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Rugby star carries terminally-ill teammate over marathon finish line in beautiful display of friendship

Sinfield pushed Burrow, who is battling motor neuron disease (MND), for the entire 26.2-mile course, lifting him out of his chair before carrying him across the finish line.

Rugby star carries terminally-ill teammate over marathon finish line in beautiful display of friendship
Cover Image Source: Twitter | @leedsrhinos

In a heartwarming display of friendship and determination, Kevin Sinfield provided unwavering support to his friend and teammate, Rob Burrow, during the first-ever Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon. On May 14, 2023, Sinfield pushed Burrow, who is battling motor neuron disease (MND), for the entire 26.2-mile course. The emotional climax occurred just moments before the finish line, as Sinfield lifted Burrow out of his chair and carried him triumphantly across the mark.

Image Source: Getty Images | George Wood
Image Source: Ex-Leeds Rhinos rugby league player Kevin Sinfield (R) embraces former teammate Rob Burrow after completing his Extra Mile Challenge at Emerald Headingley Stadium on November 23, 2021 - Getty Images | George Wood

Sinfield's incredible efforts in raising over £8 million through various challenges, including running seven marathons and seven ultramarathons in as many days, exemplify his unwavering commitment to his cause. Reflecting on his achievements, Sinfield described the ultramarathon feat as "a run for a mate with other mates," as reported by The Guardian.



 

Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND) in January 2020, courageously took part in the marathon alongside his friend Kevin Sinfield and 12,000 other participants. Muscle weakness and visible wasting are common symptoms of motor neuron disease (MND), a rare condition that gradually affects specific areas of the nervous system, causing progressive damage, per NHS inform.



 

The significance of the number seven, which Burrow wore during his time at Leeds, was evident in the race, as the marathon originally planned for 7,777 places had to accommodate more runners due to overwhelming demand. Amidst the cheers of the crowd, Sinfield shared a heartfelt moment with Burrow, kissing his cheek and emphasizing the importance of their friendship. "Today is a celebration of friendship," Sinfield said. "The support for the MND community through the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon has been fantastic."

Image Source: Ex-Leeds Rhinos rugby league player Kevin Sinfield (R) speaks with former teammate Rob Burrow after completing his Extra Mile Challenge at Emerald Headingley Stadium on November 23, 2021 in Leeds, England. Sinfield aims to run 101 miles in 24 hours in aid of motor neurone disease research. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
Image Source: Ex-Leeds Rhinos rugby league player Kevin Sinfield (R) speaks with former teammate Rob Burrow after completing his Extra Mile Challenge at Emerald Headingley Stadium on November 23, 2021, in Leeds, England -Getty Images | George Wood

Among the 12,000 runners, over 40% were in a marathon for the first time, including Burrow’s wife, Lindsey. Sinfield eagerly anticipated spending time with Burrow before the race, reminiscing about their amusing moments during a trial run for the Leeds 10k event. Despite the communication challenges faced by Burrow, Sinfield recognized his friend's laughter and promised that they would enjoy themselves together during the marathon.



 

The marathon started and finished at Headingley Stadium and it took Sinfield and Burrow over four hours and 20 minutes to complete. The marathon in Leeds, the first in 20 years, was based around “friendship and community," according to Sinfield. Burrow hopes to create an MND Care Centre in Leeds, according to Sky Sports, Burrow hopes to create an MND Care Centre in Leeds. "Imprisoned in the brutality of MND, my vision is that people diagnosed with MND hear the news in a calming and tranquil sanctuary," He added, "I envisage a beautiful and welcoming building that is user and family-friendly. A place where patients feel comfortable to bring family members into a safe and homely environment, with signs of hope and optimism."



 

Despite a knee injury, Burrow's wife Lindsey hopes to complete her first full marathon in Leeds, having raised over £10,000 on her JustGiving page. The marathon, along with the Leeds Half Marathon, was jointly organized by Leeds City Council and Jane Tomlinson's Run For All charity. The event has surpassed the £1 million mark in funds raised. Sinfield, widely regarded as one of the greatest rugby league players and currently serving as the defense coach for England rugby union, has gained immense praise and admiration on the internet for his remarkable acts of support for his dear friend, Burrow. "Hats off to Kevin. A true and loyal friendship, no question. Love to Kevin and Rob from a rugby league fan," said @greattobehere2



 

 



 

"Sir Kev and Sir Rob you are both true inspirations. I have tears rolling down my cheeks but it's not because I'm sad, these are tears of hope, tears of pure love for you both. You are amazing," wrote @julietlomax1967. "Both exceptional players. What a human being Kevin Sinfield is! A true legend of the game as is Rob. Everybody who took part I applaud you," added @ScourfieldBryn. "The epitome of friendship, as a friend, Kev is on a level all on his own. Quality person" noted @JohnGal_luvlife. "What a guy Sir Kevin Sinfield is. It is a pity we don't have more people like Sir Kevin Sinfield in this world," shared @Iansmit86749336.

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