Arts & EventsJamie's Run: Real-Life Superhero Reaches Ottawa in 8,000-km East Coast-to-West-Coast Sprint

Jamie's Run: Real-Life Superhero Reaches Ottawa in 8,000-km East Coast-to-West-Coast Sprint

Jamie's Run: Real-Life Superhero Reaches Ottawa in 8,000-km  East Coast-to-West-Coast Sprint

By Nick Williams

British adventurer Jamie McDonald is making a pit stop in Ottawa on his 8,000-km cross-country journey to raise money for children’s hospitals in Canada and the United Kingdom. On July 4, Jamie crossed the border into Ontario, the fourth of the nine provinces he will need to run across. He is without a support team and will enter Ottawa dressed as superhero The Flash, after a public vote chose the costume for him.

Jamie spent the first nine years of his life in and out of children’s hospitals with a rare and life-threatening spinal condition. The proceeds from this run will go to the SickKids Foundation, as well as British charities: Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and the Pied Piper Appeal. Thus far, Jamie's run has averaged the distance of a marathon every single day: once completed, the coast-to-coast run will be the equivalent of more than 200 marathons in 275 days. With no support crew, Jamie is carrying his personal belongings in a chariot he was forced to construct after hurting his foot while running with a heavy backpack earlier in his journey.

Jamie McDonald 4“I want to be the first person to run Canada coast-to-coast without the help of a support crew and although there’s still a long way to go, I’m managing a marathon a day and feel fitter and stronger than ever,” Jamie says. “The kindness and generosity of Canadians has been overwhelming. The freezing nights spent camping by the side of roads feels worth it when I think about the good the donations will do.”

Jamie’s run began in St John’s in March and he hopes to reach Vancouver by December. He will pass through mountain ranges, national parks and plenty of dangerous terrain. In 2012, Jamie cycled 14,000 miles from Bangkok to his hometown of Gloucester, England, passing through dozens of countries. Just two days after he finished the journey back from Bangkok, Jamie decided to attempt to break the world static cycling record, which stood at 224 hours and 24 minutes. Jamie pedalled for 265 hours (more than 11 days) in order to break the record. Jamie raised tens of thousands of dollars in the process of both challenges for the Pied Piper Appeal.

For more information about Jamie, including ways to donate to his effort, visit  The public can also follow his run in real-time as he updates via his Suunto Ambit GPS watch here: Movescount.

Or follow Jamie on his social media sites. He will be updating them throughout his journey.




Additional information


  • Jamie, 26, is from Gloucester, England. As a child, Jamie suffered from a debilitating immune deficiency and syringomyelia – a generic term referring to a disorder in which a cyst or cavity forms within the spinal cord. This cyst, called a syrinx, can expand and elongate over time, destroying the spinal cord (Wikipedia).



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