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Aaron Morris

Cumbria 'Marathon Man' Gary McKee completes 365th fundraiser of 2022

A Cumbria fundraiser extraordinaire has completed his resolution of running a marathon for every day of 2022, raising almost £1 million for charities across the UK.

53-year-old Gary McKee from Cleator Moor this afternoon raised his arms in victory as he was cheered on by a crowd of supporters while completing his 365th marathon of the year.

As of 4pm today, he had successfully raised in excess of £890,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support, as well as Hospice at Home West Cumbria - narrowly short of his £1 million target for 2022.

Read more: Meet the unsung North East heroes named in the 2023 New Year Honours list

The beloved father-of-three has burned through 22 pairs of trainers, running 9,563 miles in rain, snow and sun to raise money for charities close to home. He often ran a 26.2 mile route in the morning before starting his shift at Sellafield's nuclear site.

At the starting line of his 365th marathon in Cleator Moor on Saturday morning, he told BBC One’s Breakfast programme: “The support has been phenomenal and it always is. 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 (Andy Commins / Daily Mirror)

“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.”

Director of funding and communications for Hospice At Home West Cumbria, Hayley McKay, added: “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.”

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.”

With his endeavours, Gary has sparked a wave of inspiration and hopes that others will follow suit and do their bit for charity.

Chris Young, 29, who ran 90 marathons with Gary, said: “Gary ignited a fire in my belly this year when I began running frequently with him and has given me both physical and mental resilience that I don’t know if I would have ever discovered in myself in a million years. I know I don’t just speak for myself on that front as he has inspired not just me or the few, but the entire local community and beyond.

“This challenge has raised a phenomenal amount of money for two fantastic charities, but the impact Gary has provided to the community and people around him is immeasurable. There’s going to be a lot of people’s lives a lot better off thanks to Gary’s efforts, myself included.”

Elsewhere, England rugby coach Kevin Sinfield joined Gary for a run and described his challenge as 'mind-blowing'. He said: “He’s a brilliant man and it was an honour to be with him in Cumbria to support what he’s doing.

“He supported me in my last challenge and it was really nice to get together and run and chat and laugh with him.”

To donate to Gary's cause, go to

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