RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Just six months ago the running trail was the stage of sweeping violence that gripped Rio in November last year. Now, the same dirt road drug traffickers used to escape from the police during the massive police and military operation was part of the 4,850 meter run called Desafio da Paz (Peace Challenge).
A thousand runners, including top athletes, artists, TV-personalities, Elite Squad BOPE officers, politicians and residents and even former drug dealers participated in the highly symbolical running event.
“This is just all very emotional”, said a resident who watched BOPE officers and residents pass by his house, running side by side for fun. A vision he would have thought an impossibility seven months ago.