Where Ya Headed?: Travelers of FS

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Look, towards the Interstate 10. It’s not a bird or a plane – it's Adventureman! Philanthropist Jamie McDonald, 32, was spotted running past the local McDonald’s and into the Fairfield Inn & Suites parking lot in his “Adventureman” costume on Friday, Sept. 28.

With a smile on his face and a cape on his back, he was happy to explain where he was headed and why he’s been wearing a costume before Halloween,

“My name is Jamie, but please, just call me Adventureman,” said McDonald. “I’m from England, so this is my very first time to ever see Fort Stockton. All I’ve seen is this hotel and the McDonald’s so far, but it looks clean here. The cars were honking as I was running in, so that’s already a good sign. Something tells me that this town is a very warm community.”

Closing in on 105 marathons, McDonald has raised more than $500,000 for children’s charities through his “bigger-than-life adventures.” He is more than 2,600 miles into a 6,000-mile coast-to-coast run across the United States dressed as Adventureman.

McDonald said he spent the first nine years of his life in and out of hospitals with a rare spinal condition called syringomyelia. Combined with a very weak immune system and epilepsy, his health was very poor, leading his family to fear that he might lose his mobility altogether. At nine years old, and against the odds, his symptoms eased, allowing him to slowly become more active. Now, he runs to help children who are in and out of hospitals like he once was.

“Sometimes I couldn’t even move my legs,” he said. “But as you can see, I’m fit and healthy now. I have another 125 marathons to go before my Visa runs out. Hopefully I get to make it. I did a Canada run about five years ago dressed up as the popular superhero known as the Flash. At the end of it, BBC wanted to do a documentary, but there was a copy right issue with being dressed up as the Flash. I really wanted to get the word out and help more children’s hospital, so I decided to create my own superhero. For me, it’s about giving back and helping sick kids around the world. That’s my superpowers.”

McDonald launched a social media competition for parents to have their children create a superhero for him to embody. The winner was a 12-year-old boy from England who drew a character named Adventureman. An additional Facebook follower saw the winning superhero concept and had the drawing fabricated into a real costume by a Canadian designer who makes ice hockey jerseys.

Exhausted from his morning run, Adventureman plopped onto a couch in the hotel lobby and spoke on his experience traveling the long stretches of West Texas on foot.

“I had a 26-mile run this morning” he said. “I stayed the night at really new truck stop near that Balmorhea town. I rolled my mat out – I was too exhausted to even set up my tent. I got a few hours of sleep, but a guy that was working there woke me up. He warned me that I should probably sleep on top of the bench. He said the rattlers were out and they’d probably detect my heat. I didn’t want to wake up to a rattler, so that was very nice of him. Just this morning, I saw a rattler on the roadside. I’ve seen quite a few now. This week they’ve been everywhere. The runs are long, but Texas is starting to get greener and the temperature is dropping slightly. A lot fresher here than it was in Phoenix. My next big city is Austin. That’s where I’m headed.”

One of McDonald’s courteous Facebook followers put him up for a night at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in town. The next day, Adventureman paid a visit to Iraan where he enjoyed himself a rack of ribs at Macy’s barbecue.

Of course, his plate of ribs came with some cold sweet tea, a side of beans and a thick slice of white bread like a true Texan. After rubbing his belly in Iraan, McDonald set out to cover more ground.

Every man needs an adventure and Adventureman has found his to be helping sick children. To track the caped contributor, visit www.jamiemcdonald.org/tracker.

Supporters around the world can donate at www.superherofoundation.org/donate/

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