How a Winnipeg man is using his treadmill to help families this Christmas

WINNIPEG –

A Winnipeg running enthusiast spent most of Saturday night running outside on a treadmill, working to collect donations to help families in need this Christmas.

Noel Beckel and his wife are the organizers of the ”Windsor Park Has Heart Run,” an event which has him running on a treadmill on the front lawn of his home for 24 hours straight. It is all to collect food and toy donations for the Winnipeg Christmas Cheer Board.

“I love running. I am taking what I love to do and trying to use it for some good,” he said. “I just combined my two loves – my love of community and my love running.”

Beckel started the run last year to raise donations for the Christmas Cheer Board.

“It was absolutely fantastic. We did so much good, I realized I had to do it again,” he said.

Beckel started this year’s 24 Hour Windsor Park Has Heart Run around noon on Saturday, but it came to an abrupt end in the early morning hours of Sunday.

“Unfortunately, (I) had to call it quits at 1:30 in the morning, the body just gave up on me,” he said.

Even still, Beckel ended up running around 80 kilometres. And though the run may not have lasted 24 hours, Beckel said the support from the community has been pouring in. He said as of Sunday morning, they had collected enough donations for around 15 families.

If people are wondering what they should bring, Beckel said toys for older children would be really appreciated.

“They’re quite often forgotten. We make sure that we take care of the toddlers and the younger kids, but we forget about the 14 and over range.”

Beckel said even though the run is done, people can still drop off food and toy donations at a bin outside his home at 67 Fontaine Cres.

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