Kevin Sinfield 'blown away' by support for solo marathon in aid of Rob Burrow
Sinfield completes solo marathon in three hours and 18 minutes, raising money for Burrow who has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease
By Husmukh Kerai
Last Updated: 22/03/20 2:19pm
Leeds Rhinos director of rugby Kevin Sinfield says he has been "blown away" by the level of support shown towards his fundraising efforts for former team-mate Rob Burrow, who has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND).
Sinfield ran a solo marathon on Sunday after the Manchester Marathon was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Rhinos director raised money for his ex-Leeds and England team-mate Burrow, who was diagnosed with MND in December, finishing in three hours and 18 minutes.
Sinfield ran the distance alone because of government guidelines surrounding social distancing.
Speaking before starting the marathon, he told Sky Sports News: "I'm doing it solo, I've got a mate following me on a bike to look after me.
"It was meant to be in Manchester in two weeks but it got cancelled. I got an email saying that you could do one remotely and that got my mind ticking.
"On Wednesday, with us all in lockdown, I thought why not get out and do it.
"There are a lot of vulnerable people out there right now with coronavirus, people like Rob, cancer patients, people with lung conditions, the elderly. It's important to spare a thought for people who have it tough.
"I think I've always wanted to do it. It's a bit hilly but I'm looking forward to it, it's part of the challenge. When I plotted the route it was only 20 per cent flat. I never thought I would get the opportunity to run a marathon locally.
"I think we have all been blown away [by the support] actually. The sport always comes together, the city of Leeds always gets behind its own. Rob's been a legend, but [it is great] to see the whole game, to see other sports all get involved."
'Burrow, Weir and Darby huge for MND awareness'
Sinfield also credited former Scotland rugby player Doddie Weir and former Bradford City defender Stephen Darby, both sufferers of MND, on the work they have done previously to raise awareness around MND.
He added: "It is about raising some money but it is more about the awareness. Doing it for my old team-mate Rob Burrows who has MND.
"When you combine Rob with Doddie Weir and Stephen Darby - three really inspirational sports people. I think they've had a huge impact.
"At this time it is good to keep them in the forefront of everyone's minds. Some of us feel like we have it tough, some of us might have to self isolate but for people like those three it is really tough at the minute."
'Rugby League will survive coronavirus'
Sinfield says he has every confidence the sport of Rugby League will come through the current pandemic and survive "in some form another".
The Leeds Rhinos director also confirmed none of his players have been tested positive for coronavirus, although some have self-isolated after displaying symptoms.
"We've had nobody test positive, which is great. We've got a fair few showing symptoms and self isolating," he revealed.
"The lads are going a little bit stir crazy because they are not training and following their usual routine.
"I think they understand the bigger picture. The players and the staff are at the forefront of every decision that we make. We care about them, we support them and we are all in it together.
"It will be really tough if this goes on for a long period. [If it goes on for months] you are concerned about the future of the game.
"I guarantee you this; the game will survive in some form or another. It has to, it will and it will always be here. I suppose there is concern over what it will look like at that point but everyone will pull together and stay strong."
A fundraiser has been set up for Rob Burrow and his family. Click here if you'd like to donate to the cause.