Kevin Sinfield caps a gruelling SEVENTH ultra marathon in just seven days with an emotional speech – after running 190.4 miles in support of best friend Rob Burrow and motor neurone disease charities
- The 43-year-old announced that this challenge would be his 'toughest' yet
- Burrow was diagnosed with the disease in 2019, prompting fundraising efforts
- The initiative's '7 in 7 in 7' tag references Burrow's Leeds Rhinos shirt number
Kevin Sinfield concluded a grueling seven-day ultramarathon with an emotional speech in support of finding a cure for motor neurone disease at his finish on the Mall in London on Thursday afternoon.
The England Rugby Union defense coach announced his fourth and 'toughest' challenge in early November to raise awareness of the disease suffered by his friend and former teammate Rob Burrows. The event saw him run more than 27 miles in Leeds, Cardiff, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Dublin and Brighton before reaching the capital.
Rugby legend Burrow was diagnosed with MND in 2019, and the following year Sinfield embarked on his first fundraising challenge for his former Leeds Rhinos teammate, running seven marathons in seven days around Oldham and Leeds.
In 2021, Sinfield ran 100 miles from Leicester to Leeds in under 24 hours, while last year he completed seven ultramarathons in seven days, starting at Murrayfield and finishing at Old Trafford.
On Thursday, the former Rhinos star traveled from his home base in Twickenham to the famous London Marathon finish line in the heart of the city, where he was met by a swarm of supporters to cheer on the final furlong of his 190.4 miles.
Kevin Sinfield completed his seventh ultramarathon in as many days at the Mall on Thursday
The England defense coach completed the last of his grueling challenges in support of motor neurone disease
Sinfield fell into the arms of his team after completing the feat and running 186.4 miles
And after completing the '7 in 7 in 7' task, Sinfield described his state of mind as 'devastated but elated'.
'Hello London! Thanks for coming out,” Sinfield announced to the gathered crowd after catching his breath. “We're all quite exhausted, we're all quite tired, but seeing so many faces along the route was a huge boost for all of us.
“We all know why we are here and we hope we have sent the right message.
“The MND community is a beautiful community and it needs all of us to keep fighting. The awareness we have generated this week is enormous and comes from Rob's name.
“Fundraising is so important, we tried to emphasize this morning how important the money is because that is what will turn the tide, find a cure and ensure families are well looked after.
“If you leave with one thought, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas, but also leave a thought for those less fortunate.”
Sinfield has raised more than £8 million for a selection of motor neurone disease charities, and has set a fundraising target of £777,777 for his latest venture.
As of 7pm, the 43-year-old has raised £670,691.55 – 86 per cent of his proposed total – which will be shared between Motor Neurone Disease Association, Leeds Hospitals Charity, The Darby Rimmer MND Foundation, Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and My Name' 5 Doddie Foundation, founded by the late Doddie Weir.
The 43-year-old's challenge has seen him travel across the country to raise awareness
Friend and former teammate Rob Burrow was with Sinfield last week at the start of his journey
Sinfield and Burrow took part in the Leeds Marathon in June, with Sinfield carrying his friend across the finish line in emotional scenes
Ahead of Thursday's start, Sinfield implored others to think about how they could help the cause – without taking on such an extreme challenge.
“What we've done as a team over the last few years has been about raising awareness and funds for this wonderful community,” Sinfield said.
'But what I want to say to you is that you don't have to run marathons, just do your part, just help in some way.
“There is always someone much worse off than you who needs our help, so let's keep fighting together.”
To donate to Kevin Sinfield's 7 in 7 in 7 fundraiser, visit: donate.giveasyoulive.com