Since its first event in 1979, the “fast, flat and friendly” Manitoba Marathon has focused on celebrating sport while fundraising for programs that promote inclusion for Manitobans living with intellectual, developmental and learning disabilities. Over the years, participants have contributed millions of dollars toward community supports needed to live, work, and thrive.
But this year, COVID-19 threatened to stand in the way of the successful Father’s Day fitness tradition. How do you create a meaningful charity experience in the middle of a pandemic?
True to form, organizers did not allow the significant and unforeseen obstacle stop them from achieving their goal. Manitoba Marathon found a way to shift to a virtual 30-day event, from October 11 to November 11, where participants could still raise money and complete the race while staying safe and physically distanced.
More than 2,300 participants hit the ground running, combining fitness and fundraising in the most unique way. They chose their own personal starting lines, picked their paces and took to the streets, paths, trails and sidewalks – even treadmills! – throughout the province.
When the last sole crossed the finish line, an outstanding $32,000 had been raised!!
United Way Winnipeg also laced up our shoes as the marathon’s partner, leveraging our network to distribute those funds directly to Manitoba agencies providing services to those living with intellectual challenges.
We are thrilled to celebrate this injection of funds into our community – now, more than ever.
Each dollar raised makes a difference during this unprecedented time, when stress, job insecurity, mental health and addiction needs are at a critical level for children, families and individuals across the province.
Our community is facing more adversity than ever before, and the rally to recover is truly a marathon in itself. We are SO proud to walk (and jog and run!) alongside such a positive and motivated group of people dedicated to improving the lives of their fellow Manitobans.
Thank you, Manitoba Marathon and runners everywhere!