Tomlinson race 'dream come true'

Mike Tomlinson and Hannah Cockcroft are chased by two Roman soldiers during the launch of the first ever Yorkshire Marathon in York

Yorkshire celebrities during the launch of the first Yorkshire Marathon outside Clifford's Tower in York

First published in National News © by

The widower of late charity fundraiser Jane Tomlinson CBE has said that a marathon dedicated to her legacy is a dream come true.

Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon, which attracted more than 500 entries within two hours of its launch, may well be the biggest event of its kind in northern England, Mike Tomlinson said.

The run, in York on October 20, is organised by Jane Tomlinson's For All Events which already stages the successful Leeds, York, Hull and Pennine-Lancashire 10Ks and the Leeds half marathon.

For All Events was set up by the Tomlinson family as a legacy to the late Yorkshire fundraiser and campaigner who raised almost £2 million for charity by tackling a series of incredible endurance challenges despite having terminal cancer.

Mr Tomlinson said that despite his wife's original fundraising target being just £5,000 10 years ago, £4.5 million has now been raised for charity, adding: "This is just a dream."

He said: "We started off with one run in 2007, the year Jane died. Now we've got four 10Ks, a half marathon, this marathon, three walking festivals in the Peak District, Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, and a swim.

"I'm hoping that this will be the biggest marathon in the north of England and the way it's started today and the buzz and the atmosphere, it's probably well on the way to being that. It'll be a national event. This is the iconic city of the north of England and, added to that, it's very flat. If Jane was alive and she was well, she'd be here and running because this was her favourite place to run round."

A clutch of celebrities from the county, including cricket legend Dickie Bird, TV football pundit Chris Kamara and double Paralympic gold medallist Hannah Cockroft, helped launch the Yorkshire Marathon at York's Clifford's Tower.

Bird, who met Mrs Tomlinson during her fundraising, said she was a "fine lass" who would be "very proud". He added: "It's a wonderful choice to come to York. I've always liked this city. I hope it's a fine day. It's for a tremendous cause and Jane will be looking down on the marathon."

Runners will be able to raise funds for any cause of their choice or one of the event's partner charities: Martin House Children's Hospice, Macmillan Cancer Support, Yorkshire Cancer Research, Parkinson's UK, the Haven, Clic Sargent, Candlelighters, St Leonard's Hospice, Sue Ryder Care and the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.

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