British man running across Canada beaten and mugged in Alberta

Jamie McDonald, of Gloucester, England, stands in front of the Welcome to Banff sign as he enters...

Jamie McDonald, of Gloucester, England, stands in front of the Welcome to Banff sign as he enters the community on New Year's Eve. McDonald is running across Canada to raise funds for sick children in the United Kingdom and Canada. He was mugged and beaten up during the early hours of New Year's Day. Dave Husdal /QMI Agency

Michael Platt, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:11 PM ET

CALGARY -- A small bump on the head for man, a giant black eye for Canada.

At least that's how a cowardly Banff, Alta., mugging is playing out internationally, after three thugs decided to beat and rob a random tourist during New Year's celebrations in the mountain town.

The crime itself is bad enough -- but these gutless muggers happened to choose a man on a benefit run across Canada, whose past heroic exploits in the name of sick children's charities have made him a household name back in the United Kingdom.

"I've got a bit of a whacking headache. I got hammered quite a few times by some blows to the head," is how Jamie McDonald described the attack to BBC News, sharing similar words with The Independent, Sky News, The Guardian, and so on.

If the attention of some of the world's top news organizations wasn't enough, the Banff beating was also hot fodder on social media, where McDonald's Facebook and Twitter comments described the ordeal.

"So I just got beat up, I couldn't give a s--t but my MAN BAG that got left behind, has my world behind it. Video footage and more," McDonald wrote on his Twitter account early New year's Day.

His request for help on Facebook resulted in more than 300 comments, most expressing disgust and dismay.

"Putting a call out -- my bag was taken on New Years Eve in Banff, everything I own. Including my hard drive, camera, and my wallet and all my positions. Please RT; help find it, the bag could be worth a million dollars in fundraising, please help," wrote McDonald.

The bag was later found intact, near the scene of the crime -- but the damage to Canada's reputation remains.