Gary McKee: The Daily Marathon Runner


Jonathan Buscher

Although running is a pastime enjoyed by many around the world, very few run marathons, and even fewer run one every single day. Gary McKee is one of those few; in 2022, he ran a full marathon, all 26.2 miles, all 365 days of the year. This feat represented a total of 9,500 miles, a distance that measures across the width of the United States a full three times. 

Originally from Cleator Moor, Cumbria, McKee’s accomplishment is even more impressive given his personal life. Not only does he have three children, but he also went to work most days after his marathon in the morning at the Sellafield nuclear plant. During his time leading up to his final run on New Year’s Eve, McKee went through a full 20 pairs of running shoes, which is unsurprising given the number of miles the endeavor took. For his last marathon, McKee finished to a crowd of clapping supporters, despite the rain, along with celebratory fireworks near his home in Cumbria. To conclude his journey that started on January 1, 2022, McKee exclaimed that “It was fantastic seeing everybody there. It’s something I’ll always remember.”

McKee didn’t just do this for his own personal glory or even enjoyment. Instead, he had begun his marathon goal with the mission of gaining awareness for cancer and raising donations for both Macmillan Cancer Support and the West Cambria Hospice at Home. In a statement to BBC prior to his final run, McKee noted that “It’s not the distance, it’s because it’s the last one. It’ll be a special day. Cancer affects everybody so it isn’t just a West Cumbrian thing, it’s a national thing.” After his marathon, it was revealed that McKee had made over £1 million to be donated to his two charitable organizations. Despite this terrific news, McKee spoke relatively nonchalantly to BBC News, stating that “we’ve got the job done.” 

The West Cambria Hospice at Home and Macmillan Cancer Support, on the other hand, were ecstatic. Hayley McKay, a representative of the West Cambria Hospice at Home, “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.” Quite similarly, Claire Rowney, who acts as the executive director of fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support, remarked, “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.” Both were spoken to by BBC, and Gary McKee is clearly making waves, not only within the West Cambria community but even at an international level.