Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield has now raised an astonishing £1.1MILLION as he finishes his seventh marathon in seven days for the MND Association for former team-mate Rob Burrow
- Kevin Sinfield ran seven marathons in seven days to raise a target of £77,777
- But he has smashed that figure and on Monday, passed the £1million mark
- After finishing his final run, Sinfield said that it had been the best week of his life
Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield has raised over £1million by running seven marathons in seven days for his friend Rob Burrow.
Burrow was diagnosed with motor neurone disease last December after Sinfield encouraged him to visit a doctor about slurred speech.
Sinfield has said that he has felt emotional throughout his challenge and said he was ‘blown away’ when he raised half a million. His initial target was £77,777 – partly in tribute to Burrow’s old No 7 shirt.
Kevin Sinfield pictured on his final marathon on Monday as he bids to raise money and awareness for the fight against MND after his former Leeds Rhinos team-mate Rob Burrow was diagnosed with the disease
Sinfield was greeted by his friend and old team-mate Burrow at Headingley Stadium after he finished his fifth marathon on Saturday
Sinfield finished his last marathon on Monday with a time of three hours and 41 minutes
Sinfield completed his final marathon shortly before midday on Monday was an impressive time of three hours and 41 minutes.
‘I’m overwhelmed, I’m so happy,’ Sinfield said as he crossed the line after his final run. ‘After the first day we were a bit worried we bit off more than we could chew.
‘The donations and support fuelled that last run. At the start, we were worried we wouldn’t get £77,000. I’d like to say I’m going to go and get some sleep but I’m noit sure I am going to sleep tonight.
‘Rob is an absolute inspiration. He texted me every night and then seeing him on Saturday. The texts I woke up to this morning were brilliant.
‘It’s probably the best week of my life, when I look across what we’ve been through this week – the camaraderie and the challenges. In a couple of years, we’ll hopefully look back with a great deal of pride.’
Upon finishing the final run, Sinfield said he was overwhelmed by how much money he had raised and said the week was ‘probably the best of my life’
At the end of his sixth run on Sunday, Sinfield admitted he was starting to feel the pain.
‘It was the toughest day by a long stretch,’ Sinfield told Sky Sports. ‘I think mentally, to know that you’re close and physically it was really difficult, that one.
‘It’s not just the time you’re running, it’s the next 20 hours trying to fix yourself back up. I’ll be delighted to finish up in style on Sunday.’
Burrow greeted Sinfield at Headingley Stadium on Saturday, after he finished his fifth marathon.
Upon seeing his friend, Sinfield said: ‘When I ran into Headingley and I saw him, I didn’t stop straight away because I would have been a mess.
‘I had a minute to gather myself but for him to be here was really, really special.’
Burrow has paid a glowing tribute to Sinfield’s gesture, saying: ‘You continue to inspire me and make me never want to give in.
‘Like you, I will take on step at a time and maybe there isn’t a finish line for me but I will keep going.’
Speaking to Sportsmail in November ahead of the challenge, Sinfield was under no illusions over how difficult it was going to be. He said: ‘It will be the toughest thing I’ve ever done. It will be a huge mental challenge for me but I am looking forward to the battle.
‘I am going to spend that much time out on the road, I want to try and think of the good times I had with Rob.
‘I want to enjoy it so I will try and remember how funny he is, some of the jokes and daft pranks he played on people, rather than it all being quite dark and sad.’
Former Leeds Rhinos star Rob Burrow was diagnosed with motor neurone disease last year
Sinfield pictured with Burrow in January in a testimonial match where he took to the field in the closing moments of the game at Headingley
Sinfield has described his friendship with Burrow as ‘an unbreakable bond’.
They last played together professionally five years ago, winning the 2015 Super League Grand Final in their last match together.
In January, Burrow played the final few moments of a testimonial for former team-mate Jamie Jones-Buchanan, which was also a fundraiser for him.
Sinfield outlined to Sportsmail that his target was to raise £77,777 by running the seven marathons. But he has smashed that target and on Monday, the day of his final run, he broke the £1m mark on his Just Giving page.