Highest honour planned for marathon man Gary McKee

Gary McKee and family
Gary McKee and family
5 May 2017 6:45AM

Marathon man Gary McKee could receive the Freedom of the Borough – the highest accolade awarded by Copeland Council.

Councillors are to discuss a proposal that he is a ‘person of distinction’ after his mammoth achievement of running 100 marathons in 100 days, and raising more than £300,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Over the years, Gary, of Cleator Moor, has also completed a cycle ride

through Brazil, a climb up Kilimanjaro, a trek in New Zealand and a run from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

He has also run the Coast to Coast and completed the Cumbrian Run nine times, as well as organised fundraising events in pubs and clubs. In 2012 he was named Macmillan’s National Volunteer of the Year.

The proposal will be discussed at an extraordinary meeting of Copeland Council, at Egremont, on Tuesday. Gary, 47, said: “I was close to tears when I was told that the council is proposing to make me a Freeman of the Borough. To even be considered is truly overwhelming. I’m humbled to be seen through the eyes of others as inspirational and a driver for change.

“The really remarkable part is the money that people have donated, and the support they have offered me. That’s the inspirational story.”

Copeland mayor Mike Starkie said: “To complete one marathon is beyond a lot of people, but to complete 100 in 100 days is superhuman. But this was just one event in over a decade’s worth of challenges and local events that have topped that total up to over £300,000.

“Both the money Gary has raised for local people affected by cancer and the awareness he has spread will change a lot of lives. He has raised the positive national and international profile of Cleator Moor and Copeland as a whole.”

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