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Wounded Warriors will return to Port Alberni on Feb. 29

Runners will hit Highway 4 from 1–4 p.m. on Thursday
Wounded Warriors BC runner Maria Marciano from Port Alberni presents Royal Canadian Legion Br. 293 Sergeant at Arms Roy Buchanan with a certificate of thanks for supporting the run during its stop March 2, 2023 in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

The Wounded Warrior Run BC will make its way into Port Alberni along Highway 4 on Thursday, Feb. 29 in the afternoon.

The annual run raises funds to help Vancouver Island’s veterans, first responders and their families feel safe, supported and understood.

Port Alberni RCMP officer Maria Marciano has participated in the run for several years, both as a runner and as a support person. She is a mental health advocate and has said the run highlights an important message for first responders. This year she won’t be joining the run on the road but will be in Port Alberni cheering on the runners. “I would love to run with them when they come into town but I am dealing with an injury,” said Marciano, who is also a marathon runner.

“We do have a couple of great new additions this year, I’m looking forward to seeing them run.”

This year Chris Stanger, chief utility officer for the Town of Qualicum Beach, returns for his second year. Stanger volunteers with both Qualicum Beach Fire Rescue and the Courtenay Volunteer Fire Department.

“It’s very important to bring out the message and folks that need the help, to let them know that there’s help there,” Stanger said after meeting runners in 2022.

Other team members this year include head runner Steve Kowan, Jason Laidman and Daryl Baswick from the Victoria Police Department, former reservist (39 SVC BN) Yanna Hempler, Nathalie Butler from the Canadian Armed Forces, Rob Brennan from Comox Valley RCMP, founding runner Dan Bodden and various support team members.

Runners will spend Day Five running 131 kilometres from the Comox Valley to the Alberni Valley with stops in Bowser, Parksville and Qualicum Beach along the way. They are scheduled to leave the Qualicum Beach Legion and run on Highway 4, around Cameron Lake and over Alberni Summit (the Hump), between 1-4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 29.

Tickets to the dinner are $25 each and available at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 293, 4680 Victoria Quay, at the bar during regular hours of operation. Runners will be piped in by members of the West Coast Highlanders Pipe and Drum Band at 5:30 p.m. with dinner starting at 6 p.m. A fundraising auction will be held following dinner. This year’s meal will be Shepherd’s Pie—a departure from past years.

Legion Branch 293 typically raises several thousand dollars for the Wounded Warriors Run B.C.

The run started Sunday, Feb. 25 in Port Hardy and will wrap up on Sunday, March 3 in Victoria. Follow their progress or donate to the run at

Susie Quinn

About the Author: Susie Quinn

A journalist since 1987, I proudly serve as the Alberni Valley News editor.
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