Legendary ‘Marathon Man’ Gary McKee is coming to Media City and Manchester Sat Nov 19 0730, as a one off, to complete his 323rd marathon – and first this year outside of Cumbria – and to later hook up with KEVIN SINFIELD as he completes his latest 7/7 ultra challenge at OLD TRAFFORD that evening.
Gary, from Cleator Moor, Cumbria, is running a marathon every single day this year for his Three Six Five Challenge in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and Hospice at Home West Cumbria. www.justgiving.com/fundraising/threesixfive
On Saturday, 19th November, Gary will run around Media City with Manchester-based supporters and clinicians, before taking part in Stretford Park Run, where he will be joined by hundreds of running well-wishers including Altrincham prostate cancer patient Tony Collier, who is running his own 5k 365 challenge.
Then in the afternoon Gary will head to the Rugby League World Cup fiinal, where he will greet fellow charity marathon legend, Kevin Sinfield, who will complete his own 7/7 challenge that day.
Then on Sunday 20 November, 1pm – 6pm, Gary will be undertaking 105 laps of the London Community Track at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, where he’ll join fundraiser Shree Laturia and the East End Road Runners, who have run a few marathons with Gary in Cumbria.
Gary admits this will be his toughest physical challenge yet (when completed, he will have run more than 9,500 miles) not to mention his most ambitious fundraising challenge – he is hoping to raise £1 million.
The 53-year-old, who has supported Macmillan for over 18 years, said: “I’m really looking forward to running my 323rd marathon of the year around the great sights of Manchester accompanied by some fellow runners and fundraisers.
Gary said: “I’ve run the same route around my hometown Cleator Moor for all my marathons so far this year except for two in the summer, and so a change of scenery is going to be lovely.
“I’ve always seen the challenge as a day at a time, a 365-piece jigsaw, each day regardless of the weather I lace up my shoes and put one foot in front of the other for 26.2 miles.
“I’ve only ever looked at it as a day at a time, you don’t look any further than the day after when you’re doing your run – you focus on what you’re doing and setting yourself up for the following day.
“If I can support people going through cancer and other life-limiting illnesses while inspiring people to get out there and fundraise themselves, then every marathon I do every day is worth the effort.”
Gary is no stranger to tough challenges and over the years, his fundraising feats have included jumping from aeroplanes, climbing Kilimanjaro and cycling through Brazil. In 2017, Gary was the recipient of Fundraiser of the Year for the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain awards after running 100 marathons in 100 days to raise £100k for Macmillan and only last year, he completed 110 marathons in 110 days, raising an incredible £200k.
The dad-of-three was inspired to start fundraising for Macmillan after his father was diagnosed with cancer in 1997; his father died from an unrelated illness in 2003. He turned to running as a positive way of keeping his father’s memory alive while helping millions of people suffering from cancer. He has been hugely inspirational to those who follow him.
Tony Collier said: “The task that Gary has taken on is gargantuan. I’ve run many marathons but the thought of doing two days on the trot let alone 365 days just staggers me. I wasn’t able to walk the day after most of my marathons.
“The funds that Gary is raising are going to two great causes. As a cancer patient I’ve been very grateful for the work that Macmillan do to support people like me and would like to thank Gary for raising so much to support that work and the vital work of the wonderful Hospice At Home West Cumbria. It truly makes a difference.”
Aggie Sheppard, Macmillan Cancer Support’s Fundraising Lead for the North of England, said: “We’d like to thank Gary for his amazing commitment to raise funds for two causes close to his heart. His efforts last year were extraordinary enough, but the scale and ambition of this 365 Challenge are almost incomprehensible. We know Gary is inspired by the three million people who are living with cancer in the UK. He says that if they can undergo the rigours of treatment and the many challenges that cancer brings, then he can put himself through this. Nearly all (98%) of Macmillan’s funding comes directly from donations. It’s only through our fantastic fundraisers like Gary that Macmillan can continue to deliver the services that people living with cancer desperately need, now and in the future.”
Stella Walsh, Hospice At Home West Cumbria Marketing and Income Generation Team Leader said:
We are honoured that Gary is supporting Hospice at Home West Cumbria by undertaking this incredible challenge, as a small local charity the difference Gary is making is immeasurable. His dedication and determination to running a marathon every single day is inspiring, and the support from people both locally and nationally has been amazing. The money Gary is raising is helping us care for patients and families in our community who are going through the most difficult time in their lives. We are looking forward to supporting Gary and his team this weekend in London and through the last couple of months of this epic challenge.”
Gary is appealing for everyone to once again get behind him and help him reach his phenomenal target.
To register to run alongside him on the 20th November, visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/garys-365-run-a-long-tickets-443929062777
Or to sponsor Gary, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/threesixfive
To share Gary’s journey, follow him on the ‘365 Marathon Man’ Facebook page. The page will give daily updates and information about how you can sponsor one of his running vests.