In the final hours of 2022, a British man achieved the goal he had set for the year: to raise one million pounds for the fight against cancer by running 365 marathons in 365 days.
Gary McKee, 53, ran his 365th marathon of the year on Saturday December 31st, in the winter rain. He was welcomed by a small group of people who came to support him not far from his home in the UK. During 2022, he ran a total of 15,330 kilometers. According to BBC, McKee went through more than 20 pairs of running shoes.
It was fantastic seeing everybody there. It’s something I’ll always remember.Gary McKee
McKee spoke with the specialized website runnersworld.com and said that he was not too interested in an eventual homologation of his achievement as a record. “It’s not the record that counts, it’s helping people.”
On the start line earlier in the day, he told BBC he had received enormous support but was “a little bit nervous” ahead of the final challenge. According to the same British network, the director of funding and communications for Hospice At Home West Cumbria, Hayley McKay, said that it was difficult to put into words how grateful they were to Gary McKee for taking on that unbelievable challenge.
The father of three, who lives in Cleator Moor in northwest England, reached his financial goal a few hours later, getting to the £1 million (1.13 million euros) mark on the evening of the last day of the year, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. The counter continued to climb on Sunday.
This is not McKee’s first charity challenge, having already cycled across Brazil, climbed Kilimanjaro and rowed the equivalent distance of the English Channel. In 2017 he ran 100 marathons in 100 days and in 2021 he achieved 110 in 110 days.
The streets were lined. It was raining, but everybody was out clapping and shouting.Gary McKee
This year he raised the bar considerably. Numerous anonymous runners and even athletes, such as English rugby coach Kevin Sinfield, joined his runs, often in the mornings before working in the afternoons at a nuclear waste treatment plant.
“I can only imagine the self-discipline and determination required to achieve this,” Claire Rowney, Macmillan Cancer Support executive director of fundraising told BBC. “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.”