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Charity blow as Flash runs into trouble

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: January 02, 2014

By Rod Minchin

Jamie McDonald, 27, from Gloucester, was set upon on New Year's Eve in Banff, Alberta

Jamie McDonald, 27, from Gloucester, was set upon on New Year's Eve in Banff, Alberta

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wdnews@b-nm.co.uk

A West Country adventurer attempting a gruelling charity run across Canada dressed as a superhero has been attacked and robbed.

Jamie McDonald, 27, from Gloucester, was set upon on New Year's Eve in the ski resort of Banff, Alberta, and his so-called man bag containing computer hard drive, camera and wallet was taken.

Mr McDonald, who suffered blows to the head in the incident, said the bag could be worth a "million dollars in fundraising" and has launched an appeal on social networking sites to get it back.

Writing on Twitter, he said: "So I just got beat up, I couldn't give a s**t but my MAN BAG that got left behind, has my world behind it. Video footage and more... This is a call out, anyone in Banff, hand over a bag that is the difference in changing this world. Thank you so much! Thank you all for your support. I just want to say that all that can be done is being done and I'm OK physically, just a bit shaken up."

Mr McDonald is less than 600 miles from becoming the first person to run across Canada without a support team but is on the toughest leg of his route as he makes his way across the Rocky Mountains. The 5,000 mile coast-to-coast run is the equivalent of more than 200 marathons in 275 days, and involves Mr McDonald sleeping by the side of the road, or relying on strangers' generosity as he undertakes the challenge.

His challenge began in St John's, Labrador, in March, and will finish in Vancouver after passing through mountain ranges, national parks and along gruelling highways.

Originally billed as the British Forrest Gump, he is running dressed as comic book superhero The Flash after a public vote on Twitter and Facebook chose a costume for him.

Mr McDonald, who suffered from debilitating immune deficiency and the potentially fatal spinal condition syringomyelia as a child, spent the first nine years of his life in and out of children's hospitals and is running to raise funds for SickKids Foundation, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and the Pied Piper Appeal.

He has also recently won two major awards, having been voted male runner of the year and having won the Golden Shoe from Running Magazine.

He already holds a world record for static cycling after he pedalled for 265 hours straight – the equivalent of 11 days – last year.

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