Junel Malapad has been running on Boxing Day to raise money for the Siloam Mission homeless shelter in Winnipeg for seven years now.
“I’m going to run about 100 to 160 km, somewhere in between there,” he said.
He began running at 12 a.m. sharp on Dec. 26 and he won’t stop running until 12 a.m. on Dec. 27.
“It’s a 3.3-kilometer loop, at which time I’ll stop when I need to. But my plan is to run 24 hours around the Forks area.”
The avid long-distance runner stops only for snacks, bathroom breaks, and short interviews.
By 1 p.m. about 100 people came to join him on part of his treck, Malapad said.
Over the past seven years, he has raised over $95,000 for Siloam Mission and has a truck to collect donations parked along his running loop at the Forks.
He told Global News the run began as a way to avoid consumerism. The following winter, he heard about an unsheltered person freezing to death in a bus shack and decided to help.
“Instead of spending money, we’re able to help out the community in this way,” he said.
“I’m out here in the cold, I will be out here for many hours because I want to support the people who don’t want to be out here.
“I’m happy to use my energy the way I like to help them out.”
Malapad said he is so grateful to have the ability to run and to be able to help make a change along the way.
— With files from Global’s Iris Dyck
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