UK man plans to top cross-country fundraising run with Guinness World Record attempt
Jamie McDonald is already in the middle of a 5,500-mile fundraising trek across the U.S., but he isn’t planning to stop anytime soon.
McDonald, 32, born in Gloucester, England, has the finishing line of his latest solo country-spanning run in his sights, a journey that so far has helped raise more than $150,000 for the Superhero Foundation, which supports U.S. and U.K. children’s hospitals.
But beyond that, he has a record on his mind that very few have attempted: breaking the Guinness World Record for “greatest distance covered on a treadmill within one week.”
The current record is 513.97 miles, set in 2015 by Brazilian national Marcio Villar.
“I will need to run more than 73 miles a day for seven days to even equal the current record. The equivalent of (almost) three marathons a day for a week is terrifying, but I’ll never be in better shape to try,” McDonald said.
During his trek across the U.S., McDonald has stopped at children’s hospitals along the way to visit with those who could one day benefit from the fundraising he is doing. He is currently in central New Jersey.
“I’ve run through freezing rainforest downpours and the Arizona desert summer,” he said. “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 heart-breaking stories from the children I’ve met in hospitals over the last 5,000 miles.”
In addition to his current run, McDonald has completed a coast-to-coast run across Canada, and in 2012 set the Guinness World Record for the “longest marathon static cycle,” cycling in place for 11 days.
McDonald’s global goal is to ensure no child goes without treatment they need but can’t access or afford, and he has set a goal of raising $1 million. He has been raising money for hospitals in each state he runs through, as well as for the Superhero Foundation.
Having passed by the White House in late February, McDonald will have run just about the equivalent of 210 full marathons once he reaches the finish in Gloucester, Mass.
Except of course, that’s not the finish.
After a little less than a month’s rest, McDonald will attempt the treadmill record beginning on April 29 back in his U.K. home of Gloucester.
“I’m nearly at the end of the U.S. leg of the challenge, but again, I can’t count my chickens,” McDonald said. “I hope people will still continue to support me as I pick up where I left off.”
To donate, see SuperheroFoundation.org/donate.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, email@example.com or via Twitter .