Jamie McDonald is running across America!
Out of the frying pan and into the fire:
3 of 15 States and 70 marathons down as superhero fundraiser enters 50C (120F) desert in enormous coast-to-coast USA solo run
Real-life superhero Jamie McDonald, who has raised more than $500,000 for children’s charities through bigger-than-life adventures, is more than 1,820 miles into a 6,000 mile coast-to-coast run across the United States, again dressed as a superhero.
He has just crossed the border into Arizona, the fourth of fifteen states the adventurer will run through. To combat the paralysing 50 degree Celsius (120F) desert heat, Jamie is running marathons throughout the night. Since the run began in April, he’s been caught in a monsoon, ordered to come out of his tent ‘with his hands first’ by a police officer with his hands on his holster and much more.
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.
On the 10th April 2018, Jamie began his second coast-to-coast journey that will take him right the way across the United States. He has just a year to finish the nearly 6,000 mile route, before his Visa runs out.
Beginning at the westernmost point of the United States – Cape Alava in Washington – Jamie has so far ran the length of Washington, Oregon and California states along the entire west coast. He has ran more than 70 marathon, clocking up an average of a marathon a day.
He’ll travel through many others, including Texas, Tennessee, Washington D.C. and New York, on his way to the easternmost point of mainland USA, West Quoddy Head Lighthouse in Maine.
Here is Jamie on TV doing a recent news interview at Doernbecher’s Children’s Hospital, Oregon (18th May, 2018):
He can be followed using this live tracker: https://www.jamiemcdonald.org/tracker. The route can be seen both on that page and below.
So far, the adventure has raised more than $22,000 for US children’s hospitals and £31,000 – nearly 15% of the goal total – for Superhero Foundation, a charity Jamie co-founded that grants money to families for treatment they might not otherwise be able to have or afford. Supporters around the world can donate here: http://www.superherofoundation.org/donate/
Jamie is running as his alter ego Adventureman, in a custom-made superhero costume designed by then-10-year-old, Conner Reddy.
Running by himself and without a support crew yet again, Jamie has ran through rainforest downpours, camped in places famous for their wild animals, including bears and cougars and ran down highways busy with giant logging trucks. His route will take him through lonely 50 degree celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) deserts at the hottest time of the year – during which his tracker and quick access to water will be necessary to survive, especially running through the night where monsoons are common.
70 out of 230 marathons, ran.
Last night I ran through a monsoon, watch the video at the end to see the big lightening strike. ⚡️
(And the only spot to sleep was a security check spot & they wouldn’t let me sleep or stay, so I hitchhiked to Blythe with some lovely Mexicans) pic.twitter.com/ZcI6UVQFSw
— Jamie McDonald (@MrJamieMcDonald) August 10, 2018
To this point, Jamie has been wild camping en route when not offered a place to stay by kind strangers, but he’ll be unable to do this given the danger of camping in the desert heat. Instead, he’ll be hoping to be taken in, or hitchhiking to the nearest town to stay in a safer location, before, of course, returning to his last point of running. His unbroken running route can be seen on the live tracker developed by and with Microsoft partners including cloud distributor intY and Acacus.
Jamie has so far visited Seattle Children’s Hospital, Doernbecher’s Children’s Hospital in Oregon and Millers Children’s Hospital in Long Beach California. As an international fundraising adventure, 50% of any American donations will go to local children’s hospital in the state donors live and the other 50% will go to supporting other sick children around the world.
He is also stopping in at schools and businesses along the way, delivering motivational talks to help with the fundraising.
“I’ve been through so much already, and I’m only into my fourth State. From here, it’s only going to get hotter, more dangerous – being caught in a monsoon at night was seriously scary – but I’m hoping that the difficult miles will make a bigger difference to the fundraising.
“At the beginning of this run, just days in, I injured my foot so badly that I thought I’d have to start again. Through careful management and lots of barefoot running, I’ve hit more than 1,800 miles – nearly a third of the total distance I’ll need to run – in around four months. My maths isn’t great, but that tells me that I have a good shot at making it before my visa runs out.”
“I’m feeling pretty scared entering the desert, and I’m having days where I sometimes think I might not make it. I’m running 26 mile days most days, and I’m running like I’ve got the wind at my back. I’m 4 months in and into my stride and nothing’s going to break me. I’m doing this to show people, and especially children in situations like I was in, and many worse, that anything is possible, and that you can’t give up on hope and health. I’d like to thank the US so far for taking me in when I’ve most needed it – I couldn’t do this without the kindness of the American people.”
Before the 6,000 mile coast-to-coast US run:
For the last four years, Jamie, now 31, has been working tirelessly to give back. He’s raised more than £500,000 for children’s charities, hospitals and causes around the world throughout his many adventures. He was named as the Pride of Britain ‘Fundraiser of the Year’ for the west for his effort, among many other accolades.
In the time since his last adventure, Jamie has co-founded Gloucestershire-based Superhero Foundation, a charity that grants money to families for treatment not otherwise available on the NHS. He has also written the best-selling book ‘Adventureman: Anyone Can Be a Superhero’, the story of his life to this point – no mean feat for somebody that struggles with dyslexia, and retook his GCSEs aged 23. All proceeds from the book go to charity.
This video tells you more about Jamie: https://youtu.be/XicDMvoVW7c
Follow Jamie’s social media accounts – he posts daily blogs, videos and photos:
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jamiemcdonald…
- Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/mrjamiemcdonald
- YouTube (where regular episodes are being edited and uploaded): https://www.youtube.com/JamieMcDonaldAM
Superhero Foundation has helped many families, like these mentioned on this Superheroes page.
All money raised in the US will be split 50-50 between Superhero Foundation and state children’s hospitals. Where possible, the money will be diverted to helping families without adequate health insurance.
In 2012 Jamie began an adventurous fundraising quest to give back to the hospitals that helped him as a child by cycling 14,000 miles from Bangkok to Gloucester. Using a second-hand bike bought for just £50, Jamie cycled through more than twenty countries on his way home. During the journey, he was shot at when caught in the middle of a military firefight, arrested by wary border police and slept rough.
Just weeks after returning to Gloucester, Jamie decided to attempt the world record for cycling non-stop on a static bike. Jamie stepped off the bike, as the Marathon Static Cycling – Guinness World Record holder. Cycling more than 12 days, he raised more than £20,000 during the two challenges.
In February 2013, two months after setting the new world record, Jamie used his continued savings to travel to Canada, where he continued his fundraising efforts, again for the children’s charities that helped him as a child. Jamie ran 5,000 miles (equivalent to 200 marathons), across Canada without a support crew – raising more than a £250,000.
His adventures have made news all over the world… (Including in early 2016 where, while traveling from John O’Groats to Land’s End, he and a team of charity cyclists found a woman trapped in the back of her van!).
For images, please take your pick of these high resolution shots:
- US run shots: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/czp1w6ft0mwctw4/AABo5QX17s9I9c0K9x8LLWJZa?dl=0
- Pre-US run shots: www.dropbox.com/sh/9crxglzbz53ui1v/AABqVG1jaV2q_LokUEy-Jgk-a?dl%3D0&sa=D&ust=1521331715493000&usg=AFQjCNF6VdzjVxdc7so2Z1wU4k2DPHNLQw
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