Real-life Forrest Gump Jamie McDonald completes his Canada superhero run
Jamie McDonald has finally stopped running after completing his epic 5,000 mile trek
Heather Saul is a digital reporter for The Independent, currently working on the People desk. She has written news and features across a number of topics, paying particular attention to the activities of Isis and events in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Tuesday 04 February 2014
The man billed as the real-life Forrest Gump has finally stopped running after completing his epic 5,000 mile trek across Canada alone.
Jamie McDonald, 27, became the first person to run across Canada without a support team when he crossed the finishing line in Vancouver - nearly 12 months after setting off dressed as comic superhero The Flash.
During the journey, he nearly lost his nose to frostbite, permanently injured his foot, was beaten during a New Year attack and lost his bag containing film footage of his trip, although this was swiftly returned following an appeal on social media.
The coast-to-coast run is the equivalent of more than 200 marathons in 275 days, and involved Mr McDonald sleeping by the side of the road, or relying on the generosity of strangers as he undertook the challenge.
He also pushed his 60kg (132lb) baby stroller Caesar, containing all his possessions, for more than 4,500 miles. He began the journey by carrying a 30kg (66lb) backpack until the weight caused an injury.
Mr McDonald, from Gloucester, was joined by his father Donald and friends to celebrate ending the mammoth challenge, in which he has raised £150,000 for charity.
"I just can't believe it's over," he told journalists and members of the public gathered at the finish line.
"I have worked for so long and given this run everything I have, physically and mentally, that to finally dip my hand into the Pacific Ocean eleven months and more than 200 marathons after doing the same thing in the Atlantic Ocean is just incredible.
"I feel a real mix of emotions. I'm ecstatic that I have finished.
As a child he suffered from a debilitating immune deficiency and potentially fatal spinal condition syringomyelia and spent the first nine years of his life in and out of children's hospitals. His run was to raise funds for SickKids Foundation, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and the Pied Piper Appeal.
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