20 years after he ran his first London Marathon Neil Wilson is gearing up to do it again. This time to raise money for a charity that’s very close to his heart.

Neil, (pictured fourth from the left) who is managing partner of Leeds-Based law firm Chadwick Lawrence and a keen runner, first ran the world’s largest marathon, in 2002. And for the past few months he’s been back in both marathon training and fundraising mode.

He’s running to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA), in honour of his friend Rob Burrow. And he’s already smashed his £5k running target with almost £8k now raised.

Rob Burrow, MBE, is a former professional rugby league player who played for the Leeds Rhinos for 16 years, before retiring in 2017. He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019 and has since helped raise millions for the charity, while raising awareness of the condition and the charity’s important work.

Neil is supporting MNDA through this link with Rob and a decades long friendship with former Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield. He’s also a Trustee of the Leeds Rhinos Foundation. Kevin commented: “Good on Neil taking on the challenge of the London marathon. Massive respect and I am sure it will be a painful but fulfilling experience.”

“Sport is a huge part of my life,” says Neil. “It always has been. I run, go to the gym, play football, and enjoy walking. And I wanted to do the London Marathon this year – to see if I can still do it – it’s been 20 years since my first! And to give my support for Rob, Kevin, and everyone at the MNDA and Leeds Rhinos.

“When Rob was diagnosed, I couldn’t believe what was happening to this great young man, husband, and father. His story, his courage, and his tireless work for the association over the past few years is awe-inspiring and I just felt compelled to do something to show my support. That’s led me to focus on fundraising and tackling the London Marathon again.

“There have been a few challenges in my training prep – I ran a 10k for Wakefield Hospice back in March and strained a hamstring, then had issues with my knee recently. But I’m pushing on and making sure I’m as marathon fit as possible ahead of 2 October.”

Training is consisting of weekly runs and taking part in the Leeds 10k run in July, and 20-35k runs up to a few weeks before the main event.

“The main thing for me is the mental element,” says Neil. “Getting my head into the right space to achieve this goal and eating and training right so I’m in the best shape for it. My team at Chadwick Lawrence are also getting behind fundraising for the charity and a few of us will be taking part in the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon next May.”

Find out more at Neil’s JustGiving page here.