Adventureman planning next running challenge to follow US odyssey
Britain’s answer to Forrest Gump is already planning his next adventure – even though he is still running across the US.
Jamie McDonald, 32, is nearing the end of his 5,500-mile coast-to-coast fundraising run and is due to finish in Gloucester, Massachusetts, on March 27.
He will then return to his home city of Gloucester in the UK and attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance covered on a treadmill in a week.
During his US run Mr McDonald is also visiting sick children in hospital and has raised more than 150,000 dollars (£114,000) along the way.
The former tennis coach started his feat in April last year at Cape Alava in Washington state, the most western point of the US, and has taken more than 11 million steps.
Running by himself and without a support crew, Mr McDonald has battled through desolate and lonely deserts, sub-zero temperatures and the constant threat of wild animals, injuries and the uncertain elements as he runs the equivalent of 230 marathons.
He has previously run across Canada dressed as superhero The Flash and this time he is running as his alter ego Adventureman.
Mr McDonald will start the world record attempt on April 29 and has until May 6 to better 513.97 miles, set by Marcio Villar in Brazil in 2015.
“I will need to run more than 73 miles a day for seven days to even equal the current record,” he said.
“The equivalent of three marathons a day for a week is terrifying, but I’ll never be in better shape to try.
“I’ve run through freezing rainforest downpours and the Arizona desert summer.
“I’ve been caught up in a freak flood that devastated a town, camped in places surrounded by bears, cougars, mountain lions, spiders and snakes – if I didn’t have video proof even I’m not sure I’d believe me – and I’ve listened to some heartbreaking stories from the children I’ve met in hospitals over the last 5,000 miles.
“But each injury and each twist and turn has only made me stronger and more determined.
“I’m nearly at the end of the US leg of the challenge, but again, I can’t count my chickens.
“I hope people will still continue to support me as I pick up where I left off in Gloucester, Massachusetts, after a couple of weeks in the UK with my family.
“All I can ask is, please do keep donating. My fundraising goal was one million US dollars (£760,000) and although we’re some way off that right now, I’m still holding out hope we can get closer to it.
“Please keep sharing, and please keep believing that we can make the world a better place for sick kids everywhere.”
Mr McDonald, who suffered from a debilitating immune deficiency and the potentially fatal spinal condition syringomyelia as a child, spent the first nine years of his life in and out of children’s hospitals.
He came to prominence in 2012 when he cycled 14,000 miles from Bangkok to Gloucester on a £50 second-hand bike.
Weeks after returning to Gloucester, he set a new world record for cycling non-stop on a static bike.
In February 2013, two months after setting the new world record, he began his run across Canada.