FORMER England rugby league international Peter Fox is in training for a new type of physical challenge, having agreed to run the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon for charity.

The York born and bred rugby ace, who broke try-scoring records at York City Knights before embarking on an eight-year career in Super League and taking on the world’s best players while in an England shirt, will be among the 7,000 runners setting off from the Minster city on October 12.

The 29-year-old winger, who now plays for Halifax in domestic rugby league’s second tier, has never run a marathon before and is in special training with the help of Swift Gym, a new venture on Mansfield Street, York, opened by one of his old rugby pals Danny Allan, a former Leeds Rhinos starlet who now plays and coaches at Heworth ARLC.

He will be raising money for the Sue Ryder charity, and has set himself a target time of between four and four-and-a-half hours.

Fox said: “It’s a different kind of fitness to what’s needed on a rugby field. I’m confident I can do it, though. I recently did a half-marathon round York with a fell-running friend, Danny Lea, and that’s helped. I’m going to step it up in the next few weeks.

“It will be a challenge. If Halifax reach the Championship Grand Final, that will be on October 5. The marathon is only seven days later, so it will be hard.

“I’m looking forward to it, though, especially with it being in York.”

Athletes taking part in The Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon in York will again be vying for cash prizes worth £12,000 – the same as last year’s inaugural race.

Organisers say the prize pot is one of the highest of any UK marathon and is set to attract world class athletes from across Britain and beyond.

The first placed male and female runners will win £2,500 each, while second placed males and females will win £1,250 each.

A bonus of £500 each will be given to the first British man and woman across the finishing line and there will also be a £500 bonus for the first male runner under 2 hours 16 minutes and first female under 2 hours, 35 minutes.

The marathon takes place on Sunday, October 12, starting and finishing at the Heslington campus of the University of York.