Originally billed as the “British Forrest Gump”, Jamie McDonald, age 27, spent his Christmas Day running. He is now less than 700 miles from completing his feat of becoming the first person to run across Canada without a support team. He’s doing it dressed as The Flash after a public vote on Twitter and Facebook chose a costume for him. He left Calgary on Christmas Eve.
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.
He was a bit sad about not having finished his run in time to be back home in Gloucester for Christmas.
“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.”
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, and every mile is reaping funds for some important children’s charities.
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.
Throughout his attempt, he is keeping supporters updated on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, where he posts videos documenting his efforts.