Kevin Sinfield fundraiser nears £500k mark on day four of Ultra 7 in 7 Challenge

Kevin Sinfield’s latest fundraising bid in aid of motor neurone disease was edging towards half-a-million pounds as he completed day four of his Ultra 7 in 7 Challenge in Stokesley.

The running total for Sinfield’s quest, in which he is aiming to run around 40 miles for seven consecutive days before reaching Old Trafford at half-time in Saturday’s Rugby League World Cup final, sat at £461,957.65 shortly after his arrival in Stokesley.

Starting in Chester-le-Street, Sinfield’s route included a stop at the Riverside Stadium where he was welcomed on to the pitch and presented with a signed Middlesbrough shirt to boost his fundraising for five MND charities.

Ultra 7 in 7 Challenge – Day Four – Chester-Le-Street to Stokesley
Kevin Sinfield has better conditions for day four of his Ultra 7 in 7 challenge (Will Matthews/PA)

After finishing his latest 40-mile leg, Sinfield paid tribute to the people of the north-east who have braved inclement weather to come out to support him and contribute.

Sinfield told BBC Breakfast: “It’s worth noting that we’ve come through some really tough working-class areas and I think it resonated with all of us, especially the cost of living increasing, the amount of people who came out with fives and 10s and 20s was unbelievable.

“We know people are finding it tough in a lot of these areas but the generosity, support and kindness has been incredible again.”

The 42-year-old former Leeds captain is inspired by his close friend and former team-mate Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with MND in late 2019, as well as former Scotland rugby player Doddie Weir and ex-Bradford captain Stephen Darby, who live with the disease.

On Thursday Sinfield is set to leave the north-east and complete a 41-mile route from Stokesley to York, passing through Thirsk and Easingwold before arriving at York Minster some time around 3.30pm.

Sinfield remains on schedule to finish his challenge on the pitch at Old Trafford at half-time in the men’s final between Australia and Samoa.

Ultra 7 in 7 Challenge – Day Four – Chester-Le-Street to Stokesley
Kevin Sinfield will run from Stokesley to York on Thursday (Will Matthews/PA)

His latest fundraising challenge will mainly benefit the MND Association and Leeds Hospitals Charity’s appeal to build the Rob Burrow Centre for MND in Leeds.

There will also be donations to MND Scotland, My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation and the 4ED campaign, in support of former Gloucester and Leicester rugby player Ed Slater, who was recently diagnosed with the disease.

In late 2020, Sinfield raised £2.7million for MND charities after running seven marathons in seven days and a further sum in excess of £1m was generated in November 2021 after he completed a run of 101 miles in 24 hours.