Pain en route to Paris - in memory of Jane Tomlinson

Mike Tomlinson loads up his bike ready for Paris.

Mike Tomlinson loads up his bike ready for Paris.

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NEXT stop Paris!

Charity boss Mike Tomlinson and fellow fundraisers have packed up their kit bags ready for their latest gruelling mission.

The team are taking part in the Anniversary Challenge – a double marathon and a 600-mile bike ride in just eight days.

They will begin on Sunday by running the Paris Marathon, then cycle back to the UK, via Belgium and Yorkshire, arriving in time to complete the London Marathon on Sunday, April 22.

The epic fundraiser is being staged to mark 10 years since inspirational Leeds cancer sufferer Jane Tomlinson completed the London Marathon – becoming the first person with terminal breast cancer to do so.

She later went on to compete in the Florida Ironman, rode from Rome to Leeds and 4,000 miles across the width of America, grabbing headlines across the globe, and earning her a CBE from the Queen.

Her fundraising efforts brought in more than £1.8m for good causes, before she lost her battle for life in 2007.

Now the charity which bears her name – the Jane Tomlinson Appeal – wants to bring that total to £5m.

Joining Mike on the eight-day journey will be daughter Rebecca, 24, four times world Ironman champion Chrissie Wellington, marathon runner Tracey Morris and Leeds MP Greg Mulholland. Appeal supporters Graham Watson, Darren Clark, and Bob Bowman will also be joining the team, which has been sponsored by energy drinks giant Lucozade.

Mike, 51, from Rothwell, Leeds, said: “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.”

To support the team’s fundraising efforts, go to www.justgiving.com/anniversarychallenge.

l There are still places in the YEP-backed Jane Tomlinson Arena Junior and Mini Run on May 13. Youngsters aged between 3 and 14 can register for the free event at www.forallevents.co.uk.

vicki.robinson@ypn.co.uk

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