06 December 2023

Kevin Sinfield enjoys sunshine and blue skies in Brighton as challenge continues

06 December 2023

Kevin Sinfield was welcomed into Brighton with sunshine and blue skies for the penultimate stage of his mammoth ultramarathon challenge in aid of motor neurone disease, which has so far raised almost half a million pounds.

Inspired by former Leeds team-mate Rob Burrow, the 43-year-old is taking on the gruelling schedule every day for seven days in seven cities around Britain and Ireland.

Having been in Dublin on Tuesday, Sinfield returned to the English south coast to set off on the latest leg of the ‘7 in 7 in 7’ challenge, which will conclude with him running up The Mall in London on Thursday.

Sinfield, the current England rugby union defence coach, had battled the elements so far but was at least given a break from the bad weather on Wednesday morning as he departed from the American Express Stadium.

Wednesday’s leg, which also took in the seafront, pier and marina, is a tribute to Brighton College chemistry teacher Pete Bellenger, who died from MND last year.

The 27-mile run adds an extra mile at the end to encourage others to help their friends through tough times.

“It has absolutely chucked it down and been freezing and windy, then we come to Brighton and get the sunshine and blue skies. We are really happy to be here and will give it our best shot,” Sinfield said before setting off.

“We know what we are doing here. We are representing the beautiful community, trying to raise some awareness and funds to try and fund a cure, but we are also trying to change how people feel about the MND community and how people feel about each other.

“It is not about running marathons, I know our team are doing it today, it is about trying to find a little bit where you can help somebody.

“If you can do that in the run up to Christmas, then we’ve done our job.”

After completing the marathon distance, Sinfield met with supporters before then heading off again from Brighton Beach front for the extra mile.

“Well, good afternoon Brighton. It is supposed to be the sixth of December and it is like the sixth of July – who has brought this for us today?,” he said in a video posted on Leeds Rhinos’ social media.

“We have been in wind, we have been in rain, snow and been in hail stones – we come here and you give us this, so thank you very much.

“The team have really enjoyed being here. We got in at midnight and everyone has been so welcoming and fantastic with us.

“We have loved running around the city. It has been brilliant, we have had a great time.”

Sinfield added: “What we have done the last few years as a team has been about raising awareness and funds for this beautiful community.

“But what I would say to you all is you do not have to run marathons, just do your little bit, just help in some way. There is always someone a lot worse off than you who needs our help, so let’s keep fighting together.”

Following the end of day six as the team ran into Brighton College, with students and staff lining the route to applaud, the total raised so far stood at just over £488,000, which is 62 per cent of the £777,777 target.

Thursday’s final leg is scheduled to start from noon at Twickenham, home of England’s rugby union side.

The course will head through Richmond Park for the extra mile before finishing in central London past Westminster and Trafalgar Square then onto the Mall at around 4pm.

:: To donate to Kevin Sinfield’s 7 in 7 in 7 quest, see https://donate.giveasyoulive.com/fundraising/kevin-sinfield

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