RUNNERS are being offered the chance to take part in their first marathon by the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, which has places available in the sold-out Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon in York.

The charity says chosen runners would not only have the race of their lives but would also be part of an exclusive training group and be given full support to help them achieve their goal, with exclusive training sessions, technique analysis, expert advice and even special kit discounts.

A spokeswoman said the 'money-can’t-buy offer' was especially aimed at people taking on their first marathon – particularly those who missed out when all places in this year's marathon sold out in just over five hours.

She said: "Other benefits include an introductory runners’ workshop, a dedicated runner training guide packed with invaluable advice and tips for the first time marathon participant, nutritional analysis, gait and technique assessment to boost your running, six month discounted gym membership at York Sport, weekly training sessions with the White Rose Runners, often taking in parts of the marathon course and access to a free full-day training day to be held at York Sport.

"On race day itself, runners for the appeal will be able to enjoy pre and post-race hospitality close to the start and finishing lines. Also on offer will be a free post-run massage and refreshments."

Siobhan Curtis, Jane Tomlinson Appeal legacy manager, said: “The charity places we have available are ideal for people wanting to make their marathon debut as they come with all the support, help and encouragement needed to tackle the training with confidence. Those selected will also be helping to raise money for local good causes.”

Last year a large team of White Rose Runners tackled The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon – many of them taking their first steps on their running journeys. Runners leader Barbara Shiells said one of the greatest parts of training for and running in the marathon was the team spirit.

“The team bond throughout this challenge of a lifetime was incredible. There was always someone ready to run at the same speed as you, chat to you, encourage you and make you believe it was possible."

To apply for one of the places, send an email setting out your reasons for wanting to take part to

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