Operation Pegasus Logo

Sar 56 Mental Health Run

Situation:

Public safety personnel such as Veterans, Serving Military and First Responders face substantial risks of mental health issues, including Operational Stress Injuries (OSI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Research indicates that social support, or its absence, is a significant predictor of the development of OSI’s and PTSD among this demographic.

Mission:

SAR Course 56, in partnership with Operation Pegasus Foundation (OPF) and the Campbell River Skydive Centre (CRSC), will host a mental health run at the Campbell River Airport on June 22, 2024. The goal of this event is to foster a sense of community and awareness centered on the mental health of public safety personnel.

Event Details:

The SAR Course 56 Mental Health Run features:

15 km trail race: Join us for a competitive and spirited event where participants can choose to run, walk or combine both. We believe this race strikes a balance that challenges every individual. Seasoned runners can aim for personal records, while the less experienced can conquer distances previously thought unachievable. SAR course 56 and OPF are committed to setting the conditions that allow you to push yourself beyond your limits and foster connections with fellow enthusiasts. Please be aware that the 15 km race has a 3 hour time limit and offers aid stations every 5 km. This competitive event will weave through a mix of Campbell River’s rugged single track and logging roads located around the Campbell River Airport.

Catch the SARsquatch Kids 1 km race: A 1 km trail run that allows kids to test their speed against SAR 56’s very own SARsquatch! This run will be a fun focused event where the kid’s goal is to catch the costumed Sasquatch. This race is for kids 12 and under, parents are welcome to join.

5 km Darcy St-Laurent memorial run: The main event, this community centric run allows participants to connect with like-minded individuals while getting after it. It will also be a primer to the post-event festivities. All ages welcome. Walk, run, ruck, bike, wheelchair, skateboard, ski, whatever you are comfortable with – our volunteers will help you cross the finish line! We think 5 km is the perfect distance to bring everyone together and believe this race should be as accessible as possible to anyone wishing to join. There is no time cap for this run.

date and Location:

The event will take on 22 June, 2024 and will be run out of the Campbell River Skydive Centre located at 1809 Airport Drive, Campbell River, BC, V9H 1T5

Schedule:

June 22, 2024:

0600: Registration and bib pick-up

0800: 15 km trail race starts

0900: 1 km Kids race

1100: 5 km Darcy St-Laurent run

1200: Post race festivities. Details to follow.

Prizes:

  • Tandem skydive with handcam video donated by the Campbell River Skydive Centre for winner of each category of the 15 km trail race.
  • 6 CPR courses (HeartSaver Lvl C or BLS) donated by North Coast Academy awarded based off finishing position.
  • Goody bags for all participants.

Cost:

15 km trail race: $56

1 km Catch the SARsquatch Kids race: By donation

5 km Darcy St-Laurent run: By donation

Accommodations:

If you would like to camp at the Drop Zone, we have limited spots available at no cost. Please be sure to let us know if this is the option you would like upon registering as the spots will be on a first come first serve basis.

Alternatively, there are many campsites and hotels in the area, please feel free to reach out if you need assistance locating a campground or hotel.

Registration and Payment:

Registration is open until the day of the event. An email with additional detailed info will be sent out prior to the event date. Payment and donations can be E-Transferred to oppegasusfoundation@gmail.com. When sending E-Transfer please include a message with your full name and what race you are registering for.

About SAR course 56:

We, a group of 16 individuals, come from diverse backgrounds within the Canadian Armed Forces. We share a common goal; to become Search and Rescue Technicians. We hope to graduate on June 20, 2024. Currently, we are immersed in a rigorous year-long course encompassing paramedicine, scuba diving, rescue swimming, arctic survival, summer and winter mountain operations, parachuting and much more. Each of us have been touched by family, friends or co-workers that have struggled with PTSD and other mental illnesses. This is why throughout the year we have been actively fundraising for Operation Pegasus Foundation (OPF). We firmly believe in their mission and want to help create awareness for the importance of mental health, especially among the veteran, serving military and first responder community. If you can’t make it out for the SAR Course 56 Mental Health Run and still want to donate, please click the link here. All proceeds from the SAR Course 56 Mental Health Run go directly to OPF. Thank you, we sincerely appreciate any support and hope to see you on the trails!

Darcy st-laurent (17 december, 1968 - 30 october, 2022)

Darcy St-Laurent joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1987 as a Combat Engineer. He served on 2 UN tours: Yugoslavia (Bosnia) and Cambodia. After 8 years or service, Darcy attended pre selection and aspired to become a Search and Rescue Technician. He was on Sar Course 31, better known as the 95 guys! It was then he became part of an elite brotherhood that he would cherish for the rest of his life.

As a SAR Tech, Darcy went on to be awarded some of the most prestigious commendations the CAF has. On Nov 13, 1996, Darcy, along with Kevin Elliot, parachuted in hazardous weather to rescue 4 survivors whose helicopter had crashed in the Torngat mountains of Northern Labrador. Darcy and Kevin were both awarded the Star of Courage for this daring rescue.

Not all rescues are glamorous. Darcy unfortunately had the harrowing task of being first on scene for the Labrador 305 crash on 2 Oct, 1998. Among the fallen were 2 fellow SAR Techs who each left families behind. This tragedy deeply affected Darcy and would continue to trouble him for the rest of his life.

On 26 Apr, 2005, Darcy, along with Brian Decaire, parachuted from a Hercules aircraft during a blizzard to assist a downed aviator stranded west of Boland Lake, NWT. The jump was conducted in extremely high winds and both rescuers walked for over an hour carrying 50kg of survival equipment until they reached the stranded aircraft. The rescuers were stranded with the pilot for 5 days until receiving rescue.

Darcy’s ventures went beyond just Search and Rescue. In the spring of 2010, along with Eric Larsen and Anthony Jinman, completed an expedition from landfall to the North Pole. Darcy was the first CAF member to achieve such an accomplishment and will forever be on the wall of honour at the Canadian Forces School of Search and Rescue. Among these many accomplishments, Darcy was most proud of being a father. At his passing he left behind 2 children, his eldest son, SAR course 56’s own Aidan St-Laurent and his daughter, Maggie. Although separated at the time, Darcy remained very close friends with his ex-wife and mother of his children, Carol, who was devastated to hear of his passing.

Darcy unfortunately suffered with mental health issues most of his life, a fact that unfortunately so few people knew about. After his second separation, Darcy, someone who was loved by so many, saw no way to escape his suffering and took his own life, a tragedy that devastated his friends and family. Like many, Darcy battled his pain alone. Only with awareness can we help those struggling with mental health issues.

Register Here: