THE husband of late charity fundraiser Jane Tomlinson said his wife’s love of York inspired him to organise the city’s new marathon.

More than 1,000 tickets had already been sold yesterday for the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon.

It will be held for the first time in October and will take in the Minster and city centre as well as the surrounding villages of Stockton-on-the-Forest and Stamford Bridge.

The event was launched yesterday by a host of Yorkshire celebrities, including cricketing legend Dickie Bird, football pundit Chris Kamara, former England footballer Danny Mills and double paralympic gold medallist Hannah Cockroft.

Mike Tomlinson, whose wife Jane raised almost £2 million for charity by tackling a series of endurance challenges despite being diagnosed with cancer, said: “Jane loved York. There aren’t many options for doing a marathon in Yorkshire; this is the obvious choice – partly because of its beauty and because of how flat it is. The third reason is that Jane loved the place.

“The buzz about the marathon has taken us by surprise. We could not have dreamt of this reaction. It has been astonishing.”

Speaking at the launch event at the Hilton Hotel in Tower Street, Mr Tomlinson spoke movingly of how his wife pushed herself to the limits while coping with serious illness and of how others had the opportunity to continue with her efforts.

Coun Sonja Crisp, the city council’s cabinet member for leisure and culture, said to Mr Tomlinson: “Thanks so much for bringing this to York, we are so proud. Running it or not, I am sure we will all join together to raise money.”

The event, which will take place on October 20, will be organised by Jane Tomlinson’s For All Events, which already runs the York, Hull, Leeds and Pennine-Lancashire 10ks and the Leeds Half Marathon.

There will be a minimum of 5,000 places, which could be increased significantly, organisers have said.