Dual code star will again hold former team-mate Rob Burrow at the forefront of his thoughts
Kevin Sinfield wants to be tested to his absolute limits on his next gruelling physical challenge – to reflect the struggles that people battling against Motor Neurone Disease have to go through.
Sinfield will next week run 101 miles in just 24 hours from his new club Leicester Tigers to his spiritual home Leeds Rhinos. The England captain is aiming to raise £100,000 to be equally split between the MND Association and the appeal to build The Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease in Leeds.
The run will be divided into 7km sections, to mark Burrow’s iconic shirt number, with each section to be completed within an hour before the next leg starts. Sinfield has never been beyond 12 hours of running before – when he covered 52 miles last week – and knows this test of endurance will challenge him even more than last year’s seven marathons in seven days.
He said: “That’s a big message in this – Rob is going through some bits now and it’s uncertain each day when he wakes up, it’s a little bit worse than the one before.
Phil Daly/Leeds Rhinos/SWpix.com)
“He’s not sure what the journey is going to be like for him and where it’s going to take him, and we’re in the same boat on Monday.
“Yes we don’t have MND but we’re going into a pretty dark place that we’re not sure what nasty things await us. We’re prepared to go in there – Rob thinks it’s hilarious and that’s great.
“We’re doing this for him and everybody else in the UK that is challenged by MND, every family member. I think seeing other people willing to go to those dark places is pretty powerful and we’ll give it our best shot.”
Sinfield will have a 14-strong support team including friends David Spencer and Chris Stephenson – who both hope to complete the 101 miles – four cyclists, and a host of guest runners completing each 7km section.
A physio, sports scientist and a nutritionist from British Cycling will also be on hand to help Sinfield, who plans to eat brioche cheese with jam, pizzas and sweets as part of his refuelling.
He welcomed the recent news of £50million of Government funding into MND while highlighting the daily support that those affected by the cruel disease need.
Sinfield added: “We want to find a cure, find things that enhance people’s lives, keep them on earth for longer and make their journey more pleasant.
“But the other side is the love, kindness and care that people need – that funding isn’t for that so we’ve got to keep banging the drum and doing what we do.
“Rob just burst out laughing when I told him what we’re doing which was exactly the response I expected. Every time I go to see him he has that big smile on his face and the spirit is still there.
“We’re running on behalf of two great charities that Rob is so passionate about and he’s certainly a big motivator and inspiration in this. Last year gave us an incredible feeling of doing something that was good, and hopefully we get that feeling again.”