Kevin Sinfield's 7-in-7: Huge crowds in York after latest leg of ultra marathon run

  • Kevin Sinfield addresses the crowd in York

Kevin Sinfield was visibly moved as he was greeted by huge crowds in York at the end of the latest leg of his epic challenge to raise money for motor-neurone disease (MND) research.

The former Leeds Rhinos captain and current Leicester Tigers coach said the turnout of hundreds of people at the finish line at York Minster was "like finishing the Grand Final".

Sinfield, 42, is attempting to run seven ultra marathons in seven days in his latest fundraising effort inspired by former teammate Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with MND in 2019.

He looked overcome with emotion as he gave a speech thanking the crowds, saying: "You've made this really special for all of us, it's something we'll remember for the rest of our lives. I think you know why we're here, we're all trying to do something positive for the MND community and our little mate Rob Burrow."

He added: "It's been chucking it down all day but our spirit hasn't wavered and that's down to you guys supporting us."

Thursday's feat means Sinfield has passed the 300km mark in the so-called "7-in-7", which will see him cover around 60km, or 37 miles, every day.

Sinfield said he was feeling "tired, wet and cold" at the end of the fifth day of his challenge but called the support "unbelievable".

It came after he and his team battled through heavy rain after an early morning start at North Riding FA in Stokesley.

They passed through Northallerton and Thirsk before a stop at Easingwold, where Sinfield was embraced by his wife.

Sinfield said day five was the toughest day so far because he had to run an extra 2km, in atrocious conditions. But he added: "People with MND don't get to choose what they get, the weather doesn't bother us, we knew today was going to be very difficult because there was a jump up in distance."

At the finish line Sinfield hugged Ian Flatt, from Harrogate, who has MND.

Mr Flatt, who scaled Mount Snowdon in his wheelchair this year to raise funds for a treatment centre in Leeds, described the moment as "very special".

He added: "He's just done the hardest leg of the week and he's come over and given me a hug in his shirt...it's the marker of the man, he's selfless.

"I'm sure the last thing he wanted to do was that, he needs to get into his motorhome and get a massage and get warm, but he just takes time out for people."

Sinfield, who has completed a number of endurance feats, is hoping to raise £777,777 as a nod to Rob Burrow, who played in the number seven shirt.

Sport stars joined the latest leg of the route, including former Leeds Rhinos player Jamie Peacock and 2003 World Cup winner Will Greenwood.

The challenge started at Edinburgh's Murrayfield Stadium on Sunday, 13 November.

Sinfield is aiming to finish at Old Trafford in Manchester at half time in the Rugby League World Cup Final on Saturday, 19 November.

The penultimate day, on Friday, will see Sinfield setting off from York Minster and finishing at Bradford City's ground.

He said he was predicting "an emotional day", with the prospect of seeing Rob Burrow.


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