Lorraine Flory, an Occupational Therapist in our Outsourced Clinical Contracts team, was one of 12,000 competitors who took part in the inaugural Rob Burrows Leeds Marathon at Headingley Stadium on Sunday 14th May.
The event was set up by Kevin Sinfield in honour of his best friend Rob, who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2019. Since then, the pair have been campaigning tirelessly to raise awareness about the condition and vital funds that will go towards The Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Appeal, Leeds Hospital Charity and other causes.
This is the first marathon Lorraine has run and she finished in five hours and 33 minutes. She said:
“I was unable to run last year for about five months and actually started back with the couch to 5km in November, getting marathon fit in six months. The atmosphere was incredible and the crowd at Headingley and Otley were loud, proud and amazing. Other likened the support to London, but the country lanes and hills were very quiet and we had to dig deep with only the sounds of other footsteps for company. Miles 18-20 was one long hill and really zapped the energy in the blistering heat, something I wasn’t used to as most of my runs have been in the cold and damp! Coming back to Headingley the noise was overwhelming and the stadium finish was electric.”
The event attracted worldwide media coverage after an emotional Kevin Sinfield, who had pushed former Leeds Rhino player Rob in a specially adapted wheelchair for 26.2 miles, stopped to carry his friend over the finish line.
Motor Neurone’s Disease is a life limiting illness affecting the motor neurone nerves in the brain and spine that tell muscles what to do. This leads the muscles to stiffen, weaken and waste, which in turn affects how those with the condition walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe.
Lorraine has worked with people with MND in social care for around 30 years and over that time has accessed funding through the Motor Neurone Disease Association, which she has been fundraising for since 2019. She said:
“I have worked with many amazing clients over the years who had MND and so I was doing it for all of them and to raise money to go towards finding a cure for this devastating disease.”
If you would like to sponsor Lorraine, please visit here.