Thousands of runners take part in first ever Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon

Thousands of runners have made history taking part in the first ever Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon.

The marathon, which honoured the Leeds Rhinos legend, saw more than 12,000 people take part in the 26-mile route around the city, with a further 3,000 people running the half marathon.

Burrow himself, who was pushed around the course by his friend and former Leeds Rhinos teammate Kevin Sinfield, finished in just over four hours - with a final time of 4:10:25.

Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield during the 2023 Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon starting and finishing at Headingley Stadium, Leeds. Credit: PA

Sinfield pushed his former teammate until the very end, when he lifted Burrow out of his wheelchair and carried him over the finish line.

He said: "It was only right that we went over together.

"I didn't want him beating me you see. If he went over in the chair in front of me, it would've meant he got a faster time so now we got the same time."

Since Burrow's diagnosis, Sinfield has fundraised through numerous gruelling challenges to raise money for MND research. Most recently, he completed 7 marathons in 7 days.

The event's first ever winner was Nathan Edmonson, who finished in an impressive two hours, 29 minutes and 14 seconds.

He was followed by Michael Priestley, who completed the marathon in two hours, 39 minutes and 17 seconds, followed shortly by Ben Goddard - who finished just 23 seconds later.

The marathon was set up, in collaboration with Run For All and Leeds City Council, to raise money for motor neurone disease (MND) charities and a new MND centre in Leeds.

Left to right - Michael Priestley, Nathan Edmondson and Ben Goddard. Credit: Run For All

It comes after Burrow was diagnosed with the disease in 2019. The former rugby league player has since campaigned tirelessly, alongside family and friends, to raise awareness for MND.

The marathon started and ended at Headingley Stadium, where Burrow played for years, and included a challenging uphill run past Otley Chevin Forest park.

Burrow said: "This event is about friendship and community spirit and helping each other to achieve goals.

"I'm really looking forward to participating in the marathon and joining you all, alongside my mate Kev for the 26.2 mile challenge."

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