An eight-day relay race across Vancouver Island which raises funds to help those impacted by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) finally came to an end in the heart of downtown Victoria Sunday afternoon.
“The toughest part wasn’t the running actually,” said Mark Blachuras, one of the runners for Wounded Warriors B.C. “It was amazing seeing the communities, but being on the road–away from home for eight days straight–was hard.
Dozens of supporters were at Victoria’s Market Square to support the runners as they arrived in the midst of a rainy day.
Last year, Wounded Warriors raised $125,000, surpassing their goal of $100,000. This year, they’ve passed $155,000, but are short of their ambitious $250,000 goal.
“I was chatting with my daughter about how we weren’t close to hitting our new goal because we had set such a high bar,” said Jacqueline Zweng, events coordinator for Wounded Warriors Canada. “She reminded me that it’s good to have big goals.”
The run began in 2013 and initially had a goal to raise $5,000 when three men decided to run the length of Vancouver Island in support of PTSD programs.
Victoria PD Chief Del Manak reminded the crowds at Market Square that those who serve in war can come back with invisible scars. He said that he couldn’t imagine how gruelling it was for the runners, but reiterated the fact that the focus of the run is for those who struggle to live with PTSD every day.
Those interested in supporting Wounded Warriors Canada can donate online at woundedwarriors.ca/events/wounded-warrior-bc-run.
“I’m gonna sleep in tomorrow and have a homecooked meal,” said Blachuras. “I’m really sore so I’m about to take a couple weeks off of running.”