Rugby fan attempts seven Half Ironman Triathlons in seven days for Rob Burrow MBE

Martyn, Rob and Geoff

A Wigan rugby fan is pushing himself to the limit to prepare for a gruelling event – seven Half Ironman (70.3) Triathlons in seven days to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association.

Martyn Clarke, 47, is no stranger to a long run but admits this will be ‘the biggest challenge of my life’.

It’s all inspired by the Association patron and rugby league legend, Rob Burrow MBE, who was diagnosed with MND in December 2019.

Friends, family and colleagues from across the globe will be joining Martyn on legs of the brutal challenge which starts on 11 December 2021, with Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and Great Britain’s Olympic open water swimmer, Hector Pardoe, among the ranks.

Martyn’s preparations have included a tough training regime to increase his chances of completing the mammoth challenge and galvanising as much support as possible. Along the way, Martyn also got the opportunity to join another Association patron Kevin Sinfield, on the Extra Mile Challenge, providing Kevin with a running buddy to spur him on to complete his challenge.

The endurance effort is so noteworthy that students and academics at Leeds Beckett university are providing physiological testing and nutritional advice to Martyn to give him the best chance to complete the event.

Martyn, who raised over £6,000 for the Association last year with a #12for12 ultra run, said:

“Friends have asked me if it’s realistic and only time will tell! To attempt 8.5miles of swimming, nearly 400 miles on the bike and 90 plus miles running in the cold of December is the Everest of challenges!

“I always wanted to repeat something which pushed the human endurance limit – including the mental aspect of endurance. This is how I view Rob Burrow’s status, as a player and his current situation, he put his body on the line week in week out for years and is now battling what is thrown against him day in day out. He is a credit and a legend of the world of Rugby League.”

Martyn is aiming to raise £17,777 to be split between the South Lancashire and West Yorkshire branches of the MND Association.

Follow his journey on social media, see prizes you can bid on and donate to his fundraising page:

Donate to Martyn’s JustGiving page

Join in our 7 in 7 challenge

For further information and support contact our MND Connect helpline

mndconnect 0808 802 6262