Kevin Sinfield completed the first of seven marathons in seven days on Tuesday and admitted his astonishment that his fundraising target in support of former Leeds team-mate Rob Burrow has already been exceeded.

The Leeds director of rugby had hoped to raise £77,777 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association following Burrow’s MND diagnosis 12 months ago but the total was already closing in on £100,000 by lunchtime on Tuesday.

Seven is Burrow’s old shirt number and Sinfield, who is setting off each day at 7am and aiming to finish by 11am, recorded a time of three hours and 40 minutes on his first outing.

After being informed that his JustGiving page had exceeded his expectations, Sinfield said in a video on the Leeds Rhinos website: “I can’t thank people enough. We thought the target was going to be a real push to hit.

“To be able to do it on the first morning is completely overwhelming.

“I’m delighted to get the first one done. When I got here on the morning, it was frozen, cold, dark but thankfully the sun came out and we got a bit of blue sky.

“The excitement and getting the fundraising news back regularly really picked us up. I’m looking forward to (Wednesday).”

As for the impressive time he recorded, the 40-year-old said: “It was probably a bit too quick! The start didn’t help because we were freezing.

“I’m really pleased, it could have ended up being quite a lot quicker because of how we set off, we were able to pull the reins back a little bit.”

:: To donate visit https://justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sinfield-7-in-7 or text MNDROB to 70085 to donate £7

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