6 rugby league stars running marathons this spring, including Leeds Rhinos and Hull FC icons

Aaron Bower

The business end of the rugby league season is still several months away – but in the world of running, one of the biggest months of the year is here.

Marathon season in the UK is well underway and three of the biggest on the calendar are due to take place in the coming weeks: with Manchester this weekend, London next and, perhaps most poignantly for rugby league, the second edition of the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon in May.

More and more rugby league stars have taken up the sport post-playing, undoubtedly inspired by the herculean efforts of Kevin Sinfield and his tireless fundraising to support those living with Motor Neurone Disease. Last year’s inaugural Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon provided the world with the unforgettable image of Sinfield carrying his close friend Burrow across the finish line after completing the 26.2 mile course together.

Sinfield will, unsurprisingly, be lacing the running shoes up again this spring – and he isn’t alone. Here’s the rugby league stars who will be pounding the streets and conquering the marathon.

Kevin Sinfield

There is, in truth, nobody else we could headline this list with. One of the most inspirational leaders of his generation on the field, Sinfield continues to inspire and amaze as a runner too with his extraordinary feats of athletic endurance.

Sinfield will be on the streets of Manchester this weekend before taking part in the second Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon in May. He’s an accomplished marathon runner, too – crossing the line at the 2021 London Marathon in 3:22:29.

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Jamie Peacock

Jamie Peacock, Leeds Rhinos, 2015

He’s one of the best forwards of his generation: and Peacock is pretty handy when it comes to running, too.

Peacock has run a number of big races and marathons – most recently completing the Seville Marathon in February in a very impressive time of 3:29:12. That time would be commendable for most, but for an individual who spent most of his adult life playing rugby league? It’s pretty mind-blowing.

Peacock will be on the streets of London next weekend taking on the biggest marathon of them all, the London Marathon.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan

Not to be outdone by his former captain – and fellow interim coach – at Leeds Rhinos, Jones-Buchanan is another who has been running for a number of years since finishing playing, and he’ll be running two major marathons in the space of a month.

Jones-Buchanan will be in the capital next weekend for the London Marathon, before a short rest-up ahead of tackling the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon in May. Trust us when we say that two marathons in the space of a handful of weeks is a seriously superhuman feat: and the author of this article would argue even more superhuman than a stellar rugby career.. though that’s up for debate!

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Scott Taylor

Scott Taylor Hull FC Alamy

He may have only finished playing at the end of last season, but former Hull and Wigan prop Taylor is another who has transitioned into running and is planning to tackle his first marathon this spring.

Taylor will be on the streets of Leeds running with so many former rugby league stars like himself, and is another raising money for Burrow’s charitable trust and also for his own personal friend, who has also been diagnosed with MND.

You can donate to his fundraising efforts by clicking here.

Barrie McDermott

McDermott is a regular runner at the Leeds 10k every summer, often taking to the streets of West Yorkshire to run with the Rhinos’ foundation.

But he’s jumping from 10k to 42.2k this year, as he prepares to tackle the marathon in the city of Leeds along with a number of his former Rhinos team-mates.

Luke Ambler

Former Leeds and Halifax prop Ambler has achieved incredible things away from the rugby field since retiring. The driving force behind Andy’s Man Club, Ambler has already helped change the face of men’s mental health and undoubtedly save lives – and he’s a pretty keen runner, too.

Ambler is getting ready to take on the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon in May, having already completed a number of big running events already.

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