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Three years after the end of a 5,000 mile solo run across Canada, during which real-life superhero Jamie McDonald raised more than £250,000 for children’s charities, the fundraiser has announced his next challenge: running across the United States, again dressed as a superhero.
31 year old Jamie McDonald, from Gloucester, spent the first nine years of his life in and out of hospital with a rare spinal condition; syringomyelia. Combined with a very weak immune system and epilepsy, Jamie’s health was very poor – his family feared he might lose his mobility altogether. At nine years old, and against the odds, his symptoms eased, allowing Jamie to slowly become more active.
In the US, running by himself and without a support crew yet again, Jamie will battle through desolate and lonely deserts, sub-zero temperatures and the constant threat of wild animals, injuries and the uncertain elements. He’ll be running as his alter ego Adventureman, in a custom-made costume designed by then-10 year old, Conner Reddy, too.
Jamie is hoping to raise £250,000 for Superhero Foundation, a charity that grants money to families and children’s hospitals for treatment not otherwise available on the NHS.
He is hoping to raise a similar amount in the US – raising money for children’s hospitals in each state he’s travelling through.
The adventure is expected to take nearly a year. He will stop at children’s hospitals and schools along the way, delivering talks and meeting the children he hopes his donations will help.
The route is around 6,000 miles (230 marathons!) long – but it’s likely to be more as Jamie will be going off-route often to visit as many hospitals and schools as he possibly can!
“I’ve had an itch to get out again for the last few years, but was desperate to build something that could run alongside my adventures – and I massively underestimated the work that goes into something like that!
“I’m absolutely terrified, but also hugely excited at the same time to get back out and do what I love most all over again, challenging myself and meeting amazing people along the way. I do feel like there’s more of an expectation on my shoulders this time though, that of course I’ll complete this challenge, but being realistic, there’s a good chance I will fail. It’s a longer journey by a good dozen or so marathons and I’m not in the shape I was before Canada, after I’d done the cycling challenges.”
“I just hope I can raise enough money and make a difference to the sick kids and their families that we will be trying to help. And to also make everyone proud who have supported my adventures in the past. I’ll just try my best I suppose. I’d also like to just take the time to say thank you to every single person who’s donated in the past, and who donates this time round – it really will make a difference!”