Kevin Sinfield has completed his ultra-marathon challenge in aid of motor neurone disease (MND), which has so far raised more than £630,000.
The 43-year-old was cheered to the finish line as he ran up The Mall in London in the rain on Thursday afternoon, after completing seven ultra-marathons in as many days in seven cities around Britain and Ireland.
Sinfield, the current England rugby union defence coach, completed ultra-marathons in Leeds, Cardiff, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Dublin and Brighton before finishing before scores of waiting supporters in the capital at about 3.45pm.
He was inspired by his former Leeds rugby league team-mate Rob Burrow, who disclosed in December 2019 that he had been diagnosed with MND, to take on the ‘7 in 7 in 7’ challenge.
Each 27-mile run added an extra mile at the end to encourage others to help their friends through tough times.
He embraced his team-mates at the finish line and was swarmed by supporters and members of the media, before delivering a speech and giving interviews.
He told the PA news agency: “I’m knackered and I’m delighted.”
On the money he has raised so far, he added: “I’m delighted. I think we’d love to hit the target, clearly, hopefully people will carry on donating over this next little while, not underestimating either that £600,000 is a lot of money and will make a difference.
“We’ve got to keep pushing and driving because the MND community need our help and support and the best way we can provide that is through trying to find a cure and making sure that human side, how people live and operate, and the journeys that they go on, are smoother.”
Thursday’s final leg started at noon at Twickenham Stadium, home of England’s rugby union side.
Sinfield then passed through areas including Richmond Park, Notting Hill Gate, Hyde Park, Southwark Bridge and Whitehall before the final dash up The Mall.
As of 4.30pm on Thursday, he has raised more than £632,000 towards his £777,777 target.
Since 2020, Sinfield and his team have raised over £8 million with three previous endurance events, having been inspired by Burrow.
A Leeds Rhinos spokesperson said: “The team are inspired by MND sporting warriors Rob Burrow, Ed Slater, Marcus Stewart, Stephen Darby, the late Doddie Weir and the 5,000 other people living with MND, in the UK right now.”
– To donate to Sinfield’s 7 in 7 in 7 quest, see https://donate.giveasyoulive.com/fundraising/kevin-sinfield.