The Vancouver Island Wounded Warrior run has been postponed due to COVID-19, but this postponement didn’t stop team members from kicking things off with a “practice” run last weekend.
The run typically sees a team relay-run 600 kilometres down the length of Vancouver Island over an eight-day period at the end of February, raising awareness and funds for Wounded Warriors Canada—a national mental health service for uniformed first responders such as firefighters, police, paramedics and military members.
A recent extension of public health restrictions on gatherings in B.C. means the run has been postponed until the end of March or mid-April, but individual kickoff runs still happened on Sunday, Feb. 7.
A team of four ran through Port Alberni, starting and finishing at Victoria Quay. Port Alberni RCMP Const. Maria Marciano is returning for her second consecutive run, while newcomer Dave Nesbitt from the Canadian Coast Guard has joined her for the 2021 event.
They were joined on Sunday by Emma Nunn, a BC Ambulance paramedic, and Todd Davis, a retired volunteer firefighter (formerly with the Cherry Creek Volunteer Fire Department).
Other team members held their own runs on Sunday in Sayward, Sooke, Nanaimo and Victoria, run director Jacqueline Zweng said.
The official relay run was postponed on Feb. 5 following an extension of provincial health orders banning gatherings. Zweng said the team is working with the provincial health ministry to reschedule the run sometime after spring break. “There’s a lot of moving parts; we plan this event through almost every community on the Island.”
The run typically starts in Port Hardy and ends in Victoria. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has agreed to run with the team in Victoria and speak at the conclusion, Zweng said.