British adventurer Jamie McDonald, dressed as super hero ‘The Flash’, has finally reached Vancouver, Canada, more than 5,000 miles (200+ marathons) away from his start point of St John’s, Newfoundland. In doing so, he becomes the first British person to run coast to coast without a support crew, raising more than $200,000 for children’s charities in the UK and Canada in the process.
Jamie McDonald, 27, is a British fundraising adventurer. The Gloucester-born man embarked upon the historic 5,000 mile ‘Run for the Future’ across Canada without a support team in March 2013, to raise money for children’s hospitals in the UK and Canada.
Throughout the journey, the UK’s answer to Forrest Gump has battled temperatures of -40 degree Celsius, ran through the Rockies during a harsh Canadian winter, slept rough, been attacked, given motivational talks at dozens of schools, ran for more than 2,000 miles with chronic tendonitis, gone through 13 pairs of trainers, became one of few British people to have been ‘White Hatted’ in Calgary – joining the likes of Prince William and Kate Middleton, permanently injured and misshapen his foot and ran a marathon most days, all to give back to the organisations and hospitals that supported him throughout his own life-threatening childhood battle with illness.
World-record breaking adventurer McDonald pushed his 60kg baby stroller ‘Caesar’, carrying all his possessions, for more than 4,500 miles. Jamie began the journey by carrying a 30kg backpack, but had to change tact when the weight caused an injury.
As a child, Jamie suffered from a debilitating immune deficiency, epilepsy and a rare spinal condition called syringomyelia that had him in and out of hospital until the age of nine and as such, wished to give back to the hospitals that treated him whilst also supporting new ones in Canada.
Jamie’s coast-to-coast run, throughout which he slept by the side of the road or relied on the generosity of strangers, was the equivalent of more than 200 marathons. He used money he’d saved for a mortgage to fund the trip, ensuring 100% of money donated found its way to the causes he was supporting.
Jamie ran in aid of a different hospital or foundation in each Canadian province, as well as British charities Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and the Pied Piper Appeal, which supports Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, capturing hearts and imaginations as he continued the agonising run across the country.
Jamie is inspired by Canadian fundraiser and amputee Terry Fox, who unfortunately succumbed to cancer in 1981 before completing the cross-country run after 3,339 miles, aged just 22. His foundation has since raised more than C$500m for cancer research since his untimely death.
“I just can’t believe it’s over,” Jamie said.
“I have worked for so long and given this run everything I have, physically and mentally, that to finally dip my hand into the Pacific Ocean eleven months and more than 200 marathons after doing the same thing in the Atlantic Ocean is just incredible. I feel a real mix of emotions. I’m ecstatic that I have finished. I’m honoured to have met so many amazing people in what is truly a beautiful country. I’m humbled by the support people in the UK and Canada have given me. I’m hopeful that my run has and will inspire people to know that we can do whatever we put our mind to. And, of course, I’m sad that it’s over as it’s been such a big part of my life and I’m uncertain about what happens next.
“Even though I had no support team, I felt like Canada was right behind me, every step of the way. Thinking about all the people that have helped me along the way, whether it was offering a bed, or handing me a coffee, it brings a tear to my eye. It’s hard to imagine running in a more friendlier, supportive and hospitable country.”
In 2012, Jamie cycled 14,000 miles from Bangkok to his hometown Gloucester, England, passing through dozens of countries. Along his journey, he was shot at, arrested at the border and, as with his Canadian adventure, had to sleep rough. Just two days after he finished the journey back from Bangkok; Jamie decided to attempt to break the world static cycling record, which stood at 224 hours and 24 minutes. Jamie pedalled for 265 hours (more than 11 days) in order to break the record. Jamie raised tens of thousands of pounds in the process of both challenges for the Pied Piper appeal.
Jamie updated his followers by the following means through his 11 month challenge:
For more information about Jamie, including how to donate, please visit www.adventureman.org/donate
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
Please email PR contact Rich Leigh for more information or to arrange an interview, (mobile: 07917 656966)
Live Skype interviews can be set up with Jamie
Here is Jamie’s YouTube channel, featuring all of his videos from the Canada run as well as those from his cycle ride from Bangkok to Gloucester: http://www.youtube.com/user/thejamiemc86. This short video of Jamie’s experience cycling from Bangkok to Gloucester shows a number of key points in the journey: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-zIzWyksFk
Jamie, 27, is from Gloucester, England. As a child, Jamie suffered from epilepsy, a debilitating immune deficiency and a life threatening condition called syringomyelia.