This year, Leeds will see the very first Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon being hosted throughout the city. Since it was announced last year, more than 10,000 people will be at the start line ready to take on a route, that will see them start and finish at Headingley Stadium, whilst taking in the beautiful views of Leeds!
One of the runners, who is hoping to raise as much as possible for the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Appeal and the MND Association, is experienced runner, Matthew Tebb.
Matthew, has competed in a couple of marathons so far, but this one is the biggest with it being in his hometown. We sat down with Matthew to catch up, see how his training is going, and find out how he’s feeling about the upcoming event.
How are you finding the training so far and what is the biggest challenge you face in the lead up to the race?
Training is going really well. I have a coach from my gym at Metcon Leeds who has helped me train efficiently and helped with my nutrition. It has been challenging juggling marathon training alongside training for a HYROX fitness race as well as rugby and trying to balance work and home life too. However, the biggest challenge for me will be making sure I eat enough calories to fuel me and keep me going but, challenge accepted!
What made you want to sign up to the marathon and have you done others before?
Unfortunately, I have witnessed first hand the devastating effects of MND. I lost a friend of mine to Motor Neurone Disease two years ago, after a five year battle with it. I actually ran an impromptu marathon in aid of MND research in 2020 and I also did London Marathon in 2021 in aid of Mencap.
Do you have any aches/pains from the training?
Luckily, no aches and pains out of the ordinary to report up to now, hopefully that stays the same between now and race day and I come out unscathed or as unscathed as possible.
What are you most looking forward about the marathon and running in Leeds?
It is the first marathon I’ve taken part in for a long time and it’s always great to be part of something new. The fact that it is aligned with the Leeds Rhinos and rugby league is also very important to me as Rugby League has given me so much. The route although very hilly is very scenic and really shows off the brilliant countryside and views that we have on our doorstep.
What support will you have with you on the day?
I will have family there to welcome me back to Headingley after the run and I have a fair few friends who are also taking part in the marathon, I am sure we will give each other some “polite” encouragement on the way around.
What do you think this marathon for Rob will do for the MND Association?
It will massively boost awareness and bring in much needed funds. Hopefully, it will also give MND sufferers a boost to know that thousands of people are coming together to help support the cause.
What are your thoughts on Kevin Sinfield and the work he is doing to raise money and awareness for MND?
What Kevin Sinfield has done to raise money and awareness is AMAZING. Rugby of both codes are great supportive communities where you make friends for life, that is shown with the response and the support that has been provided.
The benefits of what Kevin has done initially for his friend will mean that in years to come so many more MND sufferers will have improved care and hopefully one day, a cure.