And they're off...!

The Tomlinsons Credit: Family photograph

First stop the Paris Marathon!

Mike Tomlinson and one of his daughters Rebecca, are setting off for the start of a gruelling eight-day challenge to mark the 10th anniversary of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.

Following in the footsteps of Jane, who set the endurance bar high completing challenges such as the Florida Ironman in 2004 and a 2,500 mile bike ride across the US in 2006, the family say an endurance challenge was the only fitting way to mark the anniversary.

Sunday will mark the start of the challenge with the pair running the Paris Marathon before they then set off on a six-day cycle ride en-route to London via France, Belgium and the Appeal’s home turf of Yorkshire. They will then run the London Marathon.

  • Mike Tomlinson on the 10th Anniversary Challenge.

Joining the family for the challenge will be a team of friends including Appeal patrons four-time World Ironman Champion Chrissie Wellington, Olympic marathon runner Tracey Morris and supporter of the Appeal, Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland.

"Jane’s feats have been un-paralleled 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."

Jane Tomlinson was an inspirational fundraiser, who was told by doctors in 2000 she had terminal breast cancer and had just six months to live. Defying her medical prognosis, the mother-of-three embarked on a series of challenges.

Over the next seven years, before her death in 2007, she raised £1.85m for children’s and cancer charities through marathon races, runs, cycle rides and swims.

The Jane Tomlinson Appeal has now raised more than £4m for charity and over the years the Appeal has supported a range of charities both local and nationally, helping to fund refurbishment projects and purchase vital medical equipment.

With 2012 marking the Appeal’s 10th Anniversary, the family are hoping to mark these celebrations by reaching a fundraising target of £5m.

An ITV Calendar news team will be travelling with the Tomlinsons and filing regular reports from the Paris Marathon, the 500 mile bike ride and the London Marathon. You can catch up with the latest here at and on Calendar's bulletins on ITV1 at 1.55pm, 6pm and 10.30pm.

  • Sunday 15th - Paris Marathon 42km

  • Monday 16th – Creil to Lens 159.06km

  • Tuesday 17th – Lens to Bruges 110.55Km

  • Overnight ferry to Hull

  • Wednesday 18th – Hull to Leeds via York 128.37km

  • Thursday 19th – Leeds to Newark 123.75km

  • Friday 20th – Newark to Cambridge 166.07km

  • Saturday 21st – Cambridge to London 99.75km

  • Sunday 22nd – London Marathon 42km

*You can find out more about the Jane Tomlinson Appeal go to * ** **