They say never judge a book by its cover and this is that book! The title is a bit of a misnomer and I implore you to read it to the very end. It’s a book of two stories; with the finishing accomplishment somewhat eclipsing the majority of the book.
Jamie is a serial adventure travel fund raiser, who has previously run across Canada and before that some bike ride home from the far East. Indeed he set up his own charitable foundation, Adventureman.org supporting a cause rooted in his own childhood illness.
The story reveals him as a lovable character and a bit of a clown, but his previous exploits point to a determined and successful man. Whilst I’m not a fan of charity runs, this is far from one.
Unsupported and pushing his belongings in a trolley he takes the best part of a year to ‘run’ from the West tip of US to the Eastern tip, via a deep Southernly loop through twenty four states. He visits a number of children’s hospitals along the route, with his journey being illuminated by the varying seasons, and meetings with many people and characters along the way. He shies away from any detailed planning, relying on the kindness and support of those he meets on his route. He’s not from the typical ultra runner mold, but tells a story of adventure, endurance and challenge.
‘Dream big’, they say. The cover depicts him dressed as his alter ego ‘ Adventureman’ and the title belies a glorious second part to the book. I won’t reveal the ending but the record breaking isn’t done in the USA.
The human dynamics of the first adventure contrast acutely with the second; such a contrast in style and ethos from the self-propelled transient lifestyle of the America run to the ultimate recording breaking run, and a very powerful experience for him and his team.
Like any ultra run – stick with it.
About the author: Joe Faulkner is the man behind NAV4 Adventure with a long history of off-road running, adventure racing and mountain skills training. He created The Great Lakeland 3 Day Mountain Trial, Haweswater Half Marathon and the Tour de Helvellyn.