Olympian Carl Lewis lights the flame at the run's opening ceremony in New York.The flames of hot air balloon burners won’t be the only hot items this weekend, when a nationwide torch relay passes through Tigard on Saturday.

Runners in the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, a 10,000 mile torch relay, will be racing along Pacific Highway on June 21 as the torch is passed from McMinville to Portland.

The run is meant to promote goodwill, harmony and friendship, according to event organizers. Runners have been offering educational presentationsthat promote self-esteem and friendship as they make their way from New York City to the west coast and back again.

The run takes four months to complete.

Other relays around the world are taking place in more than 140 nations throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

"By carrying the Torch, you will be bridging cultural and social barriers, and all the boundaries that separate nation from nation,” said Carl Lewis, a nine-time Olympic Gold-medalist. “You will be the living proof of the ancient vision of having a beautiful and harmonious world."

The Peace Run was inspired by Sri Chinmoy, an Indian spiritual leader who dedicated his life to promoting harmony who died in 2007.

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