VIDEO: Three men complete 65 km Sooke to Sidney run for Wounded Warriors

Steve Deschamps (left), Mark Blachuras and Allan Kobayashi stopped by Langford Fire Hall for a quick pitstop before continuing on their 65km run from Sooke to Sidney. Their run is the final fundraising effort before the Wounded Warriors Canada Relay Run covers 600km from Port Hardy to Victoria in late February. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)Steve Deschamps (left), Mark Blachuras and Allan Kobayashi stopped by Langford Fire Hall for a quick pitstop before continuing on their 65km run from Sooke to Sidney. Their run is the final fundraising effort before the Wounded Warriors Canada Relay Run covers 600km from Port Hardy to Victoria in late February. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Three men ran 65km from Sooke to Sidney Sunday, raising funds for Wounded Warriors Canada. It’s a warm-up event before the 600km relay run from Port Hardy to Victoria in late February. (Courtesy of John Penner)Three men ran 65km from Sooke to Sidney Sunday, raising funds for Wounded Warriors Canada. It’s a warm-up event before the 600km relay run from Port Hardy to Victoria in late February. (Courtesy of John Penner)
Jacqueline Zweng from Wounded Warriors (left) snaps a photo with a Saanich Police Insp. Rob Warren during a brief pit stop at the Saanich Police Department. She’s accompanying three men on a 65km run from Sooke to Sidney on Sunday, raising funds for Wounded Warriors Canada. (Courtesy of John Penner)Jacqueline Zweng from Wounded Warriors (left) snaps a photo with a Saanich Police Insp. Rob Warren during a brief pit stop at the Saanich Police Department. She’s accompanying three men on a 65km run from Sooke to Sidney on Sunday, raising funds for Wounded Warriors Canada. (Courtesy of John Penner)
Three men ran 65km from Sooke to Sidney Sunday, raising funds for Wounded Warriors Canada. It’s a warm-up event before the 600km relay run from Port Hardy to Victoria in late February. (Courtesy of John Penner)Three men ran 65km from Sooke to Sidney Sunday, raising funds for Wounded Warriors Canada. It’s a warm-up event before the 600km relay run from Port Hardy to Victoria in late February. (Courtesy of John Penner)
Sidney Fire Hall was the end of the 65km run from Sooke for three men as part of a fundraiser for Wounded Warriors Canada on Sunday, Feb. 10. (Courtesy of John Penner)Sidney Fire Hall was the end of the 65km run from Sooke for three men as part of a fundraiser for Wounded Warriors Canada on Sunday, Feb. 10. (Courtesy of John Penner)
Three men ran 65km from Sooke to Sidney Sunday, raising funds for Wounded Warriors Canada. It’s a warm-up event before the 600km relay run from Port Hardy to Victoria in late February. (Courtesy of John Penner)Three men ran 65km from Sooke to Sidney Sunday, raising funds for Wounded Warriors Canada. It’s a warm-up event before the 600km relay run from Port Hardy to Victoria in late February. (Courtesy of John Penner)
Three men ran 65km from Sooke to Sidney Sunday, raising funds for Wounded Warriors Canada. It’s a warm-up event before the 600km relay run from Port Hardy to Victoria in late February. (Courtesy of John Penner)Three men ran 65km from Sooke to Sidney Sunday, raising funds for Wounded Warriors Canada. It’s a warm-up event before the 600km relay run from Port Hardy to Victoria in late February. (Courtesy of John Penner)

Steve Deschamps has had multiple people in his life who live with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In fact, he spent his whole life growing up on a military base, and now he works in the navy. The runner is one of three men who did the Wounded Warriors training run from Sooke to Sidney, raising funds that support programs for those impacted by PTSD.

“The cause is very close to my heart,” Deschamps said. “It’s a little overwhelming to see the people on the streets and have their support.”

Sunday’s 65 km run made pit stops at Langford fire hall, the Saanich Police Department, and ended at the newly constructed fire hall in Sidney.

This run is a warm up for the yearly relay event that goes from Port Hardy to Victoria within a single week. The 600-km run down Vancouver Island is completed by a team of eight veterans, first responders and supporters. The run begins on Feb. 23 and ends in front of B.C. Legislature on March 1.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Wounded Warrior surpasses $100,000 fundraising goal

ALSO READ: Wounded Warriors Run gets ready to hit the road

“It blows you away because you would never imagine that this would have grown to something so big,” said Allan Kobayashi, co-founder of the run. “So many people have opened up. It’s about people sharing that venom and being willing to talk about their problems.”

The run began in 2013 and initially had a goal to raise $5,000. Now, organizers are aiming $250,000. They’ve already raised nearly $75,000, as of Feb. 9. Last year, they hit their goal of $100,000.

Langford Mayor Stew Young was in attendance at the runners’ pit stop and shared how proud he is to support Wounded Warriors. “We need to be there for those who struggle with PTSD day in and day out,” Young said to the crowd.

Those interested in supporting Wounded Warriors Canada can donate online at woundedwarriors.ca/events/wounded-warrior-bc-run.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


@iaaronguillen
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