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Run goes on for superhero Jamie

While most people were opening presents and tucking into their turkey, one British adventurer was treating Christmas Day like any other.

Jamie McDonald, 27, was continuing his gruelling attempt to become the first person to run across Canada without a support team.

Mr McDonald left Calgary on Christmas Eve and is now less than 700 miles from completing his feat.

And while he continues with his quest across Canada, he will be thinking of his family who are back in Gloucester.

"I may have missed my original goal to be back home in time for Christmas with my family, and this has been upsetting, but I know every step I take is another step closer to reaching Vancouver and raising more money for the kids' hospitals and foundations I'm running for," Mr McDonald said.

"I've no doubt I may feel differently on the day when I think of what I could otherwise be doing, but I have plenty more Christmases to spend at home, I'm only planning to run across Canada once and I want to give it everything I have."

The 5,000-mile coast-to-coast run is the equivalent of more than 200 marathons in 275 days, and involves Mr McDonald sleeping by the side of the road, or relying on strangers' generosity as he undertakes the challenge.

Mr McDonald's coast-to-coast challenge began in St John's, Labrador, in March and will finish in Vancouver after passing through mountain ranges, national parks and along highways.

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

Mr McDonald, who suffered from a debilitating immune deficiency and potentially fatal spinal condition syringomyelia as a child, spent the first nine years of his life in and out of children's hospitals and is running to raise funds for SickKids Foundation, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and the Pied Piper Appeal.

On arrival in Calgary, Mr McDonald was "White Hatted" by the city's mayor Naheed Nenshi, a long-standing tradition reserved for dignitaries and famous visitors.

Among those to have received a Smithbilt hat are the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Dalai Lama.

Mr McDonald also had the opportunity to speak to the players from the NHL Calgary Flames ice hockey team and had one of his videos played to the crowd before a game.

He has also recently won two major awards, having been voted male runner of the year and won the Golden Shoe from Running Magazine.

Mr McDonald plans to be back in the UK ahead of the Adventure Travel Show in London, at which he is due to speak on January 26.

He already holds a world record for static cycling after he pedalled for 265 hours - the equivalent of 11 days - last year.

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

He has been inspired by Canadian fundraiser and amputee Terry Fox, 22, who lost his battle against cancer in 1981 before completing the cross-country run after 3,339 miles. His foundation has since raised more than 500 million Canadian dollars for cancer research.

Throughout his attempt, he is keeping supporters updated on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, where he posts videos documenting his efforts.


From Belfast Telegraph