Model and marathon runner Nell McAndrew will help the Jane Tomlinson Appeal celebrate a special milestone this year when she lines up for the 10th Leeds 10K. Leeds-born Nell, will join thousands of runners for the event on Sunday 10th July, which forms part of the lasting legacy of the late inspirational Jane Tomlinson CBE.
Nell, 42, an accomplished runner with a marathon pb of 2hrs 54mins, is a patron of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal and took part in the first Leeds 10K, launched by Jane Back in 2007. She is running in support of the Appeal with a whole host of Appeal supporters who like her, were there for the first Leeds 10K in 2007. And she is encouraging everyone to get involved and join the celebrations.
Mother of two Nell said: "I am really looking forward to taking part in the 10th anniversary run of the Leeds 10K.
"Jane was a truly inspirational character and it's wonderful that the 10K she established has proved so enduring and continues to raise huge amounts of money for causes that were close to her heart.
"I have always enjoyed running in my home city and I know the support and atmosphere will be tremendous.
"I feel extremely proud to be able to continue to help support in some small way."
Holli Kellett, Jane Tomlinson Appeal Event Manager, said: "The event's 10th anniversary will be very special and we are extremely grateful to Nell for turning out to run on our behalf. Thanks to the support of Nell and many, many other people we are able to support some excellent charities.
"It's wonderful to have so many people like Nell, who ran in the first Leeds 10K, taking part in the 10th anniversary year and even more incredible that many of them haven't missed a year yet it just shows what an impact the event and Jane's legacy has.
"We wish Nell and everyone taking part the very best of luck. It's going to be a great day."
The 2016 event takes place on Sunday 10th July and starts on Vicar Lane and finishes outside the majestic Leeds Town Hall. Joining Nell are a number of Jane Tomlinson Appeal runners who recall their first Leeds 10K and what makes them come back year on year.
Carol Penney from Durham has taken part in every single Leeds 10K. Talking about why she loves the event and what inspires her to support the Appeal Carol says:
"I absolutely love the day. I was delighted to meet Jane in 2007 and was inspired to always run in Leeds because of her. I treasure my autographed t-shirt and her smiling encouragement at the finish. What a wonderful and inspiring person she was and, to me, still is.
"It's been fabulous to see the Appeal team and events grow; what a fabulous tribute to Jane that events grow in size and popularity."
Another runner inspired by Jane, Janice Farley, from Bradford read Jane's autobiography and was motivated by her determination to take on all the challenges she did; "If she can do it, so can I" she thought.
"My most significant memory was when I finished the race in 2007 and went to the side of the stage and briefly met Jane and Mike Tomlinson. What a great memory I took away from that day."
Another Leeds 10K memory that Janice will never forget comes from the 2010 Leeds 10K, when she met Paula Radcliffe (although it was Janice's husband Peter that managed to get a photo with her!) This year, Janice will be running with her daughter Monique. "My motivation to run the race each year is Jane herself. I just want to keep her legacy alive and reach further outstanding targets."
Jayne Young, a grandmother of six from Moortown, is another runner taking on her 10th Leeds 10K in a row this year. Jayne, a retired senior lecturer from Leeds Beckett University, took up running in her fifties and has completed a number of events since. It was natural that she would take part in the Leeds 10K when it came to her home town.
The first Leeds 10K was particularly poignant for Jayne as five days before the run she had a minor operation for skin cancer. Due to the stitches in her face, Jayne was advised to walk rather than run. "My time was not impressive but I finished the race. My most significant memory was seeing Jane at the end. I was in some pain, but seeing her made me realise others are much worse off; she was truly an inspirational woman."
Peter Scott,from Bramley in Leeds was encouraged to take part in 2007 by his daughter and son-in-law and has taken on the challenge with family over the years, he said: "Running with my grandson in his first Leeds 10K in 2013 is one that comes to mind as memorable." Running with family along with the electric atmosphere on course is what keeps Peter coming back "Knowing that there are so many people supporting everyone en route is what motivates me each year."
Sheila Woodwho also lives in Leeds, first saw Jane in the Cotswolds when she cycled from John O' Groats to Land's End in 2003. Sheila and her partner were impressed with Jane's strength of character and determination. "After that, we always felt a bit of an affinity towards our local Leeds lass" she says. "It felt the most obvious way to support her by doing something we enjoyed and raising some money at the same time."
"I've loved all the 10K runs, particularly the one that I did with my partner's daughter, who was new to running. It took us a while but we got there in the end." Having done every single run, she is excited to be a part of the Appeal Team once more for her 10th race and like Peter looks forward to the atmosphere and the support from spectators.
Proving that Jane's legacy and the popularity of the Leeds 10K really does spread far and wide isAngela Worthington. Angela always checks the date of the Leeds 10K every year before booking flights back from Hong Kong, where she currently lives. "I really wanted to do a 10km race in Leeds because it is where I am from and where my family live" says Angela, who originally comes from Leeds. "My favourite thing is doing this race with my family (my dad and my sister) and doing it in Leeds."
Angela herself has lost relatives to cancer, which she cites as being her motivation to run for the Appeal, along with being a good role model for her daughters. Angela says of taking part in this year 10th anniversary event with Jane Tomlinson Appeal: "Do it! It's a worthwhile charity that supports children's and cancer charities. Why not run the Leeds 10K for the Appeal and set yourself a fitness challenge at the same time as making a bit of a difference?"
To mark this important mile stone and celebrate 10 years of the Leeds 10K, The Jane Tomlinson Appeal is offering discounted £10 places. If you were ever thinking of taking on the Leeds 10K this is the year to do it. Join the party with the Appeal team and receive personalised fundraising support, cheers around the course, post-race hospitality and massage and the knowledge that you are making a huge difference by helping the Appeal to continue supporting local children's and cancer charities.