SOME of Yorkshire’s most famous sporting talent and celebrities have given their backing to a new marathon which is being staged as a legacy of inspirational fundraiser Jane Tomlinson.
The first ever Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon was officially launched yesterday in York, the historic city which will host the 26-mile route in the autumn. More than 1,000 people had entered by yesterday afternoon to book their place on the starting line when the marathon is held on October 20.
Among the famous faces who have endorsed the run are Halifax-born double gold medal winning Paralympian Hannah Cockroft, former Leeds United and England footballer Danny Mills, ex-cricket umpire Dickie Bird and former Emmerdale actress Claire King.
Miss Cockroft said: “People ask me why do I live up here because they say it is cold and wet, but I keep telling them Yorkshire is one of the most beautiful places around. It will be great to show what we have to offer when the marathon is staged here in York. The Yorkshire athletes did so well at the Olympics and the Paralympics, and I really hope the runners get a taste of what we experienced when we crossed the finishing line in London.”
Mr Bird added: “Jane will be looking down and feeling so proud of an event which will be raising money for so many wonderful causes.”
The celebrities at yesterday’s launch also included Leeds United legend Eddie Gray, who has previously run two marathons, as well as television football presenter Chris Kamara, artist Ashley Jackson, panto star Billy Pearce and BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration.
Mr Gray said: “Jane was an incredible person and I hope people will be inspired to follow in her footsteps.”
Mrs Tomlinson raised nearly £2m for charity in a series of gruelling sporting challenges despite being diagnosed with terminal cancer before her death in 2007. For All Events, which already stages 10k races in Leeds, York and Hull and a half-marathon in Leeds, was established by the Tomlinson family as a lasting legacy.
Her widower, Mike, who is due to run in the marathon with his daughter, Rebecca, 24, said: “It is humbling to have so much support already. Hopefully this will become the biggest marathon in the North of England. But this is not about Jane, this is for the whole of Yorkshire.”
The Yorkshire Post is a media partner of the event.