Kevin Sinfield described completing his epic Ultra 7 in 7 Challenge in honour of his good friend Rob Burrow as “just going on a run for a mate”.
Rugby league legend Sinfield covered almost 40 miles per day for seven days before finishing on the Old Trafford pitch at half-time in the men’s World Cup final on Saturday.
Sinfield and his team have raised more than £2million so far, with the money towards five charities which support people affected my motor neurone disease, and invest in research to bring us closer to effective treatments and a cure.
Sinfield met Burrow at Headingley the day before he completed his challenge in what he described as a moment he’ll never forget.
“It was just a really nice moment when I saw them at Headingley,” he said.
“Rob was texting me every night, he kept telling me to look after myself. He genuinely cares about what we’re doing and the team but also wanted to make sure we’re all healthy and fit.
“I just think that moment at Headingley said it all for me. He didn’t have his eyegaze with him, he tends not to bring it out in public but his eyes and smile told me everything I needed to know. To greet Lindsey (Rob’s wife) and his mum and dad was an emotional moment that will stick with me forever because I know what it means to them.”
Kevin Sinfield: I feel like a billionaire in memories and friendships
Being the honest and humble superhuman being he is, Sinfield was keen to shift praise on himself to the rest of his team in his epic challenge.
“I’d very quickly swing it back to the team, without those guys I wouldn’t have been able to do it,” the Rhinos legend said. “Their support has been incredible.
“In my own mind I still view it as going for a run for a mate with some mates in its simplest form.
“I do believe we can all just do our bit. I do understand that things have changed and there’s less and less people who want to talk rugby to me anymore which is a good thing. People want to talk MND and running. The challenge has given me a chance to provide hope to so many people and there’s no greater gift than that, it’s so powerful.
“If you are having a bad day, you think about what we’ve just done and the people we’ll make a difference to. You very quickly flick out of that bad day.
“I don’t like any rewards, I’ve had my rewards. The difference we can make is far greater than any reward can ever have.
“I said this about my playing career – the medals and trophies matter – but they don’t really matter. The thing I treasure are the friendships and memories. Over the last two years and three challenges, I feel like a billionaire in memories and friendships. I’ve got some people who I know would go above and beyond for me and that’s from going through the tough challenges together.”
To make a donation to Sinfield’s fundraising efforts, click here.