Running America by Jamie McDonald

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.

Buy Running America here

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.

OUR RATING:
4/5
YOUR RATING:
0.0/5

"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"

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Global - Virtual

Elevation

A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for

For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Elevation

An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for

Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Brutal

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude)

Suitable for

Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Expert

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat)

Suitable for

Experienced runners who have completed at least 4 ultras in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Advanced

Elevation

Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Intermediate

Elevation

Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed at least one ultra in last 6 months or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Beginner

Elevation

Very little change < 500 metres

Suitable for

First ultra event. Runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running (>26 miles) in the last 6 months.