Kevin Sinfield's 7 in 7 in 7: Timings and locations for rugby legend's MND challenge

Kevin Sinfield applauds the crowd following the end of his Ultra 7 in 7 Challenge from Bradford City to Old Trafford during the Rugby League World Cup final at Old Trafford, Manchester. Saturday November 19, 2022.
Kevin Sinfield has helped to raise millions of pounds for MND research through a series of challenges. Credit: PA

Rugby legend Kevin Sinfield is about to embark on arguably his greatest charity challenge yet.

The former Leeds Rhinos captain and England rugby union coach will aim to run an ultra-marathon every day for seven days in seven cities around Great Britain and Ireland.

The so-called "7 in 7 in 7" challenge will once again raise awareness and funds to support people affected by motor neurone disease (MND). The initial target is to raise £777,777.

Here's all you need to know about the challenge:

When is it happening?

Sinfield will set off from Leeds on 1 December – three years to the day since he started his first 7 in 7 challenge in 2020.

He will finish on 7 December in London.

Each run will consist of a marathon distance (26.2 miles), plus an extra mile to signify the extra mile people can all go to help their friends in tough times.

Sinfield will be joined by invited guests for the extra mile each day. The aim is to complete each day's run in under four hours.

Why is Sinfield running the 7 in 7 in 7?

The 43-year-old former Leeds Rhinos captain, and England rugby union coach, was inspired to undertake a series of endurance events by his former Leeds Rhinos teammate Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with MND in 2019.

Together they have raised more than £8m since 2020, funding the building of the Rob Burrow Centre for MND at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

Burrow and Sinfield completed the Leeds Marathon together in May 2023. Credit: PA

Earlier this month the duo released a new book, With You Every Step, celebrating their friendship.

Rob Burrow paid tribute to his former teammate, saying: "Kev was my captain, he still is my captain, he always will be.

"He puts his body on the line every time he steps up to start a challenge."

Locations on Sinfield's route:

  • 1 December: AMT Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds, to York Minister.

  • 2 December: Cardiff, finishing the day on the pitch at half-time during the United Rugby Championship game between Cardiff and Scarlets at The Arms Park.  

  • 3 December: Start at Birmingham's Alexandra Stadium calling en-route at St Andrew's, Villa Park, and Edgbaston before finishing in the city centre.  

  • 4 December: The team will head across the border to Edinburgh, crossing the Forth Road Bridge before finishing at Murrayfield Stadium. The halfway point of the challenge will be especially poignant as, last year, the team was set off by legend Doddie Weir. He died eight months later from MND.

  • 5 December: Across the Irish Sea to run in Dublin inspired by former Munster Rugby Union coach Paul Darbyshire, who played rugby league with Warrington and passed away from MND in 2011 aged just 41.

  • 6 December: Down to the south coast of England to Brighton.

  • 7 December: Twickenham Stadium in London to The Mall, the traditional finish of the London Marathon.

In the run-up to the latest challenge, Kevin said: "Here we go again!

"I did say last year that the Ultra 7 in 7 would complete the trilogy but there was always that caveat that Rocky 4 was my favourite Rocky film.

"Physically this will be my toughest challenge as I have not been able to do the amount of training that I have done previously because of my commitments for the World Cup and we have set an ambitious time target to complete each ultra so people know that we will be pushing ourselves to the limit.

"I am looking forward to it and seeing all the support out on the streets once again. For the MND community, every second counts and we will be making the most of every step on this challenge to raise awareness, funds and support for that community."

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