The Wounded Warrior Run will be taking off from Port Hardy again this month. Russ Hellberg, from 101 Squadron, and Don Ford, from Port Hardy Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 237, appeared as a delegation at the regular meeting of council Jan. 26 to give an update on the Feb. 22-28 event.
The 3rd annual Wounded Warrior Run covers 600 kilometres from Port Hardy to Victoria, said Hellberg. A team of six runners, all veterans or serving members of the Canadian Forces, will relay run the length of Vancouver Island to raiseawareness of service-related injures such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which may not be outwardly visible, but have taken a terrible toll on veterans of all ages.
On Sunday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. residents are invited to mix and mingle with participants at the Port Hardy Legion in Fort Rupert. This year, the number of days the run takes has been expanded, so the start in Port Hardy will be a little later than previous years, said Hellberg. "We have a 6:30 a.m. warm-up for a 7 o'clock departure. It's a little more humane," he said.
The Port Hardy Chamber of Commerce will have the coffee on and residents will have the chance "to say hello."
The participants will overnight in Woss, then its on to Sayward and beyond. The Town of Port McNeill flag, carried by the runners and signed in communities along the way last year, will be returned; and this year they will be carrying the Regional District of Mount Waddington flag.
"I think this is a really important event for the community," said Councillor Jessie Hemphill. Hellberg said the participants always receive a warm welcome in the North Island. "It's nice to get a good kick-off start. Hopefully the weather will cooperate a little bit with them," Hellberg said.