Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield to channel inner Rocky in latest epic challenge for MND
A year on from covering 40 miles a day for seven days from Edinburgh to Manchester, Sinfield will embark on a '7 in 7 in 7' challenge next month.
The England rugby union defensive coach, who began raising awareness after former Rhinos team-mate Rob Burrow was diagnosed with the terminal illness in 2019, will aim to run an ultra marathon in under four hours every day for seven days in seven cities around Great Britain and Ireland.
The team will run an extra mile each day with the support of special guests to "signify the extra mile people can all go to help their friends in tough times".
Sinfield appeared to have hung up his running shoes but is ready to go again to raise vital funds the MND community.
"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," he said.
"The MND community have always given us incredible support and we wanted to find a way that we could show that support for more people around the country.
"I would especially like to thank all the local authorities and councils who have given us their support. It means so much to everyone."
Sinfield's latest fundraiser will combine elements from the previous three epic challenges.
Starting on December 1 – the third anniversary of the first 7 in 7 challenge – the team will run from AMT Headingley to York Minster before heading to Cardiff, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Dublin, Brighton and London.
“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," added Sinfield, whose initial target is to raise £777,777.
"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."
Pledges can be made at https://donate.giveasyoulive.com/fundraising/kevin-sinfield or text Kevin10 to 70143 to donate £10 or Kevin20 to the same number to donate £20.
The main beneficiaries will be the MND Association and Leeds Hospitals Charity appeal to build the Rob Burrow Centre for MND in the city.
There will also be donations to My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, the Irish MND Association and the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation, plus help for the 4ED campaign to support former Gloucester and Leicester rugby union player Ed Slater.
MND Association chief executive Tanya Curry has hailed Sinfield's "unwavering commitment and passion" to raising awareness and funds.
"The fundraising from his previous challenges has helped us expand our services and invest in vital research into this devastating disease," she said.
"This new endeavour, inspired by his friendship with our patron Rob Burrow, and the 5,000 people living with MND in the UK right now, will continue his incredible legacy.
"We are so grateful for his continuing efforts and will be rallying behind him as he laces his trainers for 7 in 7 in 7."
Esther Wakeman, chief executive of Leeds Hospitals Charity, described Sinfield’s efforts as "truly awe-inspiring".
"Through his series of epic challenges, Kevin has already contributed over £2million to our Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Appeal," she said.
"We’re incredibly grateful to Kevin for lacing up his running shoes once again to fundraise, as we still need £1.9million to help make Rob’s dream of a specialist centre in Leeds a reality."