The Wounded Warriors Run will now take place April 11–18, 2021 on Vancouver Island.
The run was supposed to start at the end of February and take eight runners eight days to run from Port Hardy to Victoria, raising awareness and funds for Wounded Warriors Canada. COVID-19 restrictions in B.C. forced organizers to postpone the run. They are hoping provincial health orders will allow non-essential travel by then.
“It is disappointing to postpone the run, but we know that the mission doesn’t change,” run director Jacqueline Zweng said. “We are still working every day to raise funds for our veterans, first responders and their families to access life-changing programs through Wounded Warriors Canada.
“We know this need is also greater than ever given the circumstances of the past year since our last run in 2020, which was literally a week before the pandemic shut things down in Canada.”
Eight uniformed first responders from across Vancouver Island will participate in the run: Port Alberni RCMP Const. Maria Marciano, Canadian Coast Guard member Dave Nesbitt (also from Port Alberni), Mike Bowen, Rotary Wing Engineer with the Canadian Coast Guard helicopter division; Steve Kowan, Victoria Police Dept. sergeant; Lane Douglas-Hunt, Victoria Police Dept. police officer; Marissa Morison, paramedic and firefighter with Otter Point Volunteer Fire Dept.; Paul Hurst, View Royal fire chief; and Mark Blachuras, a Nanaimo paramedic.
Runners held a one-day practice run in their respective communities on Feb. 7. Runners hope to raise $250,000; so far they have raised approximately 23 percent of their goal, or just over $58,000.
Wounded Warriors offers numerous trauma resiliency training programs for first responders and their families to help manage work-related stress before and after it becomes a problem. For more information, go online to www.woundedwarriorrunbc.com.