Wounded Warriors brave tough weather

Wounded Warrior Run team at Mile Zero

The Wounded Warrior Run B.C. team gathers at the Mile Zero monument in Victoria after running 600 kilometres and raising more than $10,000 for Wounded Warriors Canada.

After six days on the road and 600 kilometres traversed in running shoes, the Wounded Warriors made it home.

The running team, including Wounded Warrior Run B.C. founder PO2 Allan Kobayashi, crossed the finish line Feb. 21 in Colwood.

“It was a great experience. There were definitely some challenges but I’m proud of everyone,” says PO2 Kobayashi. “We set out to raise some money for military members, and we surpassed even our expectations. I’m thrilled.”

The event raised money for Wounded Warriors Canada, a non-profit organization that provides programs and connections for military personnel suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other work-stress injuries.

The run gained public attention as the miles wore on.

“We got a phone call from the president of Wounded Warriors Canada, who said he’d been directly receiving phone calls talking about our run,” says PO2 Kobayashi. “We were making waves, and word was getting out. It was huge for us.”

The team shattered the fundraising goal of $2,500, raising more than $10,000.

“The money just kept rolling in,” says PO2 Kobayashi. “We had schools donating money raised through lunch funds and little kids emptying their piggy banks. It was a very emotional experience.”

Setting off from Port Hardy Feb. 15, the team encountered high winds, knee deep snow, and driving rain. PO2 Kobayashi says with the warrior spirit in their hearts nothing could stop them, not even nature.

“I was running my leg further up island and nature called. So I ran off to the side of the road and as I was finishing up I heard someone yelling at me from the support vehicle,” says PO2 Kobayashi. “I turned around and there’s this great big elk not 10 yards away. Luckily he was more interested in crossing the road, but I definitely felt like I was intruding.”

For the fit team the distance wasn’t a problem. PO2 Kobayashi says after a while auto-pilot would take over.

“I always say I just stick my tummy forward and let my legs run,” he says. “We knew what we were doing and who we were doing it for. We’ve all been there. It was about them, it wasn’t about us.”

With the monumental run now behind them, it’s back to work for the team. PO2 Kobayashi says heading back to work knowing the difference they made and the work they did is more than enough comfort.

“We did more than we ever thought we could,” he says.

-Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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