Charity runner closes in on £1,000,000 target with 365th marathon of the year


The 53-year-old nuclear worker, of course, celebrated with a beer (Picture: PA)

A man has raised nearly £1million for charity after running a marathon every day this year.

Gary McKee, 53, raised his arms in triumph today when he completed his 365th marathon in Cleator Moor, Cumbria.

The father-of-three has run a sprawling 9,563 miles through, rain, sleet, snow and sunshine to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support and Hospice At Home West Cumbria.

McKee has worn down 22 pairs of trainers as he ran 26.2 miles (the average length of a marathon) every morning before work.

The nuclear site Sellafield group leader finished his final marathon at around 2pm as crowds cheered him on.

Speaking at the starting line at Cleator Moor, he told BBC One’s Breakfast programme: ‘The support has been phenomenal and it always is and the West Cumbrians get behind us, but cancer affects everybody so it isn’t just a West Cumbrian thing, it’s a national thing.

Gary McKee has climbed mountains and leapt from planes – but running every day for a year was his ‘biggest challenge’ (Picture: PA)

‘I just hope that people do get behind us and we do raise that million pounds. If we don’t, it won’t be because I haven’t run 365 marathons.

‘We’ll celebrate the day, have a good laugh on the route and I’m looking forward to finishing.’

Leaders of the two charities McKee raised money for praised the marathon man for his efforts.

Hospice At Home West Cumbria funding and communications director Hayley McKay, said: ‘It’s difficult to put into words how grateful we are to Gary for taking on this unbelievable challenge.

‘The physical and mental strength he has shown is incomprehensible.

‘Gary has not only raised money for two fantastic charities, he has sprinkled magic on the local community and brought people together supporting him with the challenge.’

We imagine McKee is ringing in the new year with his feet up (Picture: PA)

He ran more than 26 miles every day this year (Picture: PA)

Macmillan Cancer Support executive director of fundraising Claire Rowney added: ‘Gary’s achievement and selflessness is off the scale.

‘Every single day this year, this extraordinary man has put his body through a marathon to raise money for Macmillan and our friends at Hospice At Home West Cumbria.

‘I can only imagine the self-discipline and determination required to achieve this and there aren’t enough words to express our heartfelt gratitude for everything that he has done to help Macmillan support people living with cancer at a time when they need us more than ever.’

McKee has raised more than £991,00 for charity, with nearly 30,000 people chipping some pounds in.

He said: ‘I’ve been a fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Support for almost 20 years and in that time I’ve cycled through Brazil, climbed Kilimanjaro and trekked through New Zealand.

‘I’ve jumped out of aeroplanes, walked across hot coals and rowed the equivalent distance of the English Channel (and then back).’

But running a marathon every day for a year, he said, ‘will be the biggest challenge I’ve ever taken part in’.

Posting his final marathon route on the JustGiving page, McKee said: ‘Job done.’

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