Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

'Superhero' to run across Canada

Jamie McDonald hopes to run the equivalent of more than 200 marathons in 275 days across Canada

A British "superhero" adventurer is raising money for sick children by attempting to become the first person to run across Canada without a support team.

Jamie McDonald, 26, hopes to run the equivalent of more than 200 marathons in 275 days and is a third of the way through his gruelling 5,000-mile coast-to-coast odyssey.

Mr McDonald - who suffered from a debilitating immune deficiency and potentially fatal spinal condition syringomyelia as a child - already holds a world record for static cycling after he pedalled for 265 hours straight - the equivalent of 11 days - last year.

He accomplished the feat just two weeks after cycling 14,000 miles from Bangkok to Gloucester, his hometown. During that trip he says was shot at, arrested and slept rough.

Originally billed as the "British Forrest Gump", he is now running dressed as comic superhero The Flash after a public vote on Twitter and Facebook chose a costume for him.

Having spent the first nine years of his life in and out of children's hospitals, Mr McDonald is running to raise funds for SickKids Foundation, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and the Pied Piper Appeal.

He said: "I want to be the first ever person to run Canada coast to coast without the help of a support crew and although there's still a long way to go, I'm managing more than a marathon a day some days and feel fitter and stronger than ever.

"Freezing nights spent camping by the side of roads feel worth it when I think about the good the donated money will do and the kindness and generosity of Canadians so far has been overwhelming.

"I recently ran a competition through my Facebook and Twitter accounts where I asked people to vote for a superhero outfit for me to don as I continue my journey west across this beautiful country. The Flash, a hero known for his speed, was the public favourite by a long way. I only hope I can draw some sort of inspiration from the costume to speed me along."

The adventurer's coast-to-coast challenge began in St John's, Labrador, in March. He is aiming to reach Vancouver by December after passing through mountain ranges, national parks and along highways.

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