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Gloucester rugby players get behind Jamie McDonald's final 5,000 mile push across Canada

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 26, 2014

Helen Jones with Jamie McDonald in Canada

Helen Jones with Jamie McDonald in Canada

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AS cross-Canada runner Jamie McDonald edges towards his 5,000 mile challenge, he has been given a timely lift from some of his Gloucester rugby heroes.

With the number of marathons left to complete falling into single figures the end is in sight for the brave man from Tredworth.

Jamie gave an emotional farewell at Kingsholm ahead of his epic challenge last year. And players from the Cherry and Whites have offered their support by donating £750 to the cause.

A message read: “Jamie fantastic effort so far. On the home straight now, one final huge push to go. Awesome work mate, from all Gloucester Rugby playing department.”

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Jamie is close to collecting £100,000 for children’s charities, including the Pied Piper Appeal at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

His dad Donald is flying out to support Jamie for the last leg of his adventure, and he has also been joined by ex-pats Mark and Helen Jones, who emigrated to Canada from Gloucester in 2007.

Helen, who met up with Jamie in Salmon Arm, British Colombia, said: “We were told about Jamie back in September when we were visiting family in Gloucester. We have tracked him since our return and were determined to help him out if we could. I am not a runner by any means and have only really ran 5kms at one time.

“My husband and I have found Jamie to be one of a kind, he is selfless, positive, and truly inspirational to everyone he touches. He has conquered tough terrain that we have only driven across not only being extremely dangerous but also very lonely for him. We are very proud to have been able to help him out and I think he enjoyed listening to our familiar accents and making him feel a bit of home.”

Jamie has encountered plunging temperatures, the threat of avalanche and was beaten up in Banff.

He hopes to arrive at his final destination in Vancouver next month.

Jamie has urged Twitter followers to support his bid by changing their online profile picture.

To donate or follow his progress, go online at

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