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Yorkshire celebs join marathon effort in Jane's memory

Jane Tomlinson, who died in September 2007, raised almost £2 million for charity. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Archive

Yorkshire's leading sporting sons and daughters will today help launch the county's own marathon, which is being established in memory of late charity fundraiser Jane Tomlinson CBE.

Cricket legend Dickie Bird, TV football pundit Chris Kamara and double Paralympic gold medallist Hannah Cockroft will help launch the event in York.

The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon, which is expected to raise up to £500,000 for charities in its first year, will take place in the city on October 20.

Jane Tomlinson, at the 16 mile stage of the New York City Marathon in 2005. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive

The 26.2 mile race is being organised by Jane Tomlinson's For All Events, which was set up by the Tomlinson family as a legacy to late Wakefield-born fundraiser and campaigner.

Jane Tomlinson raised almost £2 million for charity in her lifetime by tackling a series of endurance challenges despite being diagnosed with terminal cancer. The former amateur athlete died in September 2007.

Chris Kamara and Dickie Bird have hailed the running event. Credit: For All Events/PA Wire

Kamara, who will help launch the marathon at Clifford's Tower in York today, 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.

Yorkshire sporting icons Nicola Adams and Hannah Cockcroft have added their support. Credit: For All Events/PA Wire

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 Tomlinson's For All Events already runs the successful Leeds, York, Hull and Pennine-Lancashire 10Ks and the sell-out Leeds Half Marathon.

The Tomlinson family have continued to raise funds for good causes following Jane's death. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Archive

Jane's widower Mike Tomlinson said he hoped the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon would now become a major highlight of the UK's sporting calendar.

I know it will be extremely popular because there is still that great feeling of the Olympic legacy. Look at all Yorkshire achieved in the 2012 Games. There is no doubt that Yorkshire is exactly the place to launch a new marathon.

– Mike Tomlinson

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.

Anyone wishing to register for the event should go to www.theyorkshiremarathon.com or follow it on twitter @RunYorkshire.