On Sunday 14th May, over 12,000 runners were at the start line of the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon at Headingley stadium, cheered on by friends and family.

The marathon, which returned to Leeds after over two decades, was a roaring success with more than £2 million pounds raised for charities.

As one of the event’s charity partners, Leeds Hospitals Charity saw overwhelming support from the public, with thousands of runners signing up to raise funds for the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Appeal.

Leeds Hospitals Charity runners, have raised £800,000 (and counting) with all funds raised going towards the charity’s appeal to build a specialist MND centre at Seacroft Hospital, which is now at £4 million pounds. 

James Moxon running the marathon61-year-old James Moxon, a retired GP from Adel took part in the marathon, completing the challenge in 4 hours, 42 minutes and 57 seconds, raising almost £8,000. He spoke to us about why he felt compelled to fundraise:

“During my years as a GP, MND was a ‘hidden disease’ and I was always aware that there was very little we could offer to MND sufferers and their families and sadly not much has changed since then. I recently lost a friend to MND, and it was devastating to watch this cruel disease take his life.

“I was very fit and active when I was younger, but I’ve definitely slowed down over the years. I wanted to run for Rob and Lindsey and for my late friend Les and to give a little hope to the whole MND community. This was my first-ever marathon, but I knew there was a marathon in me somewhere and I am so glad I took on the challenge!”

The funds raised by James and his fellow runners will make a huge difference to people living with MND and their loved ones, by providing a £6.8 million centre tailored to their needs.

The current MND centre is located on a busy multi-purpose ward not built with MND patients in mind and without the ability to be fitted with equipment and facilities for those who are physically impaired.

Paul Watkins, Director of Fundraising at Leeds Hospitals Charity spoke to us about his experience at the marathon:

“It was incredible to see tens of thousands come together at the marathon, an incredible community of people united by sport, friendship, and of course, the fight against MND. The atmosphere was electric from start to finish and I’m sure it will be a day we all remember forever!

“I would like to say a special thank you and congratulations to everyone who proudly wore their purple running t-shirts as part of Team Leeds Hospitals Charity. Your fundraising has contributed hundreds of thousands to our appeal to build the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease in Leeds.

“I am already excited for the 2024 marathon and am delighted to share that Leeds Hospitals Charity has a limited number of guaranteed places in the event, so if you’ve been inspired to get your running shoes on, you can visit our website to sign up today.”

Photo Credit: Tim Zoltie - TZ Photography 

                    Simon and Simon Photography