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Dad running 26 miles every day to complete goal of 365 marathons in a year

“There’s never been a time where I thought, “I can’t be bothered today”

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By Douglas Whitbread via SWNS

A father-of-three who’s run 26 miles every day since January passed the halfway point on July 1 in his attempt to complete 365 marathons in one year.

Gary McKee during one of his 365 marathons. (Elwyn L Evans via SWNS)

Every morning for the last six months Gary McKee, 53, has had breakfast and then run a marathon - before heading off to put in a shift at a nuclear power station.

He will follow the same routine for the next six months as part of his marathon effort to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support and a local hospice.

Gary has used 22 different pairs of shoes, which he rotates each day, and has gone through six pairs of running tights and a dozen pairs of socks so far.

Halfway into his mammoth endeavor, he has already helped to bring in over $138,000 for his chosen causes in memory of his late father, who died from cancer in 2003.

Gary McKee, 53, took on the remarkable 365 marathons challenge to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. (SWNS)

Despite having to fit in the school run, chores and his job around his runs each day, Gary says he’s never tempted to miss a day as his “word is his bond."

Gary, who has burnt more than 750,000 calories so far, says he's determined to take the monumental task “one day at a time.”

He said: “I’ve always said it’s not the big number – 365 - it’s just one day at a time. I can’t do it any quicker than that. I started on January 1, and I’m six months in. That’s all it is.

“To a lot of people, it’s significant as we’re approaching the halfway mark. But to me, it’s always where we were going to be.

“There won’t be any celebrations. I’ll just be taking it in my stride. It’s halfway, which is quite important, but it’s just another day.”

Gary is running 356 marathons in memory of his late father, who died from cancer in 2003. (SWNS)

In the past, Gary, from Cleator Moor, UK, has cycled through Brazil, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and even walked across hot coals to raise funds for the charity.

But the endurance runner called his current challenge his “biggest ever."

He said: “It’s my biggest ever challenge as it’s over 365 days – it’s a full year. And as well as doing something every single day, I also have my day-to-day life.”

“I work at Sellafield Nuclear Power Plant, and have been working from home, but some days I go in, and I work 2 pm to 10 pm.”

Since starting off his challenge on January 1, Gary has been dedicating his marathons to specific people or families - some of whom have lost relatives to cancer.

And he says this is one of the main reasons he feels motivated to keep going every single day.

He said: “I run every day, in memory of people, usually, and I would never let them down.

“The family is watching you for that particular day and remembering their loved ones – and I’m honored to be able run for them.”

“There’s never been a time where I thought, “I can’t be bothered today” because you’ve got the people going through a cancer battle, and you are there to help and support them.

“I’d like to think if I was going through that, god forbid, that there would be people willing to help me and support me, and not give up on me, so I’m not going to give up on anyone.”

Each of Gary’s marathons takes him roughly 3hrs and 45 minutes, but he said the key to remaining injury free is not treating them like a race.

He said: “You get little niggles. I’ve only tripped twice.

“I know what I’m doing with the pace, but because I’m doing it day after day, you’ve got to be conscious of the fact that the faster you go, the harder your recovery becomes.

“So I’d say it’s more of a social run most of the time.”

He said: “You do wear holes in your compression tights and your shorts and running tops. They become tatty after a while and then you get a new one out.

“But people have been good to me and help support me. When you’re doing stuff like this, it does cost you quite a bit of money.

“There’s stuff like your nutrition, and people just don’t know about it. So lots of people are in the background helping you out.”

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