Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon heralds dawn of a new chapter for historic county

History is to be made once again on the ancient streets of York as the White Rose County gets ready to host the first ever Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon.

Thousands of runners are set to take part in the hotly-anticipated event on October 20 - the biggest and best race to hit the region's sporting stage in 2013.

The countdown to the event officially began today [Tuesday, Jan 8] when a host of famous Yorkshire faces gathered at the city's iconic Clifford's Tower to welcome The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon to their home county.

The celebrities - from the worlds of sport, showbiz and music - celebrated the arrival of the event by making the 'Y' for 'Yorkshire', the new symbol of the marathon.

The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon was launched to bring a mass participation marathon closer to home for the thousands of Northern runners keen to push themselves to the ultimate limit. But with an exceptionally flat course - flatter than London, Paris and New York - the race is certain to become a 'destination marathon' for runners from across the UK and beyond.

It is being staged by a new organisation under the umbrella of Jane Tomlinson's For All Events - which already runs the successful Leeds, York, Hull and Pennine-Lancashire 10Ks and the sell-out Leeds Half Marathon.  Meanwhile, Sheffield-based phone and broadband provider, Plusnet, will be the headline sponsors of the event.

For All Events - which comprises Run For All, Walk For All and Swim For All - was established by the Tomlinson family as a legacy to the late Yorkshire fundraiser and campaigner Jane Tomlinson CBE who raised almost £2m for charity by tackling a series of incredible endurance challenges, despite being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

TV football pundit Chris Kamara is one of the famous Yorkshire faces backing the event. 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."

Double Paralympic gold medallist Hannah Cockroft, who is also supporting the event, said the event would build on Yorkshire's incredible showing in the 2012 Olympics.

Yorkshire athletes scored a clutch of seven gold medals, two silver and three bronzes, placing it 12th in the medal table if regarded as an independent country.

Hannah 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."

For All Events' Mike Tomlinson said The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon would become a major highlight of the UK's sporting calendar and a flagship event for the organisation. It is expected to raise up to £500,000 for charities in its first year.

Runners can chose 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.

Mike said: "We're really excited about the new Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon. We launched the Leeds 10K seven years ago now and we've been thinking for a long time about putting on a long distance event in Yorkshire - and this is it!

"It's taken a huge amount of planning but we think it will be really special.  In York we have a city with amazingly spectacular scenery, but one that is also extremely flat which should make for a really fast course.

"We're always being asked about putting on a marathon so this is for all of those runners who want to push themselves to the ultimate limit. It's not just for elite runners, though, there will be a great atmosphere around the course and lots of support, so it will be a great challenge for people who want to come and raise lots of money for charity.

"The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon will be the final event of our year - all of our other events will lead up to this and it will be the highlight of our running 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."

Jamie Ford, CEO of phone and broadband provider, Plusnet, the marathon's title sponsors, said, "We are delighted to be involved in this brand new running event.  Plusnet is very proud of its Yorkshire roots and this is a great opportunity to be involved in a mass participation event which will showcase some of the finest scenery and sporting achievements of this county, to the rest of the UK and beyond."

The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon is also supported by the University of York, York City Council, the Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Radio and Capita Simmons.
University of York Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Cantor said: "Jane Tomlinson was an inspirational figure to thousands of people. The University of York has a long-standing commitment to research into novel treatments for cancer so it is entirely fitting for us to be associated with the Yorkshire Marathon.  We are proud to make the facilities of the York Sport Village available for such a worthy cause."

Councillor Sonja Crisp, City of York Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism said the marathon would be a huge boost for the city and region. She said: "York provides the perfect landscape for long distance runners to clock that personal best. The participants, their supporters and families can be assured of a warm welcome to our city, established as a nationally-important location for sports and entertainment and which will benefit from the legacy and economic impact of this new addition to our significant sporting calendar."

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