Hundreds of people gathered in York to welcome rugby legend Kevin Sinfield to the city on his latest gruelling challenge.

The former Leeds Rhinos player ran from Headingley Stadium this morning and arriving outside the Minster shortly before 4pm (Friday, December 1).

He plans to run seven ultra-marathons (27.2 miles) in seven different cities across seven successive days to raise money for motor neurone disease (MND) charities after seeing his friend and team mate Rob Burrow affected by the illness.

After crossing the finish line in York, Kevin stood on top of a concrete block and thanked the crowd for their support.

York Press: Kevin Sinfield arrives in YorkKevin Sinfield arrives in York (Image: Danny Lawson/PA Wire)

“York’s been a really special place for us, we know you love Rob Burrow like we do,” he said, greeted with cheers.

“We also know you love the MND community like us.

York Press: Kevin Sinfield crossing the finish lineKevin Sinfield crossing the finish line (Image: PA/Danny Lawson)

“We’re coming up to Christmas and it’s brilliant to be here with the lights on and feeling festive – it’s freezing right?”

The 43-year-old passed a message from the team about the importance of friends and family.

“If there’s someone you’ve not spoke to for months and you’ve had a daft fall out or whatever, please pick the phone up,” he continued.

“Let’s look after each other, let’s make this a better place.

“Let’s look after the MND community and start looking after each other a bit better.”

Kevin has raised over £8 million for research into motor neurone disease.

York Press: The crowd outside York Minster to welcome Kevin SinfieldThe crowd outside York Minster to welcome Kevin Sinfield (Image: Dylan Connell)

Tomorrow Kevin heads to Cardiff for the next leg of the challenge.

Afterwards he will take on routes in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Dublin and Brighton.

Kevin admitted that he was “sore” after the run but said the support he has received would see him through the challenge.

York Press: Kevin Sinfield during the run to YorkKevin Sinfield during the run to York (Image: Danny Lawson/PA Wire)

“What we ran into here makes it all worthwhile,” he said.

“I think people understand what we’re trying to do – they all love Rob Burrow like we do.”

This evening Kevin said he would consume five to six thousand calories to refuel and recover.

But he said the best way to recover is “laughter and sleep”.

York Press: The crowd awaits Kevin Sinfield in YorkThe crowd awaits Kevin Sinfield in York (Image: Dylan Connell)

The first leg of the Kevin’s ‘7 in 7’ challenge marked three years to the day since his first fundraising initiative in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association following the diagnosis of teammate Rob Burrow.

His previous race to the Minster saw him greeted by what he described at the time as his “biggest crowd yet” on a rainy afternoon in mid-November last year, and he hoped that spectators would turn out in their droves to recreate that atmosphere this time around.

“The people of York have been fantastic in their support. I’ve got a lot of friends there, and a lot of our sponsors are from there,” Kevin told The Press ahead of the challenge.