Rob Burrow Leeds MND marathon: how many miles, route, and is it flat as over £1m raised for charities

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The former Leeds Rhinos rugby player was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019

A marathon which was organised to honour former professional rugby player Rob Burrow has raised more than £1 million for charity, a month before it takes place. The Rob Burrow marathon was announced in 2022, inspired by Burrow’s former teammate Kevin Sinfield who had set himself running challenges to raise money and awareness for the disease.

Sinfield said the marathon will provide a 'beacon of light' for those living with and affected by MND. He  added: “The support for the MND community through the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon has been fantastic. Through the event we are able to provide hope for a community that has been in the dark for so long.”

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How many miles is it and what is the route of Rob Burrows marathon?

The 26.2 mile run will be held in May and will start and finish at Leeds Rhinos' Headingley Stadium in Leeds, West Yorkshire, where Burrows was based during his 16-year career between 2001 and 2017. Fundraising efforts for the marathon have now surpassed £1 million to support motor neurone disease (MND) charities. The money will help fund a proposed specialist care building in the city and the Leeds Hospitals Charity. MND Association, an organisation which supports people with the disease, will also benefit.

Rugby legends Kevin Sinfield and Rob Burrow at Headingley Stadium.Rugby legends Kevin Sinfield and Rob Burrow at Headingley Stadium.
Rugby legends Kevin Sinfield and Rob Burrow at Headingley Stadium. | SWNS

The marathon, which will take place on Sunday 14 May, will be the first to take place in the city of Leeds for 20 years. There will be 7,777 entrants for the event as a mark of respect for Burrow as the number 7 is the shirt that he wore while playing for the Rhinos. Sinfield said he was pleased to have created an event to support his friend.

He added: "MND isn’t incurable, it’s just been underfunded, so to host a marathon in honour of my mate Rob and all those living with MND is incredible. We have to continue banging the drum for MND and I know that Sunday 14 May will be able to shine a fantastic light on this cruel disease."

An ex-England international rugby star, Burrow was diagnosed with the terminal illness motor neurone disease in 2019 at the age of 37. The rare condition causes muscles to waste away after a loss of nerve cells that control movement, speech and breathing. There is no effective treatment or cure.

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The effect of the disease on Burrow was highlighted in a BBC documentary “Rob Burrow: Living with MND”, which aired last year and showed how the condition took away his ability to walk and talk in less than a year. He now speaks through a synthetic voice machine that recreates his voice. After the announcement of the marathon in 2022, Burrow said: “Any opportunity to raise awareness and funds to fight MND is wonderful,”

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