Jamie McDonald: Cross-Canada runner 'beaten up'

Jamie McDonald
Image caption Jamie McDonald began his 5,000-mile journey on the east coast of Canada in March

A British fundraiser who is running unaided across Canada has been attacked during New Year's Eve celebrations in Banff.

Jamie McDonald, 27, said his bag, which contained film footage of his journey as well as cash and credit cards, was stolen in an unprovoked mugging.

"I have no idea how I'm going to handle this or what I'm going to do," he said.

His challenge to run from Canada's east to the west coasts - the equivalent of about 200 marathons - began in March.

Image caption He is running dressed as superhero The Flash

He had hoped to finish in time for Christmas but injuries and bad weather have caused delays, and he has the final quarter from Banff through the Rocky Mountains to Vancouver left to run.

Mr McDonald, from Gloucester, said he had seen the new year in with a crowd of people and was set upon after moving from the street to an apartment building.

"I've got a bit of a whacking headache. I got hammered quite a few times by some blows to the head," he said.

"The bag was the most important thing of my life - it held everything of this whole adventure, all the video footage, my credit cards, everything I own."

The fundraiser, who is running most of the 5,000-miles dressed as comic book superhero The Flash, said he had reported the incident to the local police.

"It's hard enough as it is," he added.

"I'm trying to run a marathon a day. I've just hit the Rocky Mountains which is probably the toughest part of the journey, and this is an absolutely huge blow.

"I know the Canadians will help me as best they can and once they do so I can continue on and hopefully make it to Vancouver."

Mr McDonald is carrying out the fundraising challenge to show gratitude for the care he received as a child when he suffered from a debilitating immune deficiency and a rare spinal condition called syringomyelia.

He has so far raised almost £70,000 for sick children's charities including Great Ormond Street Hospital and Gloucestershire's Pied Piper Appeal.

Image caption Mr McDonald has received a warm welcome from Canada throughout the trip

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