Today is the last day of running seven marathons in just seven days that Leeds Rhinos director of rugby Kevin Sinfield is undertaking.
As I write this, it has been confirmed that Kevin has raised just over £1m, an incredible amount of money for his former rugby team mate Rob Burrow who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease MND last year.
I was lucky enough to catch up for a chat with Kevin as he'd just completed marathon number four.
"Rob and I played together for Leeds and over the years have become very good friends. I wanted to do something for him, a big challenge before Christmas and to raise some funds for MND and as I had run a couple of marathons before, I thought I could do that, but wanted something more," he told me. "So, taking inspiration from Rob's squad number 7, and talking to Rob's playing sponsors of 20 years, ACS in Leeds who also wanted to help, I decided to run seven marathons in seven days, starting on December first, at 7am, finishing on the 7th, grabbing peoples attention, with a hope of raising £77k. I also want to complete each one in less than four hours.
"I've had a great team of people helping to put this together," he continued, "making sure we are Covid safe, including law firm Chadwick Lawrence who I have worked with for quite some time, of course the Rhinos and many others behind the scenes. The original plan was to start in Scotland and work our way down the country, raising awareness on a national level, but we entered another lockdown and that made us change our plans. It simplified it actually as it meant we only had to work with two local authorities, Oldham where I am from and Leeds, who have both been really supportive.
The first three marathons took place in Saddleworth, Kevin's hometown, the fourth towards Rochdale where there was 3 to 4 inches of snow on the ground when he set off, with the two weekend dates taking place in Leeds, where Kevin was surprised to see Rob en-route and who was there to greet him at the end of Saturday's marathon at the Leeds Rhinos ground. "I was delighted to see Rob, he has been so brave, he is incredible, he sends me an inspirational text message every night, which I really appreciate,"
The final marathon which took place today is back in Kevin's home town and as we publish he is just one hour away from finishing. The event has not only raised an incredible amount of cash and probably will continue to do so over the coming weeks, importantly it has raised awareness of this debilitating disease.
Well done Kevin from everyone here at TopicUK.