Wounded Warriors runner Simon Brown completes the Sayward to Campbell River leg of the Island-long journey Wednesday afternoon alongside his support rider and escorted by various emergency vehicles on his way to the Comfort Inn, where the team would stay the night before traveling down to Comox Thursday. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

‘You just don’t know when someone has a challenge’

Wounded Warriors Run BC spreads awareness of mental health, hopes to raise $100,000

The 2018 Wounded Warriors Run arrived in Campbell River on Wednesday this week, which brings along some new challenges – but also a renewed sense of enthusiasm – according to this year’s run director, Jacqueline Zweng.

“Today was incredible,” Zweng says as the team unloads the support vehicles at the Comfort Inn in downtown Campbell River after making their way down the 77 km from Sayward on Wednesday. “We had police support for pretty much the entire day, which was amazing.”

Campbell River, Zweng says, “kind of marks the transition between the beauty and tranquility of the North Island to a much busier city and urban landscape for much of the rest of the way. The team has to make a bit of a shift, but we’re prepared, and it’s a new level of excitement. There are so many more people everywhere and everyone honking their enthusiasm. It’s great.”

The Wounded Warriors Run BC covers most of the length of the Island over the course of six days raising money for treatment programs and solutions for post-traumatic stress disorder. When the event began back in 2014, the organization was hoping to raise $5,000. They ended up raising $20,000 and the event has only grown every year since.

This year they are hoping to double what they raised last year. They’ve set their fundraising goal for 2018 at $100,000.

But it’s not just about the money.

“More and more people know what we’re doing and are getting behind us. Personally, I’m such an advocate for the awareness part of it and letting people know that you just don’t know when someone has a challenge. You don’t know when you are going to have a challenge. Just because you might not be now, doesn’t mean you never will.”

Zweng says what she hopes people get out of the run, more than anything else, is the understanding that it’s okay to ask for help when something is wrong.

“That’s honestly what saved me,” she says. “I went through some pretty brutal stuff when I found out I had cancer and going through surgery and had some trauma from all of that, and because I already knew and had an awareness of mental health and that you should talk about it and ask for help, I asked for help immediately. I’m doing well now because of that.”

This is Zweng’s first year as run director for the event, and she credits the local law enforcement and emergency response members who help them out along the way with making everything run smoothly.

“A lot of times, people organizing an event put it on in one community, and we’re doing it in 20,” Zweng says. “So, logistically, there’s a lot more organization and communication required. I have to say that between police, fire and ambulance, they are such a well-oiled machine. They coordinate between each other so well and it is so easy to coordinate with them. It’s outstanding what they do for us.”

The run now heads down Island with stops in Comox, Nanaimo and Mill Bay before heading over the Malahat and down into Victoria.

You can follow the team along online or donate to the cause at woundedwarriors.ca/ways-to-give/wounded-warrior-run-bc

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Blue Tie Campaign set to tee off Aug. 25

Annual event is fundraiser for the Island Prostate Centre

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Four people sent to hospital in crash near Qualicum Beach

Fire crews worked alongside paramedics: Dashwood fire dept.

VIDEO: Errington parade and zucchini races

Hi Neighbour Day attracts participants young and old Aug. 18

RCMP looking for missing Duncan teen

Dallas Macleod, 18, was last seen on Aug. 10

Evacuation order issued in Island village due to “risk of falling debris”

Fire continues to threaten town’s only access road

B.C. man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

Most Read