A FORMER England football star has been egging on businesses to sign up for a truly marathon enterprise.

Firms can now enter teams in the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon in York after it launched a corporate relay challenge.

Celebrity Masterchef star and former England and Leeds United footballer Danny Mills took part in an egg-and-spoon race with local schoolchildren to help launch the relay.

The challenge offers firms the opportunity to take part in the event, which sold out within three days. Businesses can enter a team of six for £300, who will each run between two-and-a-half and six miles of the marathon.

They will also receive race-day hospitality and T-shirts branded with their company’s logo.

The corporate challenge was launched yesterday by sponsors James Potter Yorkshire Farmhouse Eggs, while Danny rustled up some egg-based snacks for staff at the York Science Park.

Danny will lead a team, and James Potter said he and his brother were already limbering up to take part in the run, which will set off from the University of York on October 20. He said: “My brother Adrian and I have always taken a keen interest in keeping fit, particularly running, and James Potter Yorkshire Farmhouse Eggs’ relay team is already in training.”

Rick Warburton, head of business and private banking in North Yorkshire for Yorkshire Bank, has also entered a team.

He said it was too good an opportunity to miss. “The marathon will be one of the biggest sporting events of the year, so we really want to be a part of it and the corporate relay is an ideal way for us to do that. Hopefully we’ll be fielding a pretty fast team so all those other companies had better watch out. We want to get our hands on that trophy.”

Mike Tomlinson, husband of the late fundraiser Jane Tomlinson and director of the charity set up in her name which is organising the marathon, said: “The corporate relay will bring a whole new dimension to the marathon and is a great opportunity for businesses to get involved in what will be one of the major days in the north’s sporting event calendar for 2013.”

Visit theyorkshiremarathon.com to enter a team.