Real-Life Superhero Wins Pride Of Britain Award After Raising £1m For Charity
Jamie McDonald has achieved a lot over the course of his life. He's the holder of two world records for endurance, he's raised over a million pounds for kids' charities, and now he's won a Pride of Britain award. Check him out in the clip below:
That's despite spending the first few years of his life battling against a rare spinal condition.
Like many great superhero stories, it begins with a twist of fate. Jamie had saved £20,000 for a house, but was having second thoughts about whether to go through with the deal and commit his future.
He told LADbible: "About eight years ago I was saving up for a deposit on a house - I'd saved up £20,000 - but as I was about to sign the papers I felt as if something was wrong and just pulled out.
"I thought, 'There's got to be more to life, there's got to be more.'
"I used to have a rare spinal condition where I couldn't move my legs. When I was about seven years old a doctor explained to me that I would end up in a wheelchair, but when we left, my mum said, 'There's no way you're going to end up in a wheelchair, don't listen to a word that doctor just said.'
"So, instead of getting the house, I bought a bicycle for £50 from the newspaper. It was one of the s****est bikes known to man, but I managed to cycle 14,000 miles from Bangkok to Gloucester to raise money for the hospital."
That's one heck of an about turn.
During his journey across the continents he was shot at on the Afghan border, but he eventually made it back to the hospital.
However, he'd developed a taste for endurance and adventure.
Next up, he broke the world record for longest non-stop static cycling. Sat on an exercise bike for 12 days straight, subsisting on only the Guinness World Records allotted 1.5 hours of sleep each night.
No guns this time, but Jamie explained: "The worst part about it was my arse. I've never felt pain like it."
After that, he decided to take a holiday to Canada. Except it didn't turn out that way. Jamie ran 5,000 miles across the country with absolutely no training whatsoever. That's 200 marathons.
Then, he did the same across the US.
During that journey he dodged mountain lions and was forced to run at night because of the extreme heat.
He also became Adventureman.
Up to that point, he'd been running in the costume of DC superhero The Flash. However, after a warning about copyright from some documentary makers, and a social media competition, a design from a six-year-old gave him the guise he needed.
When he returned, the ridiculous feats of endurance continued. Next up, he took the world record for furthest distance on a treadmill over seven days.
He covered 524 miles. That's 20 marathons in a week.
Jamie - who also works as a motivational speaker - added: "Around day five, everything I saw started to turn fluorescent, like the film Avatar.
"I wasn't trained at all to run on a treadmill, it really buggered me up quite dramatically. I actually gave up on day three, but my dad said, 'You're going to keep doing this.'
"He said, 'So you want to be open to my suggestions, or give up?'
"Then I managed to keep going and breaking through the barriers, but I managed to do it.
"I'm just a normal bloke from Gloucester, I'm not a runner, I'm not an athlete. My gift is that I can keep going."
In total, he's raised more than one million pounds for both his own charity, and the hospital where he spent much of his childhood.
In recognition for that, he was awarded the Pride of Britain 'Fundraiser of the Year' award at a ceremony in London.
He went with his dad, and the two got up to some mischief on the red carpet.
Jamie explained: "The Pride of Britain is quite special because you don't see it coming. It was a huge shock.
"In the end I just had a good party with my dad and had a few beers. My dad is a massive inspiration to me.
"He's a bit off his rocker - well, he's normal to me - but I forget he's a bit off the charts."
It's a bit rich calling anyone 'off their rocker' when you run 5,500 miles dodging bullets and mountain lions, mate.
Still, keep doing what you're doing. Godspeed, Adventureman!
Featured Image Credit: PA/Adventureman/Jamie McDonald