By Jack Williams
A dedicated Brit has completed an incredible year-long challenge that saw him run a staggering 210 MARATHONS – or roughly 5,500 miles – across America in less than a year.
Jamie McDonald, 32, successfully crossed the line yesterday afternoon [WEDS] next to Fort Point Beach, Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Along the way, the runner came across a string of surprises – from scorpions, spiders and a mountain lion, to monsoons, lightning strikes and flash flooding.
Dressed as his superhero alterego, Adventureman, Jamie was raising funds for the Superhero Foundation, which supports sick youngsters and was co-founded by the runner.
To date, Jamie has raised more than £72,000 ($95,000USD) for British and Canadian causes, and more than £53,000 ($70,000USD) for American causes from this run alone – including other challenges, he has raised more than $1 million USD over the past five years.
Jamie, who is originally from Gloucester, said: “It still doesn’t feel real.
“I’m shocked that I made it, to be honest – it’s been so long since I’ve been in the UK and this challenge has been really difficult.
“But on my darkest days, I’ve always had people being so kind to me – they’ve given me food, they’ve donated money and they’ve really looked after me.”
The runner started his challenge on April 11, 2018, in Cape Alava, Washington.
From there, Jamie said the loneliness was arguably his biggest obstacle – as well as simply getting into the mindset of telling himself nearly every morning that it was a good idea to run another marathon that day.
In order to boost his and others’ spirits along the way, Jamie paid visits to a number of sick children across the country.
Part of the inspiration for his chosen charity came from the Brit’s experiences as a youngster.
Jamie spent the first nine years of his life in and out of hospital with a rare spinal condition, syringomyelia, as well as having a weak immune system and epilepsy.
The runner said: “I was treated at Gloucestershire Royal Children’s Hospital and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London.
“At nine years old, the symptoms eased – something I attribute to an effort to become more active.
“So, with all the help I received, it’s about giving back and give other kids the opportunity to be healthy again.”
Going forward, Jamie has another challenge on the horizon: he plans to return to his hometown of Gloucester and run ‘the greatest distance covered on a treadmill in one week’.
That could see the fundraiser run more than 500 miles in total.
Speaking of the money he has received from such challenges so far, Jamie added: “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to thank people enough, but I hope that they know that they’re making such a difference to sick kids’ lives.”