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Gordon Ramsay, Lorraine Kelly, Sir Steve Redgrave and Blazin’ Squad launch the first FLORA Family Marathon.

FLORA drives 20,000 families to get up and get active together.

FLORA, sponsors of the London Marathon, have teamed up with the families of Gordon Ramsay, Lorraine Kelly, Sir Steve Redgrave and Blazin’ Squad to launch the first FLORA Family Marathon, a major nationwide event designed to put health at the heart of the family.

The celebrities and their families will send messages of encouragement and entries from their training diaries, by email and SMS, to families participating in the FLORA Family Marathon. FLORA hopes that 20,000 UK families – who can be any group of friends, relatives or colleagues - will sign up to take part in the initiative, which will see people being persuaded to run a combined total of over half a million miles, over the course of the month leading up to the FLORA London Marathon.

The FLORA Family Marathon is supported by a fully-integrated media campaign, which will see activity in the national press, online, on radio, outdoor and in-store driving people to the official web site at www.florafamilymarathon.com. At the site, once they have signed up and chosen how they wish to allocate their miles between each member, families can download a personalised Training Plan for each person taking part, choose which celebrity family they wish to receive messages from, and set up an online sponsorship page to allow them to raise money for one of the official charities. The official charities are Save the Children, The Steve Redgrave Trust, Tommy’s Campaign, The Scottish Society for Autism, SHARP, Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland and Maplewood School.

Once registration is complete, which costs £10 per family, participants receive a Welcome Pack including a pedometer and baseball caps, and can use the website to track the miles they have run, using their own personalised Family Homepage. When the 25.2 miles are completed, each family member is sent a medal, along with a finishing tape to use to complete their Final Mile. Every participating family will also have the opportunity to win a VIP day at the FLORA London Marathon, where they will be presented with their medals by members of the Celebrity Family they have been running with.

Warren Plaskett, Brand Manager for FLORA, said: “2005 is the 10th year of the FLORA brand’s sponsorship of the London Marathon and to celebrate we’re helping 20,000 families across the UK get fit and healthy. FLORA has been at the forefront of heart health for over 40 years, and by launching the 2005 Flora Family Marathon we will continue to persuade families to eat well and get up and get active. Through the Flora Family Marathon we are also hoping to bring families together, show how having a healthy heart can be fun and rewarding, and raise money for very good causes in the process.”

Gordon Ramsay, who is taking part with his wife Tana and family said: “It’ll be great to do something as a family, but everyone else better do a bit or Tana and I will end up running two marathons."

Speaking about the charity they are supporting, Kenzie, of Blazin’ Squad, said: “We chose the Save the Children Fund as we were upset by the Tsunami. We wanted to do something to help.”

The FLORA Family Marathon was devised by AKQA who is managing the digital activity. The integrated campaign is through KTB PR Ltd, LGM Consulting, Branded Sport Group, BBH, Initiative Media and White Light.



About the FLORA Family Marathon:

The FLORA Family Marathon (FFM) is a nationwide event from FLORA that puts healthy living at the heart of the Family. Aimed at inspiring groups of all ages to get up and get active, it encourages 20,000 Families to get together and complete a marathon (26.2 miles) as a team, over a period of 5 weeks.

Families – which can be any group of friends, colleagues, or relatives – choose how they want to split the first 25.2 miles between them, and then run their share over the course of one month. They then all run the final mile together on Marathon Day, 17 April (the day of the FLORA London Marathon).

The FLORA Family Marathon will be promoted nationally. Promotion drives people to www.florafamilymarathon.com where they can register their family, download 28-day training plans, chose a Celebrity Family to run with, set up a sponsorship page at JustGiving.com and log their miles as they go along. They can also sign up for updates and messages from their chosen Celebrity as well as getting tips and advice on nutrition and healthy living.

Registration costs £10, which covers the cost of the Marathon pack. The Marathon pack includes:

- FLORA Family Marathon baseball caps
- A pedometer
- Medal for each family member and finishing tape (which are sent out to all families who log 25.2 miles on the website)

Registration is open from 17 January, and closed once all 20,000 places are filled. Hints and tips on how to get active will be available on the website to help everyone get ready for ‘training’, which starts on 7 February for 28 days. ‘Running’ starts on 7 March, with the final mile being run by everyone on 17 April.

In addition, several lucky families will win a VIP trip to London to complete their final mile at the actual FLORA London Marathon, alongside the Celebrity Families. The celebrities will present the Family with their medals just before the start of the FLORA London Marathon.

Flora Careline will be open throughout this period to provide customer support on all aspects of the FLORA Family Marathon. The number for Careline is 0800 0289 997.

About AKQA:
A recognised pioneer and innovator, AKQA provides integrated marketing, customer services, digital product design and e-commerce solutions. An independent agency, AKQA has offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC and Singapore. www.akqa.com

Published on: 12:00AM on 25th January 2005