Winnipeg runner’s trek in support of Siloam Mission continues in the cold

A Winnipeg man who has been running for charity every Boxing Day for the past three years says he may have reached his fundraising goal, but he isn’t quite finished yet.

Runner Junel Malapad originally set a goal to raise $5,000 for Siloam Mission throughout his 150-mile route, which began on Wednesday.

As of 8 a.m. Friday, he said he’d eclipsed the $7,000 mark.

With more than 60 km to go, Malapad told 680 CJOB he plans to finish his trek – despite the weather conditions – before the weekend … and he’s doing it with a little help from his friends.

Malapad said the local running community has been incredibly supportive of his campaign, and he’s had a lot of people joining him along the way.

“It’s the best community that I know of,” he said.

“People have been taking the time to run with me. Groups of people, individuals – that’s how we roll here in Winnipeg. We look out for each other and make sure we can get the task done.”

The route, which consists of a repeated 3.3 km loop around St. Boniface and The Forks, is expected to take a total of about 50 hours.

Malapad said he was inspired by reading a story of a homeless man who died in the cold, and that his discomfort running in the cold is nothing compared to what some Winnipeggers have to face each year.

“When I’m by myself, I think about the reason why I’m doing this,” he said.

“I have a place to go home, to put my head down. It’ll be warm, there’ll be food and I’ll have clothes. Those are the things I think about. I’m just grateful that my body can help out.”

If you would like to support Malapad in his fundraising effort, click here to donate.

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