Run, Rebecca, Run

by blairmalaz
Categories: Blog, Newswire, Prairie News

Rebecca Foat from Winnipeg, Manitoba, is no stranger to strapping on a pair of sneakers and hitting the pavement (or snow) for a good run. 2021 is the second time she will run the Santa Shuffle.

“My first Santa Shuffle was in 2019. Up to that point, I had run nine races of varying distances and I wanted to finish the year off with ten strong finishes. It was also an opportunity to help support a charitable organization that does good work helping people experiencing homelessness and poverty.”  – Rebecca Foat, Santa Shuffle participant

The Santa Shuffle began 30 years ago in Edmonton, Alberta, to fundraise for local Salvation Army initiatives when local Running Room members decided to use their passion for running as a way to raise money to support the less fortunate in their community. In 2001, the Santa Shuffle became a national event.

With this year’s event being virtual, Rebecca hopes it will encourage first-timers to take part. No folks are watching, so runners can ease into the hobby and have fun. Even though it is a virtual event, you don’t feel alone.

“Since the COVID pandemic was declared, so many people started running for their physical and mental health, and a lot of people who never raced before decided to give it a try. I also really love knowing that I’m running with people, even though I can’t see them. It is like being part of a secret club – we’re running a race, but to look at us, you wouldn’t know it.”

A positive thought while you are making your way along your route. Runners can get their feet wet with a virtual run and get excited about their next in-person runner experience. Rebecca highly recommends it.

“Crossing the finish line signifies so much more than just the race, it signifies all the hard work and training I’ve put in to get to the finish line. And when my family is there to greet me after I cross the finish line? There really is no better experience.”

During the 5km Fun-Run and 1km Elf Walk, participants are encouraged to wear their funkiest festive running attire for a day of laughter and fun. After the event, each participant is rewarded a finisher medal to celebrate their accomplishment. Even virtually, Rebecca already has a fun outfit planned, “I LOVE dressing up for this event! I have a Christmas onesie covered in a Christmas light print that says “lighten up” on the bum. That is my official Santa Shuffle Suit!”

Here in Winnipeg, for 2021, the funds raised from the Santa Shuffle will help The Salvation Army Winnipeg Centre of Hope. Rebecca says the event makes her think about how privileged she is and how participating can have a tangible impact on someone’s life.

“I love to run, and running for a cause inspires such a strong feeling of satisfaction, regardless of whether or not the event is in person or virtual.” 

If this story has inspired you, Santa Shuffle Race Days are on Dec.3rd and 4th. The last day to register is Dec.3rd. Find out more at

“Do it! Just register! Do it because it is so good to get outside and be active in our winters, do it because the race bling is SO GOOD, and do it because it feels amazing to know that by taking part in the Santa Shuffle you are making a difference in someone’s life, in your community. I promise: you won’t regret it.”