A few weeks ago at Parkrun, I had the pleasure of hearing Jamie McDonald talk. Just a regular bloke from Gloucester. Who ran across the whole of Canada.
Being pretty local to Gloucester, I had heard about his run, but never looked into it too deeply. Hearing Jamie McDonald talk, I was completely inspired. And not just because of the run across Canada, but because he’d cycled home to Gloucester from China and then broken the world record for the length of time cycling on an exercise bike. And all this after being told at the age of 9 that he would never walk.
A dyslexic, who had gone back to his old school at the age of 23 to pass his GCSEs, he went on to write Adventureman, about his Canadian adventures. All proceeds from the book go to the Superhero Foundation, the charity Jamie started to help ordinary people through their own fundraising challenges to raise money for expensive medical treatments.
I knew I had to read that book.
But I’ll be honest. I was doing it because he was a nice guy and a local guy who had done an amazing thing. I wasn’t necessarily expecting to enjoy the book. He is dyslexic after all.
Well, I’m pleased to say that I loved the book from the very first page.
It is written in an honest and entertaining style and what’s not to love about a normal bloke running across Canada? He was out running a marathon a day, in -40C temperatures, often in a lot of pain and often not knowing where he would be sleeping that night.
The book never once got boring. It was incredible to read about the support he’d had from complete strangers, the way he had inspired and motivated others and the way he’d ended up raising £250,000 for the children’s hospital in Gloucester and children’s hospitals across Canada. You feel as though you are living every high and low with him. You are with him every step of the way, but without having to get freezing cold or wolf down huge quantities of meat to recover from your day’s marathon.
I really can’t recommend this book enough. It is truly inspiring and full of so much warmth and humour. Plus, if you buy a copy, all of the money is going towards the Superhero Foundation.