Wounded Warrior Run expands campaign

Wounded Warrior

Peter Mallett 
Staff Writer

Wounded Warrior Run BC is returning to the road in 2022 with a renewed sense of optimism and a new virtual twist.

The annual fundraiser will see a team of eight runners embark on a 700 kilometre relay-style run from Port Hardy to Victoria, Feb. 27 to March 6.

This year’s run will also have a National Virtual Run. It is part of the team’s efforts to boost fundraising for Wounded Warriors Canada and mental health support programs, says Race Director Capt Jacqueline Zweng

“The new National Virtual Run is an option that allows people from every community across Canada to be part of the team. The mental health crisis is everywhere, so this virtual run gives others a sense of empowerment to do what they can in their own towns and networks and run alongside us.”

Participants are encouraged to map out their own route, create a team, or make it a community event. They can run, walk, ski, or paddle their way to distances of 1, 5, 10, or 21 km. Those taking part are encouraged to use the fundraising page Strava and a free app that tracks their activity with GPS. To sign up for the National Virtual Run go to www.woundedwarriorrunbc.com

Bouncing Back

There is also a renewed sense of excitement for the main team of runners ahead of their launch from the northern tip of Vancouver Island. The run was cancelled in 2021 due to health and safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our sense of optimism was drained over the past two years during the pandemic but our team is ready to bring back that sense of hope,” says Capt Zweng.

The event will run under different rules this time. In previous years, runners stopped at branches of the Royal Canadian Legion, community halls, and other community organizations, sometimes appearing in front of packed houses of supporters to boost their morale and fundraising campaign. This year, they are approaching things with caution because of the pandemic. Most events will be held outdoors and with capacity limits, says Capt Zweng.

Cheering them on

Another new twist to this year’s event is the race run course, which will take the runners past CFB Esquimalt’s Naden gates at Admirals Road and Colville Rd., on Sunday, March 6 at 3:15 p.m. Capt Zweng says the team is hoping members of the military community stop by to cheer them on. Runners will then continue on to their final stop at Market Square in downtown Victoria arriving at 4:30 p.m.

In preparation for the big event Wounded Warriors Run BC held a kick-off on Feb. 6 to boost interest and awareness of their upcoming run. Runners departed Sooke at 10 a.m., with stops at the Langford and Saanich Fire Department before arriving in Sidney at 4:45 p.m. and covering over 60 km.

The event raised approximately $3,000 to add to the preliminary fundraising total of $53,000.

The event was also a way to introduce this year’s team members: MS Steve Deschamps, Matt Carlson (Community Recreation Coordinator, PSP), Chief Paul Hurst (View Royal Fire Dept) Sgt Steve Kowan (Victoria PD), Marissa Morrison (Kitimat Fire Dept.), Constable Maria Marcianno (Port Alberni RCMP), Mike Bowen (Coast Guard), and Dave Nesbitt (Coast Guard).

For more information on how to support this year’s team or become involved in the virtual run visit the Wounded Warrior Run BC webpage: www.woundedwarriorrunbc.com



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