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Gloucester runner Jamie McDonald thanks wellwishers after Twitter appeal sparks worldwide media frenzy

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 02, 2014

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Recovering after being beaten up by three men and dumped in a toilet, Gloucester ultra runner Jamie McDonald insists he will push on to the end of his 5,000 mile challenge to run across Canada.

Jamie has stoked up a media frenzy since posting on social media that he had been attacked in ski resort Banff following a New Year party in a hotel.

In the fracas Jamie lost his bag containing his wallet, cards, cash and video equipment used to document his epic trip.

He is bidding to become the first to run unaided across the country.

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Thankfully, his appeal paid off and well-wishers rallied around to return his bag with help from the Canadian police.

Although shaken, Jamie is unhurt and is back on the road to continue the long slog through The Rocky Mountains towards Vancouver.

He said: “I was having the usual party for New Year’s Eve and left with a big group of people to go back to a hotel.

“I had one beer with them and then decided to leave, I ended up talking with a couple of girls outside a room and before I knew it three blokes pulled me in and stuck me in a toilet.

“They jumped on me and repeatedly punched me in the head and body.

“I scrambled to get out and unfortunately left my bag with all my goods, my credit card and wallet.

“The most important thing was my hard drive with the video footage of the trip.

“Even when this has finished I want to use it as inspiration to continue the fundraising.

“That hard drive meant the world to me and luckily it was handed in.

“I put out a Facebook and Twitter appeal and it reached out to a lot of people. That was a big reason why it came back.

“Banff is an amazing spot. Canada is one of the best places in the world and I feel that the whole country is getting behind me. This incident was just a blip in an ocean of good will I have had.

“I’ve seen a bear and I ended up breathing so heavily I almost passed out. It has been tough, I’ve had frostbite on my nose.

“I’m 180 marathons in and I’ve got 20 to go. I just hope I can make it.”

Jamie was quizzed by Sky News presenter Eamonn Holmes as to how his efforts could be verified.

He said his route could be tracked via GPS on his website, and also urged others to go online and donate to the Pied Piper Appeal at Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals and Great Ormond Street Hospital where he had treatment for a debilitating illness as a young boy.

He has raised almost £13,000 for children's charities in the UK and nearly $100,000 for good causes in Canada.

Jamie McDonald updated his blog thanking people for their support

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