WINNIPEG -- Getting active and enjoying the winter weather can help vulnerable Winnipeggers find a warm place to sleep.

1JustCity, an organization that serves Winnipeg's homeless population, is asking Winnipeggers to join their annual winter triathlon fundraiser.

"We are really excited to be asking athletes of all kinds to join our virtual beat the cold triathlon," said Tess Whitecloud, executive director of the non-profit. "Here at The Forks for the last two years we've run an event with over 100 people gathered running and sweating."

The fundraiser usually includes about 180 athletes running a course at The Forks, something not possible during the pandemic. Due to current public health restrictions, the triathlon will mainly be held online.

People still wanting the old course will still be able to run it independently from February 5-15.

Since the triathlon is online this year, it can consist of any three sports, said Whitecloud. She gave the example of cross country skiing, snowshoeing and skating.

"We are really just encouraging people during the pandemic to still get outside and to still think about their neighbours who are experiencing life on the streets right now," Whitecloud said.

Whitecloud said the triathlon is one of 1JustCity's signature fundraisers and important to keeping the organization running. 

The money raised from the triathlon will go towards 'Just a Warm Sleep,' an emergency warming centre that houses up to 30 people a night. 

Along with the no barriers warming shelter, 1JustCity has extended its drop-in centre's hours to include weekends, a first in the 40 years it's been operating.

"We are recognizing that COVID is very hard on everyone and especially hard for our relatives living on the street," said Whitecloud.

You can find out more and register for the triathlon at 1JustCity's website