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8 January 2013, 15:30
The widower of late charity fundraiser Jane Tomlinson CBE has said that a marathon in Yorkshire dedicated to her legacy is a dream come true.
Celebrities from the county, including TV football pundit Chris Kamara and double Paralympic gold medallist Hannah Cockroft, helped launch the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon in York this morning.
The event will take place on October 20th in York, it’s organised by Jane Tomlinson's For All Events, which already runs the Leeds, York, Hull and Pennine-Lancashire 10Ks and the sell-out Leeds Half Marathon.
Over 1000 people have already signed up in one day to take part.
For All Events was set up by the Tomlinson family as a legacy to late Yorkshire fundraiser and campaigner Jane, who raised almost #2 million for charity.
Kamara was at the launch at Clifford's Tower in York. He said: “I know Jane Tomlinson was a massive inspiration to me and I'm sure she was to many, many other people.
"I hope thousands of people pull on their running shoes to take part in this, the first Yorkshire marathon. Good luck everyone, I know it will be a huge success and bring in lots of money for deserving causes."
Cockroft, who is also supporting the event, said it would build on Yorkshire's incredible showing in the 2012 Olympics.
She said: "Last summer proved that Yorkshire was the best county for sport in Britain and now that Yorkshire has its very own marathon, people can come and share in the legacy that was created. I know that this event will be fantastic fun, bringing people together and allowing them to achieve lifetime goals at the same time as raising money for some amazing charities."
Jane's widower Mike Tomlinson said the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon would become a major highlight of the UK's sporting calendar and is expected to raise up to £500,000 for charities in its first year.
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: "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."
To find out more or to sign up head to the website - www.theyorkshiremarathon.com