Giordano Corlazzoli runs in 2016’s Edge to Edge event in Ucluelet. (Photo - Ocean Shine)

Ucluelet local to run across Vancouver Island to fight trophy hunting in Great Bear Rainforest

“It’s inhumane to kill those animals.”

When Giordano Corlazzoli finished his kinesiology degree at the University of Victoria last spring, he celebrated with a 50-kilometre run across Victoria.

The 22 year-old Ucluelet local now plans to spend his upcoming, class-free, September by running across Vancouver Island.

Corlazzoli has announced he will run approximately 500 kilometres across Vancouver Island, from Port Hardy to Victoria, this fall to raise money for the Raincoast Conservation Foundation’s Safeguard Coastal Carnivores campaign. The campaign was launched in 2005 and aims to purchase commercial trophy hunting tenures within the Great Bear Rainforest in an effort to end trophy hunting in the area.

“I have lived in close proximity to these beautiful creatures my entire life, and find it incredibly sad and unethical that we kill these animals for our own recreation,” Corlazzoli wrote on his fundraising page at CanadaHelps.org. “My hope with this run is to inspire others to take action themselves, allowing us to end commercial trophy hunting in BC for good.”

The well-known local runner is a two-time Edge-to-Edge Half Marathon winner in his age group and told the Westerly News he had been looking for a cause to run for when he was inspired by a Safeguard Coastal Carnivores presentation at UVic.

“The idea of either running or cycling the Island was already in my head and I was like, ‘Oh, I could do that and fundraise for this organization’,” he said. “It’s inhumane to kill those animals…The only permanent solution to the problem is actually buying these tenures.”

He said he plans to cross the Island in 10 running days, covering roughly 32-52 kilometres per day, over a 14-day stretch this fall and added he will have a support vehicle travelling alongside.

“The biggest preparation is just preparing your body to be able to run that much and not get hurt,” he said. “I’m a big runner in general and that’s more of a thing of I just like pushing the boundaries of what you think is possible of yourself.”

He said that while the Great Bear Rainforest is outside the West Coast, local residents share a passion for protecting wildlife.

“Here, you’re connected to the wildlife in every way. There could be a bear in your backyard, in the bushes, or on the trail you’re running. You almost feel responsible to take care of them more…They’re locals as well and you almost feel responsible in that way to do something to protect them if they’re at risk of being hunted,” he said. “I think the west coast is unique in that it’s got a lot of really great people that care about the environment and what’s around us.”

Corlazzoli is drumming up local interest and support by reaching out to local businesses and said he plans to set up a booth at the Ucluelet Co-op to engage the community in his cause.

Anyone wanting to donate to the cause can also do so online through Corlazzoli’s Safeguard Coastal Carnivores fundraising page at www.CanadaHelps.org. The page had raised $950 of its $10,000 goal on August 5.

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