Some light snow on the ground didn’t stop the 2022 Wounded Warrior Run (WWR).
It was bright and early on Sunday morning when the WWR run team gathered at Carrot Park in Port Hardy for the start of their eight-day trek down island.
The 600 kilometre relay-style run down the length of Vancouver Island is held annually to raise awareness and funds for Wounded Warriors Canada—a national mental health service for uniformed first responders such as firefighters, police, paramedics and military members.
Jacqueline Zweng, events coordinator for the run, noted they were at Carrot Park with Kwakiutl Chief Calvin Hunt and Port Hardy mayor Dennis Dugas for the opening ceremony.
Hunt started the ceremony off with a quick speech, blessing the runners and stating that local First Nations “come here with a good feeling in our hearts and a lot of love for what these [runners] are doing.”
Dugas spoke next, saying he couldn’t thank the team enough for what they do for people “that are definitely in need.”
He added Port Hardy has numerous first responders in the community, and he was very happy to see them there at 6:30 in the morning to see the runners off on the start of their journey.
“I have to say personally my prayers go out to you, that you have a safe journey, and that it’s very prosperous,” Dugas said.
After leaving Carrot Park, the runners stopped for lunch in Port McNeill around 11:00 a.m., and then continued on to Woss, completing a total distance of 107 kilometres.
The second day of the run saw the team go from Woss to Sayward, a total of 76 kilometres, and will be in Campbell River tomorrow.