23 APRIL 2007

Top TV chef Gordon Ramsay is certainly used to working up a sweat, but it wasn't the heat of the kitchen he endured over the weekend. The Hell's Kitchen star was suffering as he joined 36,500 runners to take part in this year's London Marathon, where soaring temperatures made it a tougher than usual challenge. "It was like running in a desert today," he said.

The culinary whizz, who completed the 26-mile race on Sunday with his wife Tana, crossed the finishing line at Buckingham Palace in four hours and 20 minutes. Although it marked his eighth marathon, he won't be hanging up his track shoes any time soon. "I had set my target for ten marathons and I have got two more to go. Next year I will be coming back," he insists.

Also taking part was Kara Tointon, who viewers have seen getting bigger by the day as pregnant Dawn Swan in EastEnders In real life, though, the actress has been pounding the streets in preparation for the big day. The svelte 23-year-old's main concern, apart from crossing the finishing line, was being in a fit state for filming the BBC soap the next morning. "If Dawn's limping around Albert Square, you'll know why," she said.

And it wasn't just faces from the small screen taking part in the race. Adding a regal touch to the event was Princess Tamara Czartoryski-Borbon, a distant relative of King Juan Carlos of Spain. She recently quit London for LA, but was back in town for the big race. The 29-year-old actress and model, who ran for the National Autistic Society, insisted she had got plenty of practice for the event, but not in the conventional way. "I've just finished shooting a horror movie called The Deranger where I get murdered. I've been running for my life," she quipped.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
The Hell's Kitchen star was accompanied on the 26-mile run by his wife TanaPhoto: © Getty ImagesClick on photos for gallery
Photo: © Alphapress.com
EastEnder's star Kara, who plays Dawn Swan in the BBC soap, ran the marathon for Cancer Reasearch UKPhoto: © Getty Images
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