Saanich Police Officer Lori Timpson with the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit first ran in the Wounded Warrior Run in 2019.
She says 21 years of policing can take its toll, which is why she’s pounding the pavement once again.
“We’re no strangers to trauma and I’ve seen many of my fellow brothers and sisters, not only in policing but fire, military, EMS that have suffered from operational stress injuries such as PTSD,” said Timpson.
The Wounded Warrior Run was created a decade ago by two Canadian Forces service members eager to do something after a rise of suicides in the Canadian Armed Forces.
The run now includes all first responders.
View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst is running in the fundraiser for the first time.
“I’ve been in this game for 39 years and I’ve seen a lot and I’m not going to lie, a lot of it hurts and there’s a lot going on up here,” Hurst said, pointing to his head. “This is what this is about, clearing my head and raising awareness and telling people it’s OK if you’re hurting. Let us know about it and we’ve got the tools and resources to help you.”
Tuesday’s leg of the run was between Sayward and Campbell River, the third of eight days in the relay-style event between Port Hardy and Victoria.
It has been a hilly, very hard run at times, but nothing compared to what anyone with PTSD or mental health issues deal with every day.
“So all of the funds that are raised on Vancouver Island, stay on Vancouver Island and all of that funding goes towards programs to assist veterans and first responders and their families,” said Jacqueline Zweng, runner and director of Wounded Warrior Run BC.
The goal is to raise $250,000 this year.
“We would like to surpass $100,000 today,” added Zweng. “So every little bit helps.”
“Everyone’s doing 10, 15, 20 kilometres a day so I’m not going to lie, it hurts, you wake up every morning sore but it pales in comparison to some of the struggles our veterans and first responders are going through so this is nothing. This is a drop in the bucket. This is easy,” said Hurst.
More information about the run and a link to donate can be found here.