British charity runner mistaken for Mexican drug runner by US border guards

Image: Instagram/mrjamiemcdonald

Jamie McDonald, a 31-year-old runner from Gloucester is currently running coast to coast across the United States to raise money for sick children, yet got a shock when he was stopped in the early hours of the morning by US offices who had mistaken him as someone who was “part of the drugs cartel”.

Also in the news this week: Volunteer race stewards at Hull marathon attacked by motorists angry at road closures 

McDonald was wearing a high visibility vest and holding a torch as he ran through the night on the latest leg of his 6,000 mile run. He filmed the whole thing, and can be seen being stopped by an officer who asks “what are you doing out here”. McDonald explains in his video “apparently someone called through to say there was someone suspicious running through the night with a torch. Which was me.”

Minutes later five cars and two quad bikes appeared, “I was scared, especially with so many vehicles swooping in and the guy in the video to start with was handling it all very seriously”, McDonald says in his video.

Luckily McDonald had his passport to hand and was able to clear up the misunderstanding and set off again on his marathon adventure, which he started in April. Despite the pitch-black settings, McDonald often runs through the night to avoid the 50C desert heat.

This is not McDonald’s first expedition of this kind, back in 2014 he spent a year running across Canada, raising more than £100,000 for charities including Great Ormond Street. McDonald spent the early years of his life in and out of hospital suffering with a rare spinal condition; syringomyelia, that affected his mobility. At aged 9, and against all odds, his symptoms eased and he became more active. 

McDonald still has around 5,000 miles to go to complete his challenge. To find out more about his challenge, or donate to his cause take a look at McDonald’s website