Jamie McDonald (adventurer)

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Jamie McDonald
Born (1986-08-19) 19 August 1986 (age 31)
Gloucester, England
Residence Tredworth, Gloucestershire
Known for Solo run coast to coast across Canada
Website jamiemcdonald.org

Jamie McDonald (born 19 August 1986) is a British adventurer from Tredworth, Gloucestershire,[1] and the fourth person to run 5,000 miles solo coast to coast across Canada.[2]

Solo run across Canada[edit]

Dressed as superhero The Flash,[2] McDonald set off on 9 March 2013[3] from St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, on the Atlantic coast and completed the journey of 5,000 miles to Vancouver on the Pacific on 3 February 2014.[4][5] Jamie spoke to schools throughout the entire journey to help with fundraising.[6] His original intention had been to complete the journey before the winter.[7]

McDonald was inspired by Terry Fox, one-legged and suffering from cancer, whose run across Canada was cut short by cancer.[5]

On the route, McDonald faced a number of ordeals: he endured −40C temperatures, he was beaten and robbed celebrating the new year in Banff, Alberta, and had to push his 60 kilograms (130 lb) load in a pushchair when he was no longer able to carry it on his back.[8] Suffering from acute tendinitis in his foot, he continued his run and a bone spur has grown over the inflammation.[1] He slept rough on the side of the road unless taken in by strangers.[2] He wore through 10 pairs of trainers.[8]

He raised more than £250,000 for children's charities in the UK and Canada in a bid to give back to the charities that supported him as an unwell child, including Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and the charity which supports Gloucestershire Royal Hospital,[4] and also Canadian charities such as SickKids Foundation.[2]

Cycling Bangkok to Gloucester[edit]

In 2012, McDonald bought a second hand bike and decided to cycle the 14,000 miles from Bangkok to his hometown Gloucester, passing through dozens of countries. Along the way he was shot at, arrested and slept rough. He documented his journey in a series of YouTube clips.[9]

Static cycle world record attempt[edit]

Two days after he finished the journey back from Bangkok; McDonald made the decision to attempt the world static cycling record, which stood at 224 hours and 24 minutes. It was a challenge he had conceived whilst cycling from Bangkok. He stepped off the exercise bike set up within a marquee in Gloucester after pedalling for a Guinness world record breaking 268 hours – more than eleven days.[10][11]

Personal life[edit]

McDonald was born in Gloucester, England to Donald and Ann McDonald.[12] As a child, McDonald battled an immune deficiency, epilepsy, and syringomyelia and was frequently hospitalised up to the age of nine.[4]

Honours and awards[edit]

In December 2012, McDonald achieved a World Record for 'Marathon Static Cycling' - stepping off the bike at 268 hours (more than 12 days).

In 2013, during his run across Canada, in Calgary, Jamie was Awarded the White Hat (in previous years the likes of Prince William, Kate Middleton, Arnold Schwarznegger and many more have also been White Hatted).[13]

Voted 'Male Runner Of The Year' and awarded the 'Golden Shoe' from Canadian Running magazine.[5]

After the run across Canada, on his homecoming in Gloucester, Jamie was presented with the Medal of the City of Gloucester - the highest accolade the Mayor of Gloucester can bestow.[14]

In September 2014 McDonald was named Pride of Britain's 'Fundraiser of the Year' for the West.[15]

He was named in the Independent's 'Happy List 2014', a list of 100 people giving back to the community.[16]

Ambassador of the Year at the Believe in Gloucester Awards 2014.[17]


  1. ^ a b "The feet that ran 5,000 miles: Jamie McDonald resting up after his Canada run". Gloucester Citizen. 5 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Real-life Forrest Gump Jamie McDonald completes his Canada superhero run". The Independent. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  3. ^ McElroy, Justin (3 February 2014). "Jamie McDonald, British man running across Canada, reaches Vancouver today". Global News. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Jamie McDonald completes 5,000-mile year-long run across Canada". Runner's World UK. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "West's 'Forrest Gump' Jamie McDonald finishes 5,000-mile run across Canada". Western Daily Press. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Lefebvre, Charles (3 February 2014). "Almost there!: Runner crossing Canada for children's hospitals on the final leg of his journey". Medicine Hat News. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Colpitts, Heather (1 February 2014). "Cross-Canada runner stops in Langley". Langley Advance. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Cross-Canada runner Jamie McDonald reaches challenge end". BBC News Gloucestershire. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Record breaker Jamie McDonald to run 200 marathons in Canadian coast to coast challenge". 6 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "It's official - charity superhero Jamie McDonald is a world record holder". 5 September 2013. 
  11. ^ "Longest marathon static cycling". Guinness World Records. Retrieved July 4, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Hero's welcome planned for inspirational Gloucester charity runner Jamie McDonald". Gloucester Citizen. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "Christmas in Canada for long-distance runner Jamie Mcdonald". Gloucester Citizen. 2013-12-26. Retrieved 2015-03-09. 
  14. ^ "Jamie McDonald’s Homecoming Celebration at Gloucester Cathedral - Gloucestershire culture". SoGlos. Retrieved 2015-03-09. 
  15. ^ "And the Pride of Britain Fundraiser of the Year in the West is...Jamie McDonald | West Country (E) - ITV News". Itv.com. 2014-09-12. Retrieved 2015-03-09. 
  16. ^ Wilkinson, Michael (2014-05-25). "Jamie McDonald named in Top 100 Happy List by the Independent on Sunday". Gloucester Citizen. Retrieved 2015-03-09. 
  17. ^ "Peter Hickman receives Lifetime Achievement Award at the Believe in Gloucester Awards". Gloucester Citizen. 2014-11-27. Retrieved 2015-03-09. 

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