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Gary McKee (right) on his final run

A man who vowed to complete a marathon on every day of 2022 to raise £1m for charity has begun his final run.

Gary McKee, from Cleator Moor, in Cumbria, began his challenge on 1 January, with donations to be shared between Macmillan Cancer Support and West Cumbria Hospice at Home.

The father-of-three often ran his 26.2-mile (42km) route before starting work at the Sellafield nuclear site.

Cheered on by well-wishers, the 53-year-old got under way at 08:30 GMT.

Mr McKee has gone through more than 20 pairs of trainers and will have run more than 9,500 miles (15,300km) by the time he finishes his final marathon at about 14:00.

On the start line, he told BBC Breakfast he had received “phenomenal” support but was “a little bit nervous” ahead of the final challenge.

“It’s not the distance, it’s because it’s the last one. It’ll be a special day. Cancer affects everybody so it isn’t just a West Cumbrian thing, it’s a national thing.

“I just hope that people do get behind us and we do raise that million pounds. If we don’t, it won’t be because I haven’t run 365 marathons.

“We’ll celebrate the day, have a good laugh on the route and I’m looking forward to finishing.”

Well-wishers with balloons spelling out "365" gather ahead of Gary McKee's final marathon

Director of funding and communications for Hospice At Home West Cumbria, Hayley McKay, said: “It’s difficult to put into words how grateful we are to Gary for taking on this unbelievable challenge.

“The physical and mental strength he has shown is incomprehensible.

“Gary has not only raised money for two fantastic charities, he has sprinkled magic on the local community and brought people together supporting him with the challenge.”

Macmillan Cancer Support executive director of fundraising, Claire Rowney, added: “Gary’s achievement and selflessness is off the scale.

“Every single day this year, this extraordinary man has put his body through a marathon to raise money for Macmillan and our friends at Hospice At Home West Cumbria.

“I can only imagine the self-discipline and determination required to achieve this and there aren’t enough words to express our heartfelt gratitude for everything that he has done to help Macmillan support people living with cancer at a time when they need us more than ever.”

Mr McKee has already raised more than £600,000 for the two charities.

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Source: BBC

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