Wounded Warrior Run down Vancouver Island hopes to raise $250,000 for OSI programs

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With snow flurries falling and cold temperatures, day three of the 11th annual Wounded Warrior Run BC saw runners taking turns between Sayward and Campbell River Tuesday.

“Well I think that’s what it’s all about, eh?” said runner and Victoria Police Deputy Chief Jason Laidman. “The snow starts falling, the weather gets colder and we dig in and we dig deep, put ourselves in place of some who couldn’t run with us and are suffering, I think that’s what it’s all about.”

Eight runners from different occupations are running 800 kilometres down the Island this week raising awareness and money to help those here on the Island suffering occupational stress injuries (OSI) like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Well this has been an amazing experience so far. You know, over the course of my career I’ve seen a lot of friends and members that I’ve worked with suffer immensely from the mental toll that this takes on member’s minds, seeing traumas throughout their career, so to be able to give back has meant everything to be part of this,” said runner and Comox Valley RCMP Sgt. Rob Brennan.

The runners usually hit the road more than once a day.

Retired Master Seaman Ray Hall spent 29 years in the Royal Canadian Navy and Air Force.

He had just finished a 11.6 km run when we talked to him north of Campbell River.

“There’s a reason behind it. I’m running for people that I lost,” he said. “So my last tour in Afghanistan I lost a couple of friends there. Darrel, it’s for you.”

A lot of the time the running can be hard, but the motivation can also come easy.

“When we’re running up the hills and everything we just think about all the different people that we’re able to help,” said Yana Hempler, a runner and former Army Reservist at 39 Service Battalion in Victoria.

“Yeah, we’re feeling pretty good but like you said we’re not yet half way so just cross our fingers and hope that we’ll hold it together until the end,” said runner and Dental Officer at CFB Esquimalt.

The team is hoping to raise $250,000 for programs to help those with occupational stress injuries and point out that every dollar raised on the Island stays on the Island.

To learn more or donate visit www.woundedwarriorrunbc.ca

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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