Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield will write a new chapter in the ground’s famous history when he crosses the line at the end of an epic 101-mile run to support former teammate Rob Burrow and other sufferers of the terminal illness motor neurone disease (mnd).
Fans are expected to line local streets and the stadium’s terraces on Tuesday to cheer Sinfield home as he completes his second incredible fund-raising feat inside 12 months.
The former Rhinos is on course to raise a six-figure sum for the battle against (mnd) after his latest astonishing feat of endurance captured the public’s imagination nationwide.
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Sinfield set off from Leicester Tigers’ Welford Road ground, where he now works as an assistant-coach, at 8.40am today and aims to run a specially-designed route to Rhinos’ Headingley stadium in exactly 24 hours.
The distance was originally set at 100 miles, but Sinfield pledged to go ‘the extra mile’ for Burrow, who was diagnosed with mnd almost two years ago.
The 41-year-old will power through the afternoon, evening and night and is due to begin the final leg of his epic trek, from Leeds’ Hyde Park to Headingley Stadium, at 7.40am on Tuesday.
Sinfield raised £2.7m for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) last December, when he ran seven marathons in as many days and his current exploit could take the total to around £3m.
Money raised from the ‘extra mile’ challenge will be split between the Leeds Hospitals Charity appeal to build a Rob Burrow Centre for MND in the city and the MNDA.
Pledges smashed through the £200,000 barrier - double the initial target - within two hours of Sinfield hitting the road and by mid-morning the total was climbing around £1,000 every few minutes.
Sinfield has admitted this is his toughest test yet, but insisted the plight of Burrow and other mnd sufferers will power him on.
Speaking before he set off, Sinfield admitted some dark hours lay ahead, but insisted: "I'm prepared to keep going - I don't know how long my knees will hold up, but Rob’s a mate and he'd do it for me."
Ex-teammates and other guest runners are lined up to join Sinfield for sections of the route and sports stars including football heroes Alan Shearer and Ian Wright and Olympian Mo Farah sent messages of support.
The course has been divided into seven-mile legs, with Sinfield having an hour’s break in between each section.
Hundreds of fans gathered in Leicester to see him off and more are expected to line the streets in Leeds and gather at Rhinos’ ground to cheer their hero home.
Pledges can be made via https://donate.giveasyoulive.com/fundraising/kevin-sinfields-the-extra-mile-challenge or text Kevin to 70143 to donate £3.
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