For most people, running even one marathon seems unthinkable. Completing one every day for a year would appear downright impossible. But one man has proven that it’s not, and in doing so, he has inspired thousands of people and significantly helped a good cause.
Fifty-three-year-old Gary McKee completed his 365th marathon of 2022 on New Year’s Eve. Over the year, he raised more than $1.3 million for charity.
McKee’s father was diagnosed with cancer in 1997. Although he died several years later from an unrelated illness, the avid runner has continued his efforts to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support and Hospice at Home West Cumbria.
More than 100 people ran a marathon with him over the course of the year, and several dozen cycled alongside him. His wife, Susan, and three children, Alfie, Beau and Minnie, also provided support and encouragement.
McKee and others have been documenting his journey online, on a Facebook page called Marathon Man 365. Here he is on Christmas, wearing an appropriate costume for his daily run:
“My wife always has sandwiches and cakes made up, so we can always replenish and go again,” he told The Sun. “Susan’s always supported everything I’ve ever done. When I told her it would be difficult, the first thing she said to me was, ‘Well, you’re still going to do it anyway, aren’t you?'”
After accomplishing his challenge, he shared a photo on his Facebook page, surrounded by some of the runners he has inspired.
“Give a man a fish you feed him for a day, teach him to fish you feed him for life.” he wrote in the post. “My job here is done. Believe.”
McKee is no stranger to running challenges. In 2021, he ran 110 marathons to raise money for several charities. He typically runs his 26.2-mile route in the mornings before working afternoon shifts at a nuclear plant.
“My company has been good about allowing me to work from home a bit too, which has been great as it takes any time out of the commute and allows me to recover quicker,” McKee told Runner’s World.
Around 35,390 supporters donated 1,131,168 English pounds (almost $1,354,000), surpassing his fundraising goal of 1,000,000 pounds.
“The achievement and the money raised by Gary will make a huge difference to people living with cancer at what has been an acutely challenging time during the pandemic,” Sue McDonald, Macmillan fundraising manager for Cumbria, told ITV.
Here’s a post he made after the goal was met, showing his family:
Many see McKee as a hero, but he has a humbler perspective on his accomplishments.
“What I’m doing is no more than what I feel I’m capable of doing, and I suppose if we all did a bit more of what we are capable of, then the world would be a better place,” McKee told Cumbria Crack.