Former England rugby captain Kevin Sinfield is set to embark upon his most gruelling challenge yet to raise vital funds for charity MNDA.
After he captured the support of the nation when he completed the mammoth task of running seven marathons in seven days back in December 2020, and raised well over £2.7 million in the process, the Oldham-born 41-year-old has announced that he will attempt to run a whopping 101 miles in 24-hours.
The challenge is called #TheExtraMile, and this time round, he hopes to raise £100,000 for those impacted by motor neurone disease.
Sinfield will attempt to run from the home ground of Leicester Tigers – the club which he has joined the coaching staff of – to Emerald Headingley Stadium in Leeds in 24 hours, and it’s all to raise funds for the MND Association and The Rob Burrow Centre for MND.
His fundraising and awareness efforts are inspired by Sinfield’s friend and former Leeds teammate Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with MND in December 2019.
Speaking to MNDA ahead of tackling the new challenge, Kevin said: “Undoubtedly, this will the toughest challenge I have ever attempted.
“But I know it will mean so much to so many people if we can reach our fundraising target.
“In my short time at the Tigers, the people in Leicester have made me feel so welcome and it is wonderful that we have been able to come up with an event that starts in Leicester and finishes with us coming home to Emerald Headingley.”
Initially, Sinfield and his team had planned to run 100 miles, but the actual distance has worked out to be 101 miles – hence the run being named ‘The Extra Mile Challenge’.
Sinfield and his team will cover the route – which will be publicised in advance, so well wishers can come out to cheer them on – in 7km stages, each of which must be completed inside an hour with the next starting on the hour.
The challenge will begin on Monday 22 November.
“The response from the public last year was breath taking and I know, from feedback we have received from the MND Association, every penny that was raised has been put to good use to help members of the MND community across England and Wales,” Kevin continued.
“The more money we can raise, the more people we can help and ultimately find a cure for this cruel disease.
“We have seen science and research do some incredible things over the last year and I know so much work is going on to find a breakthrough for MND.
“I am sure there will be tough times as we pound the streets during the day and night, in cold November temperatures, but knowing the good we can all achieve together will be a huge motivation for everyone involved.”
Kevin appeared on BBC Breakfast yesterday to talk a little more about the challenge.
In addition to public donations, Sinfield is hoping to attract five key benefactors – whose logos will appear on his running vest – to donate £20,000 each.
This should then double the proceeds raised to £200,000.
Donations will be split equally between the Leeds Hospitals Charity appeal to build the Rob Burrow Centre for MND supporting people living with the disease and their families, and the MND Association, which funds multi-disciplinary care across the country, as well as research into potential treatments.
Over £11,000 has already been raised, with donations rising every minute.
You can find out more information, and make a donation to Kevin Sinfield’s ‘The Extra Mile Challenge’ here.
Featured Image – Twitter (@MNDA)