Bruised and bleeding feet. Ligament damage. A frostbitten nose. And the kindness of strangers. These are the memories shared by Jamie McDonald, a young British man who crossed Canada on foot in 2013-2014 and who returned to Virden last week to share his story.
On Monday, Jamie McDonald recounted his adventures to a rapt audience of students at Virden Junior High.
McDonald ran solo across Canada four years ago as a fundraiser. He accumulated more than stories and injuries on his run. He also earned half a million dollars towards children’s hospitals in the UK and Canada.
It’s a cause close to his heart as a childhood sufferer of a rare spinal condition called syringomyelia which, he says, would have left him in a wheelchair if not for children’s hospitals. He recovered at age nine and has never taken his mobility for granted.
McDonald’s solo journey (no back up team, no motor home, no running partner) was the equivalent of running 200 marathons in 275 days making him the first person to run across Canada without a support team.
One more marathon
McDonald told the students that he almost quit his run when the pain in his bruised and broken feet became too much. But a text from his father pushed him onward:
“Just do one more marathon. There’s more in you than you realize.”
As founder of the Superhero Foundation, his asked his young audience in Virden to think of who the superhero is in their lives and then to ask themselves, “Who are YOU a superhero to?”
“Find your superhero within”
After his presentation, McDonald met personally with some of the students for hugs, thank yous and to sign copies of his book “Adventureman: The Astonishing True Story”, which recounts his 2013 adventure across Canada. 100% of the proceeds go to charity.
After completing his book tour, McDonald says he plans to launch his next adventure: to run the equivalent of 230 marathons across the United States.