Cumbria’s Marathon Man has been appointed Hospice at Home West Cumbria’s new vice president after his years of fundraising.
Gary McKee has recently completed a year-long fundraising challenge, running 365 consecutive marathons throughout 2022, during which he raised £ 1.2 million pounds, splitting the total between Hospice at Home West Cumbria and Macmillan Cancer Support.
Now the 53-year-old has been named vice president of the charity – a non-executive role that focuses on ambassadorship and advocacy.
As VP, Gary will automatically become a member of the charity and will represent them in the community. During his tenure, he will help them to realise their mission and vision by supporting initiatives, sharing information and being an ambassador for their cause.
Gary said: “It is a huge honour to be considered, never mind being given the title of Vice President of a charity that in West Cumbria, is massive to everybody.
“I have won lots of awards in the past and I don’t do what I do to gain awards, but it is probably one of the most prestigious things I have been offered.
“It really means something to you when people come up and says ‘well done, the charity really helped my husband/ wife/ child’ whatever it might be. That’s what it means to them so the association with Hospice at Home West Cumbria is something that will live with me forever. I hope that I can continue to do the things that I do and signpost to the charity for many years to come.”
In the course of the year, Gary ran almost 9,600 miles and another 1,400 miles running on his treadmill in warm-ups and run-downs. And the distance wasn’t the only challenge – last year saw record high temperatures of 40.3C and record lows of -10 C. Then, of course, there was the West Cumbrian rain.
Dr Brian Herd, President of Hospice at Home West Cumbria said: “On behalf of the charity, I am delighted to welcome Gary as a Vice President.
“We are immensely grateful to Gary for his super-human effort on our behalf. When I heard he intended to run a marathon every day throughout the whole of 2022, I was incredulous. I know from personal experience how much effort it takes to complete a single marathon. To repeat this daily for a whole year seemed unbelievable.”
Dr Herd continued: “To complete this unique challenge demanded total commitment. It cut across the rest of his life drastically, especially family life. We are deeply indebted to Gary’s wife Susan and to their family Alfie, Beau and Minnie who provided essential support.”