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Marathoner completes 24-hour run for charity

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His legs were sore but Scott Burton otherwise felt great after running for 24 straight hours and covering 151.5 kilometres in his Charleswood neighbourhood on Wednesday and Thursday.

Burton had been running in what he called the "24 Hour Marathon to Fight Hunger" along a 4.2 km loop of roads and sidewalks in the area which passed right by his house at one point.

When Burton completed his run on Thursday at 8 a.m., he was accompanied by students from Beaverlodge Elementary School who also saw him off 24 hours earlier.

The purpose of Burton's adventure was to raise awareness and donations for the neighbourhood's Lunches With Love program, which supplies bag lunches twice a month to the Main Street Project.

An early tabulation of his fundraising efforts was about $1,000 and 350 cans of tuna collected at the drop-off tent set up on the Park West Inn property at the corner of Roblin and Dale Boulevards and run by Beaverlodge Care For Kids daycare.

"There were as many as 40 people at a time at that intersection waving signs, and people were driving up and giving over $20 bills and coming up and donating food and word just kind of spread," Burton, 34, said, noting food and donation drives being run by students from Beaverlodge Elementary, Westdale Junior High and Teulon Collegiate are still being completed.

He said the cash will be used to purchase grocery store gift cards that will be given to Lunches With Love to purchase food items needed as the non-profit charity does not take cash donations.

"It was really amazing, what happened, quite honestly. I'm really quite excited about the results, which were much greater than I expected," he said. "I would have been happy with a few extra volunteers (for the Lunches With Love program) on a regular basis or extra cans of tuna, but it was much more than that and proved to be pretty amazing in the end. So I'm very happy and satisfied about that."

Burton, who has run in eight full marathons (41 kilometres), is also an ultra-marathon runner, covering distances of 80 kilometres or more. He would like to do more of those events.

He had friends taking turns running with him from 10 p.m. Wednesday through to the finish at 8 a.m. Thursday.

"I didn't put a lot of pressure on myself in terms of distance. The whole point was to put in the time," he said. "There were points where I was getting really slow, but my friends would always remind me to keep the forward momentum."

During his 24-hour adventure, he said he also accomplished his personal goal of increasing his confidence running through the night.

"This was an opportunity for me to test this out without pressure of distance and a big part is that I have demonstrated to myself that I can make it through the night and I can finish strong," Burton said. "It's not just intellectual, now it's an emotional memory. Now if I ever have doubts in future events, I can look back on this experience and know that it is absolutely possible."

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