By Rachael Grealish
Cumbria’s Marathon Man is taking his running to the next level as Gary McKee will participate in the Grand To Grand Ultra.
Just months after he completed the unprecedented challenge of running a marathon every day for a year, for charity, he’s announced the next challenge will be the 171-mile foot race in the US.
The announcement the Marathon Man would be taking on the enormous feat was made on social media yesterday, March 26, when it was casually stated on his Facebook page: “ICYMI – Gary will be taking part in this year’s GRAND TO GRAND ULTRA.”
The G2G is a self-supported foot race beginning at the Grand Canyon on September 24, 2023 – one of the seven natural wonders of the world – and finishing at the summit of the Grand Staircase, on September 30, 2023.
The course covers approx 171 miles (275 km) spread over 6 stages in 7 days, during which participants will encounter a mix of desert and other terrains including hard-packed sand, soft sand, sand dunes, forest trails, red rock climbs, rocky roads and slot canyons.
The finish line is on the summit of the Pink Cliffs of the Grand Staircase and provides participants with a rewarding view back over the course, from an altitude of 8698 feet (2651 meters).
So why would someone put themselves through that? Gary told The Herdwick News it’s once again all to see if he can raise money to help other people.
“It’s billed as one of the toughest stage races in the world so I thought I’d give it a go and help other people by raising money for charity at the same time,” he said.
Gary spent every day last year running a marathon to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support and Hospice at Home West Cumbria and managed to fundraise over £1 million.
In the past Gary has completed 100 marathons in 100 days, 110 marathons in 110 days, cycled through Brazil, climbed Kilimanjaro, trekked through New Zealand, jumped out of aeroplanes, walked across hot coals and rowed the equivalent distance of the English Channel (and then back), ran from Lands End to John ‘O’ Groats, ran, walked and cycled the C2C, and ran the three peaks.
The Herdwick News has contacted Gary McKee for comment on this and confirmation that he will be taking part in the ultra-marathon for charity.