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

Seven years later, what’s changed since the 2011 Malahat fuel truck crash and closure?

Trans-Canada Highway reopens to traffic Friday morning after roughly 13-hour closure

Shamrocks home opener tonight

Victoria opens play against Burnaby at 7:30 p.m., tailgate party starts at 5

Eagle Creek Bosley’s closed after SUV crashes through storefront

Structural engineer called to assess building damage

Vehicle crosses into median and flips on Pat Bay Hwy

The vehicle landed upside down in oncoming lanes of traffic on the McKenzie overpass

WATCH: Final thoughts before the 75th Swiftsure Yacht Race

Nautical stories and racing strategies of some of the 200 crews heading out to sea Saturday

Black Press Media to launch Pipeline Full of Controversy series

Series covers Trans Mountain’s history, science, Indigenous reaction, politics and economics

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Catalyst Paper to sell U.S. mills to Chinese company

Sale will allow company to focus on B.C. interests, says president Ned Dwyer

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

B.C. jewellers warn public about fake gold scam

‘They are playing on people’s sympathy and their greed’

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

B.C. teacher charged with sexual offences involving two teens

Henry Kang, 50, of Abbotsford charged with two counts each sex assault and sexual exploitation

Most Read