On February 19th, 2017 a dedicated team of 7 runners and 6 support volunteers travelled to Port Hardy, Vancouver Island, BC, to prepare for the 4th annual Wounded Warrior Run BC (WWRUN BC) event. This event, co-founded by Allan Kobayashi and Dan Bodden, is an annual relay-style run that raises funds and awareness around Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I had the pleasure of joining this campaign for the 3rd year in a row as a volunteer photographer.
The 2017 team includes currently serving military members, reservists, veterans, Police, First Nations and non-military members. One thing each member has in common is a huge heart filled with hope and compassion for those who are struggling with post traumatic stress. By the second day, this team became a family who supported eachother through the highs and lows of this emotional and physically exhausting journey. It was, as it always has been, a beautiful thing to be a part of.
The team began with a cold and dark kick-off at the crack of dawn from the brand new Port Hardy cenotaph. The team was surrounded by the warmth of many supporters. Over the next 7 consecutive days, the team ran in excess of 700km’s as they made their way to Victoria. At each legion they were met, quite literally, with open arms. Bellies were filled, donations were generously presented, stories were vulnerably shared, and strength and energy was restored for the next leg.
The weather at times was quite challenging. We were met with icy roads, heavy snowfall, rain…it was perfect, really. The difficulty of the journey is representative of the difficulty of living with PTSD.
On February 26th, our Wounded Warrior Run “family” was received with tremendous support and a fabulous ceremony and celebration at the Langford Legion BR#91. Donations are still coming in and are being tallied! On behalf of the WWRUN BC team, I would like to say thank you to everyone who supported us, financially or otherwise, on this journey. If you would like to make a donation please see the link below.
Wounded Warriors Canada is a non-profit organization that helps first responders as well as Canadian Forces members, serving and retired, who have been wounded or injured in their service to Canada. Their primary focus is on mental health and, particularly, the staggering impact of PTSD and Operational Stress Injuries. Donations can be made through the Wounded Warriors Canada website.