Wounded Warriors runner Jacqueline Zweng, left, running with Andrew Harward, right in 2017. Photo by Lauren Collins, (Black Press).

Wounded Warrior Run BC coming back to Vancouver Island

A kick-off event will be held Thursday in Colwood to raise awareness of the fundraiser

Not all injuries are visible.

That’s the idea behind the Wounded Warriors Run BC fundraiser, which is coming back to Vancouver Island for a fifth time in three weeks.

The annual event raises funds for the Wounded Warriors Canada (WCC), a non-profit organization that seeks to help military veterans and first responders suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Every year, a small team of endurance athletes runs relay-style down the length of Vancouver Island, starting in Port Hardy and making their way to Victoria over the course of a week.

The runners stop at legions, community centres, and fire halls at the end of each day to meet people, share and hear stories, and raise awareness of mental health-related issues.

Wounded Warrior Run BC director Jacqueline Zweng said the motivation behind the fundraiser was an influx of reported suicides among veterans suffering from PTSD.

In 2014, statistics from the National Defence Department showed that 160 Canadian military personnel had taken their own lives between 2004 and March 31, 2014.

“It’s actually more difficult for people to get help for mental injuries and we want to be there to show people that there is a way, that we’re here to help and that Wounded Warriors Canada is committed to providing programming that can help our veterans and first responders,” said Zweng.

“We believe that we’re all in this together. For the people that stand up and support our communities every day, we also need to give back and support them.”

Zweng said that when the Wounded Warriors Run BC began, the team’s goal was to raise $5,000 for the WWC. They ended up raising $20,000 instead.

And it’s only gotten bigger since then — the goal for 2018 is to raise $100,000.

Zweng, who ran in the event last year, said it was a life-changing experience.

“I am a breast cancer patient and was still doing active treatment at the time. I did experience some of my own trauma during my cancer experience,” she said. “Being able to talk about that and connect with the community was really important.”

The run takes place Feb. 19–25 this year. Seven runners are participating, including Matt Carlson, Bernice Smith, Simon Brown, Chris Loran, Brett Malcolm, Mark Dankwerth, and Steve Deschamps.

The runners will each run between 30 and 60 kilometres per day.

To raise awareness of the upcoming run, a kick-off event and media launch for the 2018 Wounded Warrior Run BC will be held Thursday, Feb. 1 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Jim Pattison Subaru in Victoria. The Colwood-based dealership is one of the fundraiser’s main sponsors and supplies the team with two vehicles for the run.

Just Posted

Legend of Victoria dog ‘Cody’ lives on with successful pet drive

Charmaine’s furniture store collecting donations for Victoria Pet Food Bank

Added webcams give drivers more views of Malahat and highway to Sooke

Five new DriveBC webcams installed in high traffic locations on Vancouver Island

Skygazers spot mysterious flaming object during Sunday’s lunar eclipse

University of Victoria astronomer explains the “glowing object”

Ousted legislature officials say report released to further blacken their reputations

James and Lenz say release was ‘Contrary to all principles of fairness and decent treatment’

Four Grizzlies crack NHL’s central scouting list for 2019

Newhook, Campbell, Bucheler and Berger earn NHL notice

Royals test unbeaten streak on Hockey for Hospitals night

Marty and the Victoria Royals host Hockey for Hospitals night on Feb. 2

Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay voted into Baseball Hall of Fame

M’s legend Edgar Martinez, Rivera, Mussina also make the grade

POLL: Do you support a speculation tax on vacant homes in Greater Victoria?

Homeowners have begun to receive letters asking if they should be exempt… Continue reading

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Most Read