I’ll never get on a treadmill again, vows Adventureman after breaking record

Britain’s answer to Forrest Gump has vowed never to get on a treadmill again after breaking the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance covered in a week on one.

Jamie McDonald, 32, has spent the last seven days in a tent in his home city of Gloucester, running more than 20 hours a day to beat the 513.97 miles (827.15km) set by Marcio Villar in Brazil in 2015.

The tennis coach broke the record with more than two hours to spare and carried on running until he had reached the 168-hour mark when he stopped, having set a new record of 524.4 miles (844.9km).

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Jamie McDonald celebrates after breaking the Guinness World Record for the most miles run on a treadmill in seven days (Rod Minchin/PA)

Mr McDonald was cheered on by hundreds of supporters who had travelled to Gloucester Quays to watch him enter the record books.

To beat the record he had to run more than 73 miles a day (117.5km) for seven days and was only sleeping for two or three hours a night.

Speaking afterwards, Mr McDonald admitted he came close to quitting but a pep talk from his father, Donald, and thinking about fundraising for his foundation kept him going.

“There’s always hope. Every hour during the world record I just had to believe in this tiny bit of hope,” he said.

“I nearly ended up throwing the towel in on day three in the morning, saying ‘I can’t do this anymore’.

“My ankles were swollen up so bad and I didn’t realise walking on a treadmill was so brutal. I call it the dreadmill.

“I’ve been to some dark places in the last seven days where I have never ever been in my life. I just want to say that, no what your challenges in life, you keep smashing through it.

“I will never, ever get on a treadmill again. It was my dad who said stick with it and just keep moving and something will happen and it always does and there is that little bit of hope.”

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Jamie McDonald’s father Donald cheers him on during his Guinness World Record attempt (Rod Minchin/PA)

Mr McDonald also praised the hundreds of people who went to Gloucester Quays to cheer him on and watch him smash the world record.

“This is just phenomenal. I just cannot believe the support from Gloucester … actually I can,” he said.

“I just want to thank you for being here. I’m a proper Gloucester boy, through and through.

“You do know what they say about world records? Not just beaten but they have got to be smashed.”

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Jamie McDonald and his girlfriend Anna McNuff (left) during his Guinness World Record attempt in Gloucester (Rod Minchin/PA)

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.

It is the latest stamina-defying feat by Mr McDonald, who runs as his alter-ego Adventureman.

In March, he completed a 5,500-mile (8,851km), 210-marathon coast-to-coast fundraising run across the US unsupported.

He battled through desolate and lonely deserts, sub-zero temperatures and the constant threat of wild animals, injuries and the uncertain elements.

Jamie McDonald charity runner
Jamie McDonald during his 5,500-mile, 210-marathon coast-to-coast run across the US (Jamie McDonald/PA)

He has previously run across Canada dressed as superhero The Flash.

Mr McDonald came to prominence in 2012 when he cycled 14,000 miles (22,531km) from Bangkok to Gloucester on a £50 second-hand bike.

Just weeks after returning to Gloucester, he set a new world record for cycling nonstop on a static bike.

In February 2013, two months after setting the new world record, he began his run across Canada.

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