'Beat the Cold' triathlon will attract attention to homeless people in Winnipeg

'Beat the Cold' triathlon will attract attention to homeless people in Winnipeg, Iryna Chyrkova

Although most Winnipeg residents prefer to stay at home on cold winter days, some Winnipeggers will still go outside to do a good job.

'Beat the Cold' triathlon was organized to raise the awareness of Winnipeg residents about homeless people and to attract attention to them. The first 'Beat the Cold' race will be on February 9 at the Forks.  Just a Warm Sleep shelter will receive all the money collected during the triathlon. At the moment, the shelter can place up to 25 homeless people.

The executive director of 1JustCity, Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud, explained that the race has a big meaning for the shelter.

"We set the target at 150 (participants), which I thought was pretty optimistic, but then to be at just over 200 is pretty wild," she said. "This is great because it gets people thinking about it a little bit. Then also, it makes people feel like they've made a difference."

All the way is divided into three sections of 5 km. First, the participants of the triathlon must run 5 km, then they ride a fat-tire bike, and in the end - skating. A person himself can go through all three stages, or share with someone.

The executive director of Triathlon Manitoba, Jared Spier, is excited by 'Beat the Cold' triathlon.

"We've had winter triathlons in Winnipeg and Manitoba before, but nothing has taken off quite like this before," said the man. "People want to make sure they're doing something that makes a difference at the end of it."

As Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud said in order to provide heating, electricity and the work of staff, the shelter spends $250 daily. She is very glad that such events are held in Winnipeg because they can help raise money and draw attention to the problem of homelessness in the city.

"Winnipeggers, we want to do fun new things. We want to show that we're tough in this weather, but we also want to make sure that those who are the least fortunate don't have to sleep outside," she said. "I think the sales in terms of selling out so fast, shows Winnipeg is down to do good things for its community."

Red River College communications student, Luke Rempel, came to Tessa and shared the idea of 'Beat the Cold' triathlon. The woman immediately liked it. The man is going to take part in the triathlon.

"After this race, you get to go inside, but there's people out there that will have to walk all night just to stay warm and they don't have that option," he said. "I think the challenge is pretty severe, you know; a lot of people would think, going out for a run in some of the weather we have in the winter is enough," he said.

Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud hopes that this event will take place in the future so that homeless people can get even more help in such difficult times for them. 

MORE NEWS: Do you like riding a bike? Here is how to stay safe during cold Manitoba winter

'Beat the Cold' triathlon homelessness Just a Warm Sleep
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