West Cumbria fundraising legend Gary McKee has raised more than £52,000 for charity as he passes the halfway point of his challenge to run 110 marathons in 110 days.
He is raising cash for Macmillan Cancer Support and West Cumbria Hospice at Home by completing multiple circuits of a carefully mapped out route around his home in Cleator Moor.
Gary, 51, said: “I can’t thank people enough for their generosity, especially during a lockdown that has caused so much economic and social hardship.
“My own family has been incredibly supportive with all three of my kids committing to daily exercise bike challenges and fundraising to support my two chosen charities.
“We talk about cancer and what charities like Macmillan Cancer Support and West Cumbria Hospice at Home do for people at their time of greatest need.
“I’ve often explained to the kids that raising £50 can mean providing a food blender for someone with throat cancer.”
Gary’s children 16-year-old Alfie, 13-year-old Beau and eight-year-old Minnie have all been involved in daily exercise bike challenges while their dad continues with his own feat.
“People have said to me that my father, who was diagnosed with cancer and is no longer alive, would be very proud of me, which is lovely but I’m only really getting a true understanding of that through pride in my own kids.
“What they’re doing on a daily basis is so impressive; especially now that the schools are back and they need to be determined and organised with their time and commitment, which they have been.
“I also want to thank my support team who’ve been so needed, along with the wonderful good wishes of people I’ve seen along the way.”
Two friends of Gary have been so inspired they’ve accompanied him on many of his marathons whilst smashing their own personal goals.
Kevin Hetherington and Michael Watson, both of Whitehaven, have put in some impressive socially distanced mileage. Kevin in particular is aiming to complete 55 marathons in the same time frame as Gary’s 110 and has already raised more than £11,000 himself for the same two charities.
Meanwhile Gary’s son Alfie and nephew, Stuart McKee, have got on their bikes for a similar epic challenge and are also halfway through cycling 110 marathons in 110 days – and have so far raised over £1,000.
Sue McDonald, fundraising manager for Macmillan, said: “What Gary has done in terms of inspiring the people of Cleator Moor, the surrounding area, Cumbria at large and beyond is truly amazing.
“This is an acutely challenging time for people with cancer, the NHS and for cancer care and Macmillan is here to do whatever it takes to support people with cancer.
“So, on behalf of all those we’ve helped thank you Gary and family.”
To support Gary and his fundraising total, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GaryMcKee1