The first-ever Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon was held recently to raise funds for The Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Appeal, the Leeds Hospitals Charity, and various other causes. The event was named after former Leeds Rhinos star Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019. Rugby league legend Kevin Sinfield, who is a close friend of Burrow, participated in the marathon and stopped just short of the finish line to carry Burrow over it. Sinfield had pushed Burrow around the course in a specially-adapted wheelchair before lifting him up to carry him over the line.

The marathon had over 12,000 participants and was held in Leeds, with the starting and ending point being Headingley Stadium. The marathon aimed to raise funds for various causes, but the main focus was on raising awareness for motor neurone disease. Spectators lined the course, cheering on the runners, and were particularly touched by the sight of Sinfield carrying Burrow over the finish line.

The marathon was an emotional day for many people, including those who came to support their loved ones running the race. One woman told BBC Look North that it was an emotional experience, especially seeing two friends completing the marathon together. Another woman was there to support her 76-year-old husband, who was running his first marathon with two false knees and four stents.

Sinfield has been a long-time advocate for raising awareness and funds for motor neurone disease. He has raised over £8m for various MND charities through his numerous fundraising activities. In late 2020, he ran seven marathons in seven days, and in 2021, he completed a run of 101 miles in 24 hours. Speaking ahead of the marathon, Sinfield thanked all those involved in creating something so incredible in Burrow’s name. He called the event a celebration of friendship.

Burrow also expressed his gratitude for the support of the city of Leeds and the MND community. He said that Leeds is a wonderful city and that he was grateful for all the support that the city has shown him and his family. The marathon was a huge success, and Run For All announced that The Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon would return in 2024 due to the overwhelming number of entries for this year’s race.

Jenn Scribbins, from the Motor Neurone Disease Association, expressed her appreciation for the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon and called it important in defeating the “devastating” disease. She said that six people are diagnosed with MND every day, and unfortunately, there is currently no cure. However, events like the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon can help raise funds to support research and bring us closer to finding a cure.