If last weekend’s reception on the North Island was any indication how the rest of the Wounded Warrior Run BC would go, the inaugural event will be an unqualified success.
The six-day relay run the length of Vancouver Island was conceived by military veterans Alan Kobayashi and Dan Bodden, as a way to raise awareness of — and funding to combat and treat — Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.
The run began in the pre-dawn hours Sunday at the Port Hardy sign in Carrot Park and will wrap up in Victoria tomorrow.
None of the five runners and various support personnel are local residents, but they drew large turnouts at a welcoming reception Saturday night at Port Hardy’s Canadian Legion hall and a fund-raising pancake breakfast the next morning at West Coast Helicopters in Port McNeill.
Bodden’s leg of the run Sunday included a brief loop of Port McNeill, during which he was escorted by local RCMP and fire department volunteers.
“I don’t think I’ve every had that many cops around me, who were offering to help,” Bodden told the Port McNeill audience to general laughter. “I don’t think I’ll ever forget that run.”
The audience at both events included Candian Legion members, local government representatives, Canadian Rangers, social service clubs, business leaders and many more, which is just what Kobayashi was hoping when he conceived the event.
“Everyone in uniform is susceptible to PTSD,” he said. “But it’s not just the military. It can happen to our police, firefighters, ambulance attendants, doctors, nurses.
“It could be anybody.”