Book Review: Adventureman by Jamie McDonald

I follow a few different adventurers on Instagram, including Mark Beaumont, Sean Conway and Anna McNuff. A while ago they were all re-posting photos of this strange individual, dressed as a funny superhero, who was attempting to break the world record for the furthest distance ran on a treadmill in one week. I immediately started to follow him, willing him on, as he managed to add 11 miles onto the existing record, with a new world record of 524 miles. Amazing or bonkers? He is probably about 50:50 in my eye.

Anna McNuff is another amazing character as she spent most of last summer running barefoot around the UK, raising money for charity and encouraging women and girls that they could do anything they put their minds to. As a thank you to all of her supporters, she released one of her earlier e-books for a limited time at a knock down price on Amazon. The book in question was her account of running the whole spine of New Zealand. I will blog about it soon, but in the book she describes the beginning of her relationship with Jamie. They currently live together and look incredibly happy.

With a bit more time on my hands with the lock down, I thought that it was about time that I downloaded Jamie’s book, which has the tagline “Anyone can be a superhero”.

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Jamie was in and out of hospital a lot as a child, which is the main reason why he does these crazy challenges, to raise money for children’s hospitals. Exercise helped him, especially tennis, but he gave that up when he realised that he wasn’t good enough to turn professional. He went back to school, re-took his GCSEs, and was looking for a normal life when he decided to cycle half way round the world, where he learned about the stationary bike world record. Upon his return he had an attempt on the record, breaking it with 268 hours of continuous cycling (with only one hours rest a day).

From there he took it up a notch, with a challenge to run across Canada, the equivalent of just over 200 marathons. This is the main body of the book and I guarantee that you will laugh and cry numerous times. He meets some amazing people, mostly complete strangers who feed him and give him places to stay, or randomly hand him money. Obviously it takes a huge toll on him physically and mentally, and there are many times when we have no idea if he will make it, especially as he had to run over the Rockies in winter.

He ended up raising half a million pounds. I’ll say that again – HALF A MILLION POUNDS!

I’m struggling to put into words just how impressive and inspiring Jamie is. If you only read one adventure book, this is the one to buy. Best book that I’ve read this year. He also ran across America, which I am hoping that during this lock down he is currently writing about. The day it’s released I will be purchasing a copy.