Wounded Warrior Run covers Sooke to Sidney to honour first responders


John Pimlott was so inspired to give back to wounded veterans and first responders dealing with PTSD, that he hand-built a modified rowboat.

The boat is outfitted with supports a person would need to get out on the water even if they require a wheelchair.

“If you are missing your legs, I can take you out safely,” said Pimlott, a Nanaimo resident and inventor.

The longtime supporter of Wounded Warrior, took to Nanaimo’s Long Lake Sunday on a 12 kilometre fundraising row, four laps around the lake to stand with Wounded Warrior Run BC. Hitting the water to show his support for those on the frontlines, as the pandemic takes a mounting toll on their mental health.

“They take care of us and they do their best and it’s gotta weigh heavy on some of those souls sometimes,” said Pimlott.

The 57-year-old was one of many that took part virtually on Sunday, in a one-day Wounded Warrior Run from Sooke to Sidney. It took place three weeks ahead of the main eight-day run late this month, to show first responders that they have support if they’re not okay.

“I think the heightened time we are in, we are in a mental health crisis right now and that is adding to that stress and anxiety for our first responders and our veterans. They are under a lot of pressure to perform right now and that is really challenging,” said Wounded Warrior Run BC Director, Jacqueline Zweng.

Cst. Maria Marciano, is a member of the Port Alberni RCMP and one of this year’s runners. She said the pandemic is hitting everyone including those in uniform hard, as pandemic pressures mount.

“Right now especially, the mental health awareness needs to be out there because with COVID and everything else it’s just making that much more of an impact,” said Cst. Maria Marciano.

“So we’re trying to do everything we can to help those people who are serving us every day under really difficult conditions,” said Zweng.

The main Wounded Warrior BC fundraising run takes off from Port Hardy bound for Victoria on Feb. 27.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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