KEVIN Sinfield admits running 101 miles in his latest physical challenge has pal and former team-mate Rob Burrow laughing.
But even though he believes the Government will come good on its promise to add £50 million into research of motor neurone disease, he is ready to put himself in a ‘dark place.’
Monday sees Sinfield run from Leicester Tigers RU’s Welford Road home, where he coaches, to the stadium he and Burrow became legends, Leeds Rhinos RL, in 7km legs over 24 hours.
After raising almost £3 million doing seven marathons in seven days last year, The Extra Mile challenge is already over £70,000. although about £150,000 has been pledged, which will be split between the Leeds Hospitals Charity appeal to build the Rob Burrow Centre for MND and the MND Association.
And even though the pledge is huge news for people living with the condition, with a campaign spearheaded by Burrow, RU ace Doddie Weir and footballer Stephen Darby, this is literally going further
When Sinfield told Burrow what he was going to do, though, there was just one reaction as he recalled: “He just burst out laughing, which was the response I expected.
“But I want it to be horrible, I want it to be unpleasant. We did a 12-hour training stint, which was 52 miles, and it was pretty brutal but it was important we went there.
“My wife came up with, ‘How far is it from Leicester to Leeds? Why don’t you run from club to club?’ She thought I was crackers though when I said, ‘I’m going for a 12-hour run, starting at 3am,’ but she gets it.
“Rob’s going through uncertainty and each day he wakes up with it a little worse than the one before. He’s not quite sure what the journey is like for him. We’re in the same boat on Monday.
“We’re going into a pretty dark place. We’re not sure what nasty things await us but we’re prepared to go in there. He thinks that’s hilarious, which is great.
“But for him and everyone else in the UK who is being challenged by MND, to see other people willing to go to those dark places is pretty powerful.”
MND remains incurable but news the Government would put £50 million into research is welcomed by Sinfield.
That, though, does not make his run redundant as the 41-year-old added: “The Government pledge is wonderful. The campaigning that has gone on from Doddie, Rob and Stephen has been incredible.
“Without those three being so brave and courageous, I don’t think it would’ve come through. Late Saturday night, I was thinking, ‘Do I have to run now?’ but the reality is yes, we do.
“That £50 million only covers half of the issue. We want to find a cure, things that enhance people’s lives and keep them on this Earth that bit longer.
“But the other side is that care, support, love and kindness the Government doesn’t provide. That funding isn’t for that, so we’ve got to keep banging the drum.
“The signs are positive and you can only take people by their word. There’s been enough smoke, I just hope it comes through.
“You’ve three guys there who’ve been inspirations for all of us. For the hard work they’ve done and for how little this disease has been funded for 30 years, it needs it.”
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