away in 1989 and replaced with the 10K as the main race.
But one thing that hasn’t changed about the race is it’s goal — to unite people peacefully through running and support Youngstown.
“Everyone here likes bettering themselves and running with the community because we donate money afterwards to different local charities. It’s just all about coming together as a community,” said organizer and runner Jonathan Bolha.
“I think it shows that you can have fun while helping others. We’re having a blast but it’s also for a good cause,” said Boardman runner and organizer Trebor Melczak.
After four decades, the race looks to continue celebrating the city and running for years to come.