Triathlon raises $25K to keep warming centres open for unsheltered people in Winnipeg

A charity triathlon has raised $25,000 to help operate sorely needed shelters in Winnipeg, which will help members of the unsheltered population warm up in the bitter cold.

Josh Ward of 1JustCity says the annual Beat The Cold triathlon was a bit different this year in light of the pandemic. 

Previous years have looked much like typical triathlons where participants would run, winter cycle and skate together. This year, the 141 participants could choose their own distance and do whatever winter sports they wanted to do.

“The idea behind Beat the Cold is getting Winnipeggers out in the cold to raise money to get Winnipeggers who don’t have a place to go out of the cold,” Ward said.

He says it’s a matter of life and death, especially given the extreme cold warnings that have plagued the province for the last week.

“People literally could be dying on the streets right now. It’s that cold.”

That’s why the three daytime and one overnight warming shelters are so important.

“It costs money to keep those places open and staffed and get food on the table. And this money will be ensuring that that can continue to happen.”

As of Monday afternoon, the last day of the week-long event, Ward said roughly $25,000 had been raised.

“There’s still money trickling in, so we’ll see. That’ll keep a lot of people warm.”