While many go shopping on Boxing Day, Junel Malapad runs.For the last three years, Malapad has hit the pavement instead of the malls on Dec. 26, raising money for Winnipeg’s Siloam Mission.The tradition continues this year as Malapad plans to run 150 miles in the St. Boniface area. He will run a 3.3-kilometre loop 73 times, starting at the Forks before heading over the Esplanade Riel Bridge and around the St. Boniface Hospital.
Junel MalapadIt was in 2015 that Malapad, who says he doesn’t like shopping, decided to do a 12- to 15-hour run on Boxing Day with friends.The following year, he read a story about a homeless person who died in the cold and decided he wanted to do the run again but make it mean something more the second time around.READ MORE: Siloam Mission helps those who can’t afford a family photo“I felt that I could help out in a certain way and, since I don’t like shopping, I thought I could run for Siloam Mission,” Malapad said.“There was a blizzard at the time, but I still did it anyway.”
Malapad was joined by several other runners.
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Malapad said around $3,200 was raised last year, and he is hoping for $5,000 from this run.“We’re making Boxing Day ‘Running Day,’” he said.Malapad estimates the run will take around 50 hours and could last until Friday. But no matter how long or how cold, Malapad say it’s nothing compared to what others in the city are facing.READ MORE: How Siloam Mission changed one man’s life“People have it a lot worse off than me. I can go home after this and have a nice warm meal and put on warm clothes,” he said.“Last year, we took some of our donations and ran to Siloam Mission to the dinner hall, and the place was packed. Can you imagine 400 people with no place to be with their families?“I’ll have that in my heart to keep me going.”Anyone interested in donating can visit this link.WATCH: Siloam Mission is putting a Winnipeg Jets player’s words to use for a good cause