Allan Kobayashi at a Tough Mudder run.

Wounded Warrier Run to raise awareness of PTSD

A relay team of five endurance runners will cover the entire length of Vancouver Island, starting from Port Hardy on February 16.

In the third week of February, a relay team of five endurance runners will cover the entire length of Vancouver Island, starting from Port Hardy on February 16, and arriving at the Langford Legion on February 21.

The run is called the Wounded Warrior Run BC (WWRBC), and is an undertaking done under the umbrella of Wounded Warriors Canada. The mandate of this non-profit organization is to “help any Veteran in need as they transition to civilian life.” They will “help Canadian Forces members — be they full time or reservists, or retired — who have been wounded or injured in their service to Canada.” Both WWC and WWRBC are independently run, and are in no way affiliated with the Canadian military.

This Island-long run was conceived to both raise money for WWC and to raise awareness of the the private programs that exist to help those veterans who need it. This includes all veterans, old and young, as well as anyone currently serving in the military.

Allan Kobayashi from Victoria is the creator of the concept as well as the team captain. As a military man currently working for the navy, and as a person effectively dealing with his PTSD, Kobayashi wanted to give something back to his fellow military members. Together with a friend, he conceived the idea of running the island, relay style.

“I was diagnosed with PTSD (post-tramautic stress disorder) and OSI (Operational Stress Injuries) in 2006,” explains Kobayashi. He has been with the military for 17 years and counting, and has done multiple tours including in Kosovo and Afghanistan.

Running has been therapeutic for Kobayashi. “For me, running has always been an outlet.” He’s been running for about 10 years, and has gotten even more serious over the past two or three years.

“Running was the way I could deal with the daily stresses and anxieties and everything else, and there was my outlet. … It just became my medicine, my medication.”

This particular fund-raising run will be gruelling. “The WWRBC team will run the entire length of Vancouver Island, from Port Hardy to Esquimalt spanning a distance in excess of 600 km in six days,” details Kobayashi, “Each athlete will run a total of one-and-a-half to two hours daily  in relay style, averaging 30 to 60 km per day.”

The relay team will visit the Royal Canadian Legion branches along the planned route, as the Legions serve as a central donation collection point — and the hub for community relations.

At present, Sooke is not included on the route or in the run.

“I have many friends in Sooke, unfortunately none are going to be participating in this years event,” said Kobayashi. “Who knows what next year will bring! However that being said, because so many military families reside in Sooke I really wanted to get the word out about the Wounded Warrior Run BC.”

All the proceeds will be donated to WWC. For it has been WWC that provided him with the education about PTSD. “They kind of fill the gap of the void that people feel  that may be there, that they do not have access to.”

“My big goal,” he continues, “is about alleviating the dark cloud and the stigma that surrounds post-traumatic stress disorder.” Kobayashi wants to put the information out there, informing people that it’s not a disorder exclusive to the military, and that any trauma can leave its mark. It doesn’t discriminate.

For now, with the support of his friends and sponsors, he and his team will run the length of the Island specifically to raise funds for Wounded Warriors, and generally to education people about PTSD.

If you wish to donate to the Vancouver Island campaign or otherwise support the runners and their cause, visit http://woundedwarriorrunbc.com

For more information about the services offered by WWC, visit their website at WoundedWarriors.ca

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Island College hosting nursing info session

Info sessions will take place Monday, Jan. 27 at Port Alberni and Campbell River campuses

Photographer captures Port Alberni personalities in black and white portraits

Meet John Douglas, Courtney Naesgaard in double exhibit Jan. 18 at Rollin Art Centre

Alberni Valley Community Foundation opens grant application process for 2020

Nearly $30K available for Port Alberni-based charities

Stray cat with ‘serious burns’ recovering at Alberni SPCA

The BC SPCA’s Alberni-Clayoquot branch is asking members of the public for help with medical costs

B.C. government puts kibosh on drag racing at Alberni Valley Regional Airport

AVDRA was hopeful for a three-year temporary contract to race at the airport

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read