A CHEF who rose to fame on a popular television show is swapping her utensils for running shoes to tackle this year's Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon.

Masterchef finalist Sara Danesin Medio, 44, featured in the 2011 series of the hit BBC show and subsequently went on to start York's first dining club following her success on the small screen.

The chef, who also offers table events and cookery classes from her home and for The Malton Cookery School, a creation of The Talbot Hotel, chose to run the 26.2 mile course on Sunday for The Encephalitis Society after meeting its chief executive at one of her recent masterclasses.

Other than a love of good food they also found they had experience of Encephalitis.

Sara, a former intensive care nurse, was all too familiar with the devastation brought on by this neurological condition and immediately wanted to do something to support survivors and their families.

She said: "Having previously been an ICU nurse I understand the devastating consequences of Encephalitis for those affected and their families.

"That is why I have chosen to run the York Marathon for The Encephalitis Society who work tirelessly to support those affected and their families."

Dr Ava Easton, chief executive of the society, added: "I attended the Malton Cookery School Chef’sTable at short notice and was not only amazed by Sara’s cooking skills but also her understanding of the condition and its effects on those who survive it.

"In no time we were cooking up fundraising ideas and the York Marathon was one of them.

"We are all in awe of the support Sara has shown our Society since then and we can’t wait to cheer her on!"

Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain, and is often triggered by infection or the body’s own immune system attacking the brain in error.

To support Sara visit www.justgiving.com/sara-danesin/ or text donate to SDMC66 £5 or £10 to 70070.