Warm weather and sunshine weren’t the only welcomes the Wounded Warrior Run BC team received when they arrived in the Comox Valley on Feb. 22.
Following pitstops at the Courtenay and Comox fire halls, the team arrived to applause from over 100 people when they made their way to 888 Wing, in Comox, on Thursday.
“The hospitality on this northern part of the Island is just unbelievable,” said runner Mark Denkworth, a first-time participant in the annual fundraiser.
“These small communities that we’ve come up to, the small towns up north have just opened up their hearts, their homes, and they just put everything out on the table for us, quite literally.”
The Wounded Warrior Run BC raises funds for Wounded Warriors Canada (WCC), a non-profit organization that seeks to help military veterans and first responders suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Now in its fifth year, the annual event sees a team run relay-style down the length of Vancouver Island, stopping at legions, fire halls and community centres at the end of each day.
The small team collectively runs between 30 and 60 kilometres per day. The runners arrived in the Comox Valley on their fourth day, after stopping in Campbell River the day before.
“It’s been just the most amazing experience. It’s hard to describe and it’s been very heart-touching,” said Denkworth.
Last year, the initiative raised over $42,000 for the WWC. This year, the goal is to more than double that amount and raise $100,000.
According to Jacqueline Zweng, the event’s director this year, the fundraiser had already raised $36,000 before they had even arrived in the Comox Valley.
— Scott Strasser (@scottstrasser19) February 22, 2018
Following a night of rest, the team took off from their hotel on the early morning of Feb. 23, heading down Highway 19A towards Qualicum Beach.
The Wounded Warrior Run BC will conclude on Feb. 25, when the team makes it to Victoria.