The 3rd Aussie Peace Walk
2023 Aussie Peace Walk
The 1st post-Covid Aussie Peace Walk, welcomed many international participants, most of whom entered the longer events.
At last, the COVID lockdowns had ended and international travel was back. Europeans began registering as soon as earlybird entries opened in 2022.
The Aussie Peace Walk organising committee prepared to welcome our international visitors with some fanfare. One change for 2023 was the development of a program of pre-walk entertainment to add a sense of occasion to the weekend.
Besides’ maps, we also introduced ‘guide walkers‘ for 2023. Guide walkers had walked the routes several times prior to the event and could offer guidance to participants.
To make the event more interesting, we added articles about some locations walkers would walk through and then included QR codes in the event passports for those wanting to know more about the location they were walking through or the things they were walking past.
For example, most of the Saturday walkers passed the memorials on Anzac Parade. If participants wanted to know more about any of the memorials, they could scan the code on their passport and to find out about what they were passing. Unfortunately, it rained while most were on this section of the course, but the information will remain on the website for next year.
Ages of Two-Day Walkers
Local participants enjoying the friendly atmosphere.
The Rotary club of Jerrabomberra checkpoint at the National Arboretum, (roughly halfway on the 24km route).
New In 2023
Continuing the Peace Torch Journey
When the Sri Chinmoy Peace Run from Brisbane to Canberra ended on March 13, we organised for a Ngunnawal runner to carry the Peace Torch from the finish of the peace run to the opening ceremony of the Aussie Peace Walk.
On the first day of the Aussie Peace Walk, many walkers and volunteers continued the peace torch journey.
A New 21km Option
Besides the feature 21km Saturday walk, we offered participants an option of doing the second 21km of the marathon as an alternative.
This meant participants had an opportunity of keeping their marathoning friends company in the second half of their event.
Five Charity Partners
Instead of raising funds for only one charitable project, as we had done in 2021 and 2022, we introduced four more charities for participants to support.
One thing all five had in common is that they all support the health and wellbeing of the worlds’ youth.
One of our volunteers holding the Sri Chinmoy Peace Torch as it made its journey around the 11km course.
The first checkpoint of the sunday 24km walk.
Welcoming our International Participants
2023 was a special year for the Aussie Peace Walk. We welcomed participants from Germany, Switzerland, the USA, Belgium, Denmark and Luxenberg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, Norway and New Zealand as well as our interstate visitors from Victoria, NSW, Queensland and South Australia.
We paid more attention to briefing walkers before each event in 2023, particularly as we had many European participants who would instinctively look the wrong way before crossing roads.
Our biggest international team was the 18 member Team DanLux from Denmark & Luxembourg. The Netherlands team of 14 also made an impact as did the 10 participants from Germany.
The new passport design made it easier for volunteers and walkers to ensure passports were correctly stamped at each checkpoint.
The sole Japanese participant was very pleased to represent his country and get a 2023 Aussie Peace Walk medal.
- 7km Walkers 13.6% 13.6%
- 11 & 12 km Walkers 23.5% 23.5%
- 21km Walkers 38.96% 38.96%
- 24km Walkers 46.43% 46.43%
- Marathon Walkers 14.94% 14.94%
- Walked on both days 74.03% 74.03%
Most Popular Walks
Wonderful to see that 74% of participants completed walks on both days. Our aim has always been to encourage more people to challenge themselves and also walk on the second day. This compares with only 55% in our first Aussie Peace Walk in 2021.
Because of the addition of international participants, the percentage of walkers on the longer routes increased significantly. The 38.96% on the 21km compares to only 22.8% in 2021 and the 14.9% of walkers in the marathon was up from only 6.7% in 2021.
Logically, the percentage of people entering the shorter routes reduced considerably. Only 13.6% entered the 7km in 2023, compared with 32.5% in 2021.
Volunteers stamp event passports as walkers passed each checkpiont.
Participants on the Sunday 7 and 12km routes head into bushland only a short distance from the centre of the city.
Some things Changed and Some Remained the Same
We changed some routes to make road crossings safer. This shortened the Saturday 12km of previous years to an 11km. We also redesigned event passports to make it easier for participants and walkers to see exactly where the stamps go.
Passports got a separate page for chronological checkpoint stamps and were enhanced by the addition of QR codes to provide more information about each area participants walked through.
Ringing the Peace Bell
The first checkpoint is at the Canberra Rotary World Peace Bell, where all participants have the oportunity to have their photo taken ringing the bell.
We love this photo of father and son striking the Peace Bell together.
A Rainy Saturday
The marathon got off to a dry start at 7:30 am but by 8 am a downpour hit the city. All events had some rain, with the marathon, 21km and 11km coping it the hardest.
Fun and Friendship
Despite the rain, spirits were high and young and old had a great time walking around the city.
Many had an oportunity to carry the Sri Chinmoy Peace Torch on Saturday.
The 2023 Peace Walk In Pictures
Click the arrows to scroll through photos of the 2023 Rotary Aussie Peace Walk.