RUGBY league legend Rob Burrow CBE has sent an inspiring message to runners taking part in this year’s marathon in Leeds.

Starting and finishing at Headingley AMT Stadium, the 26.2-mile race to Otley and back begins at 9am on Sunday, May 12.

Honouring Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrow CBE, the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon is a fitting tribute to the city that launched Rob’s career and which he calls home. More than just a running event, the marathon aims to drive funds for MND charities and to show the importance of companionship and solidarity between mates.

Burrow has become a representative for people with MND following his own diagnosis with the incurable and life-limiting condition in 2019.

He hopes to realise his dream of a new MND Care Centre in Leeds, that will bear his name and support people living with MND and their families. 

His epic fundraising goals are often supported by his former Leeds Rhinos teammate Kevin Sinfield.

Wharfedale Observer: The Prince of Wales (second right) meets Kevin Sinfield (right) and Rob Burrow as his wife Lindsey Burrow and children Maya (left) and Macy look on, during a visit to Headingley Stadium, Leeds, to congratulate them on their efforts to raise awareness of

The friends were given CBEs in the New Year Honour’s List for services to MND awareness.

Sinfield has raised more than £15 million since Burrow’s diagnosis.

Ahead of the big day, Rob, who communicates via a computerised voice, said: “Hi everyone, it’s Rob. I just want to wish all the runners taking part in this year’s Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon and Half Marathon the very best of luck. Although I won’t be taking part this year I will be there at the start line to cheer you on. Make sure you enjoy the day and keep smiling. Thank you to everyone taking part and good luck.”

Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon and Half Marathon

Participants in this year’s marathon are expected to raise millions of pounds for the MND Association and the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Appeal.

Over 14,000 runners across both fields are expected to be running for hundreds of worthy causes.

Among those taking part are friends of Horsforth teenager Alfie Lewis, who was stabbed to death near a school in 2023.

Wharfedale Observer:

His friends will be running in his honour and raising funds for the Ben Kinsella Trust, a charity that tackles knife crime through education and campaigning. 

For many of the group, this will be their first half marathon challenge.

Attracting runners from the UK and beyond, those travelling from overseas include people from countries such as Australia, Afghanistan, China, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, USA and Romania.

Top represented clubs include Otley AC, Abbey Runners, Ackworth Road Runners, Dewsbury Road Runners, Morley Running Club, Ilkley Harriers AC, Horsforth Harriers, Pudsey pacers RC, Crossgate Harriers and Saltaire Striders.