Scott Burton has never run for 24 hours straight — yet.
On June 12, Burton will run a nonstop marathon around Charleswood for one full day in support of the Lunches with Love charity.
"It’s going to be painful," says Burton. "I’m super excited — but it’s going to be painful. I’m doing this after 10 years of building up to it."
Burton, 34, is an experienced runner who lives in Charleswood with his wife and two young children. He is undertaking the 24-hour marathon as both a personal challenge and as a way of raising support for a small, local organization for which he and his children volunteer.
Lunches with Love is a Charleswood-based non-profit organization that makes paper bag lunches for people in different Winnipeg homeless shelters.
"A lot of the time we see things as too big to accomplish," says Burton. "I can make a difference as one person. You don’t have to be big."
Lunches with Love’s founder, 12-year old Nathan Unrau, understands exactly what Burton is talking about. Unrau, along with his mom Elsie, began making lunches for homeless people back in November as part of a school project.
It was supposed to be a one-time thing. But, after seeing the need in the community, Nathan and Elsie now make and deliver the lunches every second week — and their lunch-making sessions are joined by teams of volunteers from around the city.
"Running for 24 hours is amazing," says Nathan. "When I found out (about Burton’s run) I was like ‘Wow — this is going to be big."’
Burton is quick to deflect attention back towards Lunches with Love.
"My hope is that people will get involved with Lunches with Love, either to volunteer or to donate food," says Burton. "It’s really quite amazing what they’re doing."
Students from Beaverlodge School and Westdale Junior High are holding food drives for Lunches with Love in the leadup to the event, and are also accepting community donations.
Some students from the two schools will be joining Burton for portions of the marathon, and anyone else who wants to join him — even just a few minutes — are welcome.
Burton’s run begins at 8 a.m, and his route will take him on a 4.2 km run around Dale Boulevard, part of Rannock Avenue, and up towards Roblin Boulevard. A complete map of the route is linked on Lunches With Love’s Facebook page.
People wishing to donate or to receive updates on the run can also visit www.facebook.com/LunchesWithLoveWinnipeg
Amanda Thorsteinsson is a community correspondent for Charleswood.