Dec 25 Leaving Calgary. Busy hwy with no hard shoulder,
throwing Caesar up on snow banks to escape head on collisions,
Dec 25 Found a pathway, only trouble is that it's packed
with snow, trudging.
Dec 25 Calgary night. Dangerous night running, still
no shoulder, this could be the last time I run in the
dark, not literally, I hope.
Dec 25 Mike's Home. Escorted the last few km's into @mikepphoto
@NikaPedersen home, it looks like I'm getting my Xmas
dinner, after all
Dec 25 XMas dinner. Earlier I ate tin tuna for my Xmas
meal, now, I'm on an unexpected round two, turkey dinner,
with absolute strangers
Dec 26 Breakfast fit for champions with @mikepphoto @NikaPedersen,
preparation before tackling the foothills of the Rockies
Dec 26 First view of the Rockies. Time to embrace my
Dec 27 Another Rockies view. The Rocky Mountains don't
look too scary this morning, in fact, they look magnificent
Dec 27 Headwind. Few miles in with super fit @shannonrun,
double teaming Caesar up the foothills in once again,
Dec 27 I asked @shannonrun "are we in the mountains
yet?" She replied "nope, still the warm up hills."
Dec 27 : "Karli"a lady drives out with a camper
van for a candle lit dinner, in the boonies; my first
official DATE in 2 years
Dec 28 Road to the Rockies Hard shoulder is tough to
run on, roads look dry, few miles in going strong.
Dec 28 Support. Tim Kessler brought @MrJamieMcDonald
some warm soup and snacks on #hwy1 He's heading for #StoneyNakodaResort!
Dec 28 Evening. Gradually climbing with @MillarKarli,
to keep us alive, I just attached my Flashing boobies
Dec 29 Entering the Rockies into a 70kmh headwind, with
team BATUS & crazy Larry...
Dec 29 Troops are building as we are nearing to Dead
Mans Flats, the Rockies are being smashed.
Dec 29 Hwy meeting
Dec 29 Unreal running support which helped subside the
pain & a few hip, hip hoorays to finish the day. 22
marathons to go!
Dec 29 Finally, a proper curry at #TheJunction House,
it also seems I've adopted Crazy Larry, or more like,
he's adopted me
Dec 29 Copperstone Resort. Thanks @CopperstoneRH for
the night stay, enjoyed the added bonus to, being checked
in by Miss musical @ReidIsabelle http://www.reverbnation.com/IsabelleReid
Dec 30 A few miles in, he's so off the wall I think I'm
falling in love with him, there's only one Crazy Larry
Dec 30 Everyone is honking and waving, so awesome! “@mandicampbell:
@MrJamieMcDonald as he makes his way through Canmore!
Dec 30 at the Communitea Cafe greeting MrJamieMcDonald
he's in Canmore!
Dec 30 Meet the Champ.The little super hero is 2 yrs
old. He is an Alberta Children's Hospital and @STARSambulance
Dec 30 Fuel for tomorrow's run, awesome! “@mandicampbell:
With @MrJamieMcDonald at @crazyweedkitch in Canmore for
an amazing dinner!
CBC article from Calgary including video
man on cross-Canada charity run takes on the Rockies
Dec 31 Great to meet u @MrJamieMcDonald
have fun in Banff. We're around the corner if u want to
pop in 4 a beer 2nite
Running on Christmas Day, why not?
So I decided to do all my blogging and messaging and was
really touched by all the messages sent, to wish me a Merry
Christmas. Before I knew it, it was lunch time and I wanted
to just eat at the hotel room so I cracked open a can of
chilli tuna fish and spooned it out with beef jerky –
I told myself the beef jerky was kind of Christmassy. It
didn’t matter that it was Christmas day really, as
it was about a month ago that I broke down and accepted
that I wasn’t going to be home for Christmas with
my family. So I packed by bags and headed off. I thought
it was going to be a smooth flowing day – since it’s
Christmas, it ought to be.
As soon as I hit the highway, there were no hard shoulders
because the snow was packed up and covering them up. There
was two feet of snow on the shoulder. So, I ran facing the
traffic and after making it about a mile the traffic was
becoming really heavy – why were people out on Christmas
day? Should they not be eating dinner, or pulling crackers?
They were annoying me, the situation was irritating. I had
to keep throwing 60kg Caesar up and onto the shoulder (on
top of the snow bank) using all my upper body strength.
I found a small opening of 200 meter and I would take Caesar
down and race through before the next lot of cars would
come through. I covered a pathetic four miles in the space
of two hours. I’d had enough of this strategy of sprinting
and stopping, so I started trudging through the snow on
the median (that’s what Canadians call the island
that separates the two directions of traffic). To add insult
to injury, some cars would slow down and yell “you
f***ing idiot – what are you doing, get off the highway”.
I was kind of stuck, so I just wished them a Merry Christmas
and continued to sing the John Lennon song that was stuck
in my head all day “so this is Christmas, and what
have you done. Another year over and a new one just began...”
I couldn’t continuously run which was so frustrating,
because my legs were fresh - I wanted to give it all I had,
but I just couldn’t – what happened to the perfect
CHRISTMAS that I've been used to for 27 years? Eventually
a car pulled off to the side and rolled down a window in
a casual fashion and asked ‘hey, how are you doing’.
I was concerned for the safety of the driver as there were
cars barrowing down at what seemed like 120 km per hour.
So I waved the driver on and asked him to keep on going.
He said ok ‘I’ll see you again”. Sure
enough, 5 minutes later he turned up again. He got out of
the car and walked over, while I was stuck on the median,
to wish me a "Merry Christmas" and gave me a $20
bill for a donation – he was Italian and I got that
gregarious ‘hey Merry Christmas’. He (his name
was Penn) offered to escort me till he could get me off
the highway and the way that the last few hours went, I
was very accepting of this help – he knew who I was
and want I was doing. I ran in front of his car for 1km
until I made it onto a pathway, but the pathway was so narrow
that Caesar couldn’t even fit in some places. It was
a balmy 5 degrees, so everything was soft and slushy, making
it nearly impossible to run, I was exerting all my energy
to get a pace of no more than 6 km per hour. Not to mention
I was now on a serious incline -yup, the foothills of the
It started to become dark, so I just kept going and once
the path ended I was again left on the highway with no shoulder,
but now in darkness. I tried to light myself up like a Christmas
tree and face the traffic, but facing the traffic felt like
the cars didn’t have enough time to adjust and move
out of the way. I had a few close calls. Reluctantly, I
moved back to running with the traffic (which is something
I never do because I want to see the vehicles) – I
just had to have faith that the cars could see me. If there
was another road I could have taken to Vancouver, I would
At this point I knew I was getting somewhere close to Mike
and Nika’s house who offered to take me in for the
Blog continued by Mike Pedersen:
"After a few phone calls and
repeated checks to Jamie’s tracker, Nika and I decided
it was time to go and find Jamie. We weren’t sure
how his day was going to turn out as he had left his hotel
quite late. He seemed motivated to make it to our place
on the edge of the city, so we were ecstatic. We headed
East down the #1 highway until we saw Jamie and Caesar on
the other side of the road. After a quick turnaround we
pulled up behind Jamie and I jumped out to give him a massive
hug. I came prepared to run the last 6 or so kilometres
with Jamie, but first we pulled him into the SUV for some
hot chocolate and a little warming up. This also gave us
a chance to tell Jamie how excited we were to be able to
help, especially on Christmas Day.
Hopefully he was able to pull in
some of the positive energy and use it the rest of the way.
Shortly afterwards Jamie declared “Okay, I’m
ready to go”. On that note we hopped out and hit the
road. I figured that since I was only there for a quarter
of his day’s run (less than 1/1000th of his total
run), I ought to at least push Caesar the rest of the way.
Only a few minutes in a police van pulled up in front of
us and started flashing its lights. We jogged on up to their
window to say "hi". They were very friendly and
wanted to know what we were up to. They noted that they
were here because of a strange call about “someone
running with a wheelchair down 16th ave”. Jamie gave
him his spiel (obviously not his first run in with the long
arm of the law). They seemed pleased with the explanation
and wished him the best of luck on the rest of his journey.
Luckily Jamie is very adept at convincing people he’s
Running along with Jamie was a little
surreal. We have been following his run for so long now
and it felt like he’d stepped right out of one of
his YouTube videos into our lives. I admitted to Jamie that
when I first saw the headlines about a British Marathoner
running across Canada at a marathon a day pace I had pictured
someone quite different. In my mind I envisioned the elite
athlete who had been running competitively for ages and
was going out to showcase his phenomenal abilities. I had
then clicked over to Jamie’s site to at least see
what it was all about. I was stunned to see that he was
just a guy who had decided to do something unbelievable.
That was the moment I was truly hooked on Jamie’s
story and his run. He’s the kind of guy you want your
children to think of when you tell them they can achieve
anything in their lifetimes.
The rest of our run was smooth and
pleasant given the wide shoulders near the outskirts of
the city and the near perfect weather. As we pulled up to
our house I told Jamie of our plans to whisk him off to
my parent’s house 30 minutes away for a proper Christmas
dinner. He was surprised that this offer was on the table
and was eager to join in. Before we left, however, we had
one surprise for Jamie! I had wrapped up one of my prints
from Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park (in the iconic Rocky
Mountains) and explained that we thought it was important
that he have a Christmas gift to take home to help him remember
his time in Canada. We also wanted to make sure that he
took the time to embrace the beauty of our mountains rather
than focusing his fear of crossing them. Jamie accepted,
genuinely surprised to get a gift at all.
After a few quick tweets, texts,
and status updates we were on the road. Jamie fell asleep
in the passenger seat about 5 minutes into the drive. As
we pulled up to my parent’s house Jamie woke up more
or less revitalized and ready to take on Christmas dinner.
Everyone came over to meet Jamie, with my daughter Kaja
being the most excited of the bunch. With the introductions
done it was time to starting filling plates. I had joked
with Jamie that he would be fed tinned fish and butter.
Instead the spread included turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet
potatoes with glazed pecans, stuffing, gravy, brussel sprouts
in cheese sauce, and of course cranberry sauce. As I saw
Jamie attack his full plate I couldn’t help but hear
his catchphrase “DEMOLISHED”. We both went back
for seconds. To finish it off we had a bowl of my mom’s
Christmas pudding with lemon sauce – it wouldn’t
be a real Christmas dinner without it.
After dinner Jamie regaled us with
stories from his travels and insights into what makes him
tick. Kaja made him promise to visit us again if he comes
back. He said he absolutely would, if he’s able to
finish this journey. I had to tell him that he’s always
welcome whether he finishes or not. I told him that we love
him not because he has succeeded, but because he has tried.
That being said, I truly believe he’s going to make
I was starting to feel like we’d
done a good job giving Jamie the Christmas day he deserved
(or at least the best we could on short notice). Luckily,
we had one more surprise. We pulled out a stocking and handed
it to Jamie. Nika then explained how she had printed off
copies of a short letter explaining Jamie’s mission
and had gone out with the kids on Christmas Eve to drop
them off at the houses of our neighbors. The request was
to drop off a Christmas card for Jamie, and if they wanted
a donation for the children’s hospital as well. We
managed to get 10 cards with donations. Jamie took them
out one at a time and was able to savour all of the positive
wishes in the cards and add the donations to his final tally.
I’m probably biased, but my favourite two cards were
the ones put in by my children. Evan (6yo) had written a
short Christmas comic involving Santa being chased by a
reindeer. In the envelope he had emptied out the contents
of his piggy bank (which aside from a $20 bill was all coins).
Kaja (11yo) had included $100 of her own money and wrote
Jamie this lovely note:
Thank you for coming to run across
Canada! You have inspired me so much! This year, for Christmas,
I hope you find warmth, love, and happiness. It is amazing
that you got an idea to change the world, and you went for
it! Thank you for being kind, giving, a leader, and a super
I could tell that Jamie was touched
by it all, not only the extra $600 of donations, but also
the sentiment of those who took the time to support him.
We brought him back to our house discussing the challenges
still to be faced ahead, and hoping that we had provided
enough warmth to get past them."
The foothills, embracing the fear.
I sank one litre of water, then one litre of organic black
coffee and stuffed my face with an enormous omelette - my
preparation to tackle the foothills of Rocky Mountains.
Mike ran a couple of km's, to run me out of his town. As
we were heading over some small inclines, I sarcastically
said "so, is this as tough as it's going to get through
the mountains?" He chuckled, "it's probably going
to be a little bigger, for sure." Once we reached one
of the hilltops, Mike thanked me for what I was doing in
Canada and wished me well, before heading back.
He left me with one of the most spectacular views of my
life, in the distance, 20 miles away, were the crystal blue,
ice capped Rocky Mountains. Finally I had to face my fear,
it's silly because for months now, I've been anticipating
this very moment with the mountains in touching distance,
however, for some reason I was no longer scared.
This had nothing to do about being brave, but more to do
with "embracing the fear". Let's face it, why
do we watch scary movies? Because deep down, fear is a human
sense that believe it or not, we want it, we thrive on it.
Once my legs got moving again, towards the mountains -
I was excited about the most difficult part of the journey.
My imagination and visions went crazy of being at the highest
summit - Rogers Pass - it gave me goose pimples.
About 5 miles in, the hills began to roll with steeper
inclines, I began to struggle, especially pushing obese
Caesar, weighing over 60kg. Ever since I visited the Suffield
army base camp, Caesar has piled on the weight (all essential
equipment of course) like a warmer sleeping bag, cooker
etc. But, to have gear to survive in the worse case scenario,
means I have to pay the price for it.
The inclines weren't the only issue, by mile six the headwind
grew, uncontrollably - even pushing Caesar on the downhills
was near impossible. Gusts of wind up to 45mph, I've never
in my life ran against that kind of wind, it was like pushing
a freight train.
I was screaming with frustration, I've just been awarded
with 'Male Runner of the Year', yet I didn't have the lung
capacity to battle through these conditions. Every minute
I had to stop for a 20 second break, to pant away like a
dog. Even giving it everything I had, I was now at crawling
pace - two miles an hour, the harder I pushed, the stronger
the wind grew.
I put my head down to stare at my feet, so I would be more
streamlined but witnessing my tiny baby steps, made me think
'Male Baby of the Year'. I would have been faster if I gotten
on my hands and knees to crawl.
After chipping away two more miles, taking another hour,
it dawned on me that pushing obese Caesar through the mountains
(with or without wind) is going to be a mammoth task on
Somehow, after many gradual hours, I reached mile 10. I
could see a petrol station a mile ahead, so I headed straight
After battling a further mile, I'd made it to the station,
apparently that was the only "thing" I was going
to see for another 23 miles. With it now getting dark, the
next place of civilization was too far away to continue
on. I asked to sleep somewhere, in or around the petrol
station but they weren't too keen, surprisingly. I did have
a tub of Christmas dinner though (from the day before) and
they let me use their microwave, happy days.
Nika and Mike who I stayed with the night before, already
called the petrol station (after seeing where I was on the
tracker) to see if I could sleep there. Once they knew I
couldn't, they had already prepared a car that I could sleep
I feel pretty pathetic and deflated after only covering
11 miles but I am comforted by knowing I've edged a little
closer to the "lump", the so called Rocky Mountains.
Another day or so and I'll be right in them and conquering
"I'm bigger than the Rockies", at least that's
what I keep telling myself.
27th December 2013
- My first official Date, in two years.
Here's a blog from Shannon Flynn who ran with me most of
"Four hours with Jamie McDonald
About 2 week ago my friend Kelly
posted about running with a guy who has been running across
Canada. I had never heard of him before. She said that I
should go out and run with him and that he was truly inspiring.
I was nervous when I woke up, I haven't
logged any serious km's since the summer (although having
5 marathons under my belt) I was worried about keeping up
with him. The wind was pretty bad before heading out. I
got to the gas station around 10:15am and couldn't find
him anywhere. His tracker said he was still there so I kept
searching. He was at the back of the lot, checking his tires
on Caesar, I was happy to see him. The guy who lent him
his vehicle from the night before said good-bye. Jamie then
went on to do his stretches before we left.
As he was in the gas station this
guy who had been sleeping outside beside his push bike,
asked me to take his picture. I was a little worried but
as I was talking with him he had mentioned that he had come
from the airport and was trying to catch up with Jamie McDonald.
I couldn't believe it, I told him, "he's inside",
he went crazy, he was so excited and couldn't believe his
luck! I think that's when I realized how much Jamie is inspiring
people in Canada and around the world, he's a big deal!
After Jamie and "Crazy Larry"
swapped stories we were off. We started heading west along
Hwy 1 and I offered to run with Caesar, I realize how heavy
it is to push a stroller (I have one of my own) and how
it's nice to not have that burden while running. Since I
was only running for a couple of hours I figured that I
could help out. We crossed the highway to run against the
traffic. It was a busy day out, with the sun shining, everyone
must be on Christmas vacation. We got a lot of honks and
I was so impressed at the semi's moving over to give us
space on the road. The first 2-3 km's were great, no wind
and it felt pretty warm.
A truck stopped, just up the road
and warned Jamie about the nasty weather coming in tomorrow
- everyone in the truck, including this sweet 80 year old
lady, gave him some money for the Alberta's Children's Hospital.
After about 10 minutes we set off
again, the wind picked up, nothing too crazy, not yet anyway.
After another couple of km's it picked up some more, I really
had to dig deep in helping push Caesar, I didn't complain
once though, how could I? Jamie does this EVERYDAY.
Jamie and I talked about his stationary
bike world record, where he had to be awake for 24 hrs without
sleep, then chose to be awake for 40 hrs because he couldn't
sleep at 24 hrs - (he was too excited). I asked if he was
a great partier back in his earlier days. He said "yes,
I channeled most of my energy into partying, I would always
attempt to be the last man standing. Although these years
feel kind of wasted, it helped build my personality. What's
great now is that I've finally found that by channelling
all of my energy into what I'm doing at present, it seems
to make a bigger difference." We talked about his family
and his support back in the UK and about all the wonderful
Canadians and people along his journey.
I mention that we have a lot of British
police at the Calgary Police Service, sure enough 10 minutes
later a family started walking towards us from a rest stop!
They are from the UK and her husband is a Calgary Police
officer now. Too funny how a story can turn into reality.
Her son and daughter asked their Mom to drive out to see
Jamie. It was so sweet, you can see he loves kids and you
can tell that he is inspiring them with his journey. We
stopped and warmed up in their car. It was great to get
out of the wind and stop the howling in the ear.
When we started again, this time
my legs were sore, I don't do rests very well. Jamie and
I talked about this and he says it is tough on him too but
the rests do help his recovery, long term - I'm guessing
he feels relief when stopping as well, Jamie is in pain
with every step.
We got to the start of the next hill
and I needed help with Caesar, so the two of us pushed him
up the hill, "double teaming" as Jamie puts it.
With the wind reaching up to 60km/h, it started to become
really tough so I eat an energy bar to regain some focus.
Jamie never eats or drinks while he runs, it really amazes
me. When people offered him water I was taking it and saying
thank you! I didn't have nearly enough with me, I couldn't
imagine being in these predicaments daily.
Jamie asked if we were near the mountains,
I said "no, you don't hit the mountains until Banff,
these are the foothills, or the warm up hills should I say."
I feel so bad, because Caesar is so hard to push on the
foothills, it's going to be gruelling when he hits the actual
I was happy to only be running for
a couple of hours with Jamie, I can't imagine doing this
for 10 months, especially through all weather conditions
that Canada continues to throw at him.
A blister started to form on my toe
but again, I said nothing to Jamie. Jamie's body is in a
real mess, but no matter what he continues on in such a
positive manner, a perfect running buddy.
We kept plugging along and hit the
bottom of Scott's Hill. I usually drive this hill, I had
no idea how brutal it was when running, intense would be
an understatement. As we tackled the climb, Jamie was now
pushing Caesar, at this point I seriously had no strength
left, especially against the wind and the steep incline.
I helped him out occasionally with the pushing, but I was
struggling. We seen a car up ahead and I thought it was
Kelly with our lunch but It wasn't. It was another lady
and her son from Longview, who have driven out to meet Jamie.
It's so surreal to see how he is inspiring so many people.
After they left we kept tackling
the hill, I was counting the minutes and seconds for it
At the top we seen Kelly! So excited,
we crossed the road to a safe stop, her kids Jack and Charlie
ran out to meet us. They have been following Jamie for weeks.
We got in the car and Kelly had lunch and hot drinks to
offer. 5 minutes later my sister pulled up to drive me home.
My stretch of running was over, phew...
I couldn't believe that Jamie was
going to continue on, I was completely exhausted - although
we only covered 17km's at this point, with the terrain,
elements and Caesar, it felt like we ran a marathon.
Thank you Jamie for letting me run
with you today. I know your journey will keep going and
you will continue to inspire and create change. Go Flash
The blog has finished from Shannon, so I'll be writing
Sitting in Kelly's car she went into a huge spiel, "I
have a date for you tonight, her name is Karli, she's my
friend, you are going to love her. She's bringing her camper
van out for you, along with a candle lit dinner." I
laughed my head off thinking she was joking, but she wasn't.
I was handed a bunch of flowers from Kelly "here,
I got these for you, to give to Karli". She REALLY
wasn't joking. As well as the situation being hilarious,
I was kind of nervous too, I hadn't been on a date for two
years - I've clearly been on the road too long.
Feeling total exhausted, I fell a sleep in the car, 5 minutes
later I woke up to hear 6yr old Charlie whispering "Mom,
I can't stay quiet anymore, I'm going stir crazy."
The kids we so quiet while I slept.
Revitalized I got out of the car and ran on, strongly.
Kelly said that she was going to tail me until my date arrived.
I did go over a hump, at 1500m, apparently this was one
of the highest summits on my route - over the last week
I've been climbing so gradually, I didn't even notice.
Once it became dark, I decided to find a spot off the highway,
away from the loud traffic, didn't really want the noise
to kill the mood of the candle lit dinner.
Once finding a nice spot, next to an Indian reserve. Ed
Paget turned up, from finding me on the tracker. He brought
beers with him, I sank one, I thought it would be perfect
to settle my nerves.
A couple of hours had passed and still no date, was this
girl playing hard to get?
Eventually Karli arrived in her huge, old school motor
home - when she got out she greeted me with a big hug. Karli
had been following my journey for months.
Karli went back into the home to lay out the table and
prepare the food, as well as lighting the candles. Whilst
she done this, Kelly passed me the flowers, so I quickly
pounced handing her a massive bouquet - she laughed her
head off but I could tell, it hit the spot, her cheeks went
Everyone had left, now it was just Karli and I, sitting
around the dinner table, it was time for Karli's turn to
get me back. She handed me a card, as I opened it, 200 dollars
fell out and it started to play a musical tune by Salt and
Pepa "what a man.... What a man... What a mighty good
man..." I opened up the card so the music stopped,
the card read "I think you are one of the most amazing,
inspirational people I have ever met. I hope to one day
have half the determination and drive that you do. I know
it gets hard to keep going sometimes, but I believe there
is no other crazy b*****d that could pull this off like
I know you will. Your almost there, and when you get there
that will be one of the most amazing days of your life.
And I hope your not to tired and sore to enjoy every second
of it. Keep fighting the good fight, you're my new hero
for sure." I was really touched by the lovely message,
when I closed it, the music kicked back in "what a
man.... What a...." We both laughed are heads off.
My first official date in two years, 23 marathons to go.
28th December 2013 - The Flash Freeze.
When I went to bed it was a balmy 5C outside, I already
made my mind up that the weather would be ok in the morning,
even though I heard that a Flash Freeze was on the way.
When I reached for the caravan door at 8am, you would of
thought by now that I would have understood what the word
"Flash" meant, but this had a whole new meaning,
within hours the temperature had dropped 25 degrees, making
it -20C. It's been over a week since I've ran in these kind
of temperatures, it felt like an arctic blast. I was totally
unsure about running on the highway after such a dramatic
temperature change, I thought the roads would be so dangerous
and icy - surely wet slush freezing would be disastrous?
I already talked myself out of running that day.
I decided to send out some tweets to get some feed back
to see if anyone knew of the current road conditions, to
see if it was too dangerous or not. I was faced with 95%
of the tweets telling me to not run, I already knew that
was going to be the response anyway. I lingered around in
the warm camper van, annoyed that I couldn't get out there
to run. Was I annoyed? Or was I happy that I didn't have
to run? Eventually, after a few hours had passed, I hoped
it was a situation where I made excuses not to run. So I
decided to physic myself up and make up reasons to get my
butt moving - the name of the storm jumped out at me, surely
I must run in the storm named after me, Flash Freeze.
After a ridiculously late start, 2pm. I knew I was going
to be running partly through the night, but as long as I
was out chipping away at the miles getting closer to Vancouver,
nothing else mattered.
For the first few kilometres, it was exactly how I thought
it would be on my second guess, the roads were fine. Amazing
how your mind tricks you in to thinking the worst, a mental
mechanism was used to try and stop me from running that
day, I know it. After conquering the few kilometres, I was
happy I turned the day around.
8 km in, Karli - my date from the night before, had arrived
to run me all the way to Stoney Nakoda Casino. At the beginning
of the run, Karli kept insisting to push Caesar, even up
steep inclines. I let her have a go on the first one and
soon she became seriously out of breath, I knew she would
of - because I would have been the same, even with a 177
marathons under my belt.
Watching Karli trying to help, sent my "man ego"
a little wild - it was now time for me to man up and take
the reigns so I made the decision right there and then to
take over Caesar, for the rest of the haul. The last time
my ego got the better of me, was back in the school days,
trying to bust out the caterpillar at the school disco,
thought I was way too cool for school I did. This time however
I was trying to be cool by pushing a baby stroller down
Every 10 minutes, Karli would say "Let me take him".
I would always reply with "No, Caesar is mine, I want
him, I need him, I will push him." The voices in my
head were on repeat, chanting "I'm the man, I'm the
man" I had to live up to the expectation of the card
she got me (with the musical tune) - "What a man, what
a mighty good man".
In the space of 5 minutes - 3 cars pulled in all to hand
over donations! One gentleman greeted me with a big hug
and said "I'm a runner myself and I think what you
are doing is just amazing. Here's everything I have."
He pulled out every single dollar he had in his wallet and
sincerely said "I don't even know what your cause is,
but whatever it is, it must mean a lot to you, so take it
all." Although $120 is a huge amount of money, the
way he handled the situation felt like he was handing over
a million dollars, what a boost.
Karli and I continued on and slowly it was becoming dark.
We were worried about the nightfall so we pulled over so
I could pull out my new, two flashing lights and put them
to the test. It just so happened that the lights strapped
perfectly to my chest, in front of my man nipples - Flash
with flashing boobies, so ridiculous.
As we continued in the dark, I noticed that Karli was really
starting to struggle. She would sneak in the odd walk every
once in awhile and then try to catch up with me. I continued
to run and I decided she needed a few simple words, "your
doing really well, Karli". She snapped back as if she
wasn't too happy with my praise, "no Jamie, your doing
really well!" Deep down in the situation I knew I wasn't
great either but through my experience, by the sound of
her voice, I knew she was really pushing her limit.
Sure enough, with 1km left to go, she said "you run
on Jamie, I'm going to have to walk the rest of the way".
I could feel it coming but I couldn't allow her to finish
like this and on her own, so I said "no worries, lets
just take a little break". Once we got going again,
she continued to shuffle her feet, trudging up hill and
I slowed down my run so she could stay with me the whole
way. I knew how she felt, I'd been there a million times
We eventually made it, although in the middle of no where,
we were at Stoney Nakoda, a Casino (I received a tweet earlier
that day to say the Casino was treating to me to a room).
I pushed Caesar into the Casino in search for the buffet
meal, to find a much bigger surprise, Crazy Larry! His eyes
were as wide as I remember them, "where did you go
Jamie? How did we miss each other, from the other day? I've
been searching for you for so long! You don't know how much
this means to me - Jamie, you're my Christmas present!"
He pleaded, "can I cycle next to you tomorrow?"
Before he went off to sleep in the bush, outside I said
"yes, of course you can crazy Larry." This man
was seriously determined to spend some time with me, I had
no idea what tomorrow would bring.
23 marathons left to go...
About to tackle my 178th marathon in 10 months, follow
my #tracker: jamiemcdonald.org lets do this! Entering the
Rockies into a 70kmh headwind, with team BATUS & crazy
Unreal running support which helped subside the pain &
a few hip, hip hoorays to finish the day. 22 marathons to
go! Made it to Deadman Flats and Copperstone resort for
#Marathon No 179, I think it's about time I call myself
a runner. Follow my #tracker: jamiemcdonald.org as I run
the Rocky Mountains.
Jamie is in Canmore today and the media
caught up with him
Another run through the Rockies to Canmore,
disappointingly not far enough but I am edging closer to
the Pacific Ocean. 21 marathons to go.
Today I found out about
a guy called Kevin Thomson.
In March 1999, Kevin began a run without a support team
across Canada from Vancouver to Newfoundland, where I started
my run. He finished on December the 30th, having aimed to
reach the end of his run in time for the New Year and to
celebrate the new millennium as it reached Canada. (All
of this is documented at www.runninginto2000.com)
When I found out about Kevin, I felt a few things. Firstly,
awe and respect for a man who’s achieved something
I’ve dreamt about every night for nearly a year and
then, disappointment. I’ve ran almost 4,500 miles,
a marathon most days in weather recently as bad as -40 with
the aim of becoming the first person in history to cross
Canada without a support team and now, as I’m nearing
the end and preparing to give it everything in the hardest
part of my journey, the Rockies in winter, to find out somebody
did it 14 years ago is a bit of a blow. It shouldn’t
be, but finding motivation where I can is something I’ve
gotten good at and this was another of those things, something
that kept me going, just like the time goal I had when I
beat the world record on the static bike.
Straight away I had a horrible feeling in my stomach and
I knew I wouldn’t be true to myself if I didn’t
congratulate Kevin and acknowledge what an amazing achievement
it is to do what he has done as it must be a horrible feeling
to achieve it and have some guy from England steal his glory!
Today, New Year’s Eve, couldn’t be more perfect
a day to do it, on the 14th anniversary of his finish.
As I think he lives in Vancouver, it’d be great to
shake his hand at the end, look him in the eye and just
know what he had to do to get through the adventure. As
he said in a very kind message he sent, “More people
should undertake these types of adventures, and we should
all be encouraging of such.” I can’t help but
feel a bit gutted but know this is the right thing to do
and am sure some of you might like to congratulate him on
his run's anniversary.
Happy New Year!
Kevin Thomson replies:
Hey Jamie, thanks for the shout
out, but there is no diminishing anyone's effort even when
learning of other peoples adventures. I suspect there was
someone who ran across Canada self-supported even before
me, but they flew way under the radar so I never found out
about them. Regardless, each journey is as unique as each
person that undertakes it. You have inspired thousands of
people and I know that if there should be someone who chooses
to do a self-supported run across Canada in the future,
you would be the first in line to cheer them on and tell
them the same thing I'm telling you. It's an incredible
life-changing experience with the power to do much good.
I do hope to see you at the finish line to feel the power
of good people chasing dreams and all that means for a hopeful
world. Happy New Year to you!
Finally - Banff National Park
Dec 31 He's here! MrJamieMcDonald at Banff
NP, a very warm welcome!
Dec 31 Entrance to Banff town. Great running
with @MrJamieMcDonald today. Swapped some stories about
the TCH, low points and high. Amazing guy!