MIKE Tomlinson cleared the first hurdle of a gruelling charity challenge in memory of his wife Jane by completing the Paris Marathon yesterday, and despite now facing a 650-mile cycle ride, he declared: “it will be nice to have a sit down”.
Mike, 51, is running the Paris and London marathons as well as cycling between the two events, to mark the 10th anniversary of the first time his wife completed the London marathon and in a bid to take her charity’s fundraising total to £5m. He is undertaking the challenge alongside a team of seven, including their 24-year-old daughter Rebecca, the Leeds Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland, and Bob Bowman, a youth crime reduction officer with West Yorkshire Police and a trustee of Leeds Rugby Foundation who is a long-time support of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post from Paris yesterday Mike said he had to limp around the course due to an injury to his leg but he was still confident the team would complete the journey. “It’s the thought of Jane,” he said. “Failure is not an option for us. We can’t not do it. However painful it gets we just have to keep going.
“It’s daunting, I’m not going to lie. Before Christmas I was training at a half marathon distance but I got injured. For the last four weeks I’ve done nothing. I’m not fit but I am fresh. Jane’s feats have been unparalleled and looking back several years on, seem all the more extraordinary. As a family we wanted to both mark the 10th anniversary and celebrate it. We can’t begin to replicate what she achieved but in our own small way wanted to bow our heads to an extraordinary wife, mother and woman.”
Rebecca Tomlinson said: “My dad did really well, he has been struggling with the injury for a while now but I’m sure he’ll be fine with the cycling bit – I’m more worried about myself, I only did six miles training.”
Jane Tomlinson, a former radiographer at Leeds General Infirmary, notched up a staggering tally of feats that raised £1.85m for charity while fighting terminal cancer.
The group will cycle to Lens today then head for Zeebrugge to take the ferry to Hull before arriving in London on Sunday ready for the marathon.
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