PORT HARDY, B.C. – The Wounded Warriors Run is coming back for a sixth year.

The relay-style event runs the length of Vancouver Island, starting from Port Hardy’s Carrot Park and ending in Victoria. Participants complete the run in seven days.

The distance is over 600 kilometres in total.

This year’s run starts on February 25th and ends on March 3rd.

Alison Flannigan, the Port Hardy host for the runners, said the Wounded Warriors Run raises funds for organizations that help veterans and first responders deal with trauma and PTSD.

“The mission is to support and honour Canadian armed forces members, veterans, first responders and their families. It’s not just armed forces members, but also ambulance attendants, RCMP, anyone who is a first responder,” Flannigan said.

Flannigan said Wounded Warriors Canada offers various programs, such as a trauma resiliency program, and animal assisted therapy for PTSD.

She added that the funds raised on Vancouver Island will stay on the island. This means that all the funds will be given to different Vancouver Island organizations dedicated to helping veterans and first responders on the island such as the COPE Program (Couples Overcoming PTSD Everyday), the Trauma Resiliency Program (TRP) and the BOS Program (Before Operation Stress).

Those are available to all veterans, first responders, and their families on the island at no cost.

Flannigan said the route will take the runners from Port Hardy, to Port McNeill, Woss, Sayward, Campbell River, Comox, Parksville, Nanaimo, and then Victoria.

Wounded Warriors Canada was started in 2006 as the Sapper Mike McTeague Wounded Warrior Fund. This was result of a suicide bomber travelling by bicycle in Kandahar that seriously injuring McTeague and the support that came thereafter.

He was a reservist deployed in Kandahar, where he was injured. He has since recovered and worked towards supporting armed forces personnel and first responders.