Winnipeg police half marathon raises $1M for cancer research

The Winnipeg Police Service's annual marathon surpassed its goal of raising $1 million for the Canadian Cancer Society as part of the Marching to a Million campaign. Across town, the annual MS walk took place Sunday morning.

10th Winnipeg police half marathon, 24th MS Walk took place in Winnipeg Sunday morning

The Annual MS walk occurred Sunday morning

A number of charity events took place around Winnipeg Sunday morning.

The Winnipeg Police Service held their tenth annual half marathon and two-person relay at Assiniboine Park.

The race got underway at 8 a.m. as part of the Marching to a Million campaign, an effort to raise $1 million for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Nearly 2,900 people participated, many of them police, in the event.

Justice Minister Andrew Swan has run the police half marathon every year. 

"Like many Manitobans, cancer's touched my life, my friends and my family and everybody out here has their own story to tell," Swan said. "I've got some names on my back that I'm running for today, and in memory of."

Jen Kreitz, who also ran in the event, echoed Swan's sentiments.

"My mom's affected by cancer — I'm going to tear up," Kreitz said. "I ran behind someone today who had 'survivor' written on his back, and that's incredible for him. To be a year cancer-free and running today. It means so much, so something like this is really, really important."

Veronica Hall, one of the organizers, said this year's event surpassed past totals.

"It means we've raised more money this year than in all the previous years … since the race's inception," said Hall. "We've hit a million dollars and we're thrilled."

Across town, the 24th annual MS Walk got underway at the Forks.

Close to 2,000 people and 250 volunteers participated in the event, with the goal of raising $410,000 for multiple sclerosis research.

Tamara Cormier walked with her friends and family. The 33-year-old was diagnosed with MS at the age of 28. 

Cormier said the disease is scary, but events like the MS Walk help.

“It's a lot of support, you know, I have two kids, and I had two kids after I was diagnosed,” said Cormier. “They are there, and if something happens, they just support you. It's really awesome. It's a good feeling.”

Around 3,500 Manitobans have MS — a rate that is among the highest in Canada.