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British man finishes 365 marathons in a year for charity

January 1, 2023

Gary McKee ran a 26-mile test of endurance every day during 2022, raising over a million pounds for two charities. The father of three has worn out 22 pairs of sneakers in a single year.

Gary McKee pictured beating his personal record by completing day 111 of his marathon challenge on April 21, 2022
Gary Mckee ran 365 marathons in 365 daysImage: Elwyn Evans/PA Wire/picture alliance

A British man celebrated the New Year by completing a challenge to run a marathon every day of 2022 and raising more than 1 million pounds (€1.13 million, $1.21 million) for charity. The 42.2 kilometer (over 26 miles) race is one of the hardest endurance challenges for athletes.

Gary McKee, 53, completed his 365th marathon in as many days under the rain in his native Cumbria, in northwest England on Sunday.

McKee began the endurance test on January 1, 2022 hoping to raise money for cancer charity Macmillian Cancer Support and Hospice at Home West Cumbria, which provides end-of-life care.

Over the past year, the father-of-three ran nearly 15,400 kilometers through rain, snow and sunshine and has worn through 22 pairs of sneakers.

Same route before work

Mckee always ran the same route every day, apart from five organized marathons and would often complete his daily goal before heading off to work at a nuclear power plant at nearby Sellafield.

By Monday afternoon, he had raised 1,100,096 British pounds, according to the JustGiving.com fundraising website.

Mckee has been raising money for Macmillan for two decades, following his father’s cancer diagnosis in 1997, British media reported.

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As he crossed the finish line on Sunday, he told the BBC that "the streets were lined. It was raining, but everybody was out clapping and shouting. It was fantastic seeing everybody there. It’s something I’ll always remember."

Achievement 'off the scale'

Macmillan Cancer Support executive director of fundraising Claire Rowney paid tribute to Gary's "achievement and selflessness" which she said was "off the scale."      

"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," she added.

'Me against the road'

During his endeavor, McKee was asked by the Guardian newspaper about where he got the motivation for the daily marathons.

"It’s no good telling people you’re going to do something and then finding an excuse not to do it. I find a reason to do it. If you break it down, it is just me against the road and there's only one winner," he said.

The runner was occasionally joined by high-profile supporters, including England rugby union defense coach Kevin Sinfield.

"He's a brilliant man and it was an honor to be with him in Cumbria to support what he's doing," said Sinfield.

Mckee has already taken part in 70-mile bike rides through Brazil for charity and previously ran 100 marathons in 100 days and 110 marathons in 110 days.

With material from Agence France-Presse.