By GUY WILLIAMS
Queenstown pro mountain biker Eddie Masters and three fellow pros are running half marathons in their quarantine hotel rooms tomorrow in a bid to crowd-fund $15,000 for Christchurch’s Burwood Spinal Unit and the Westpac
The 31-year-old downhill racer, who turned pro in 2014 and had his first Enduro Series win last year, is taking on the challenge with Brook MacDonald, Charlie Murray and Anton Cooper.
He’s set up a ‘Quarantine Hotel Half Marathon’ Givealittle page for the effort — all four will show themselves live on their Instagrams throughout their runs — billing it as ‘‘four guys, four half marathons, four hotel rooms’’.
Masters tells Mountain Scene the half marathon’s also a celebration of MacDonald’s recovery from a serious spinal cord injury at the world champs in Quebec, Canada, last August.
They’ll start running at 7.30am and keep going until they ‘‘knock it off’’.
‘‘It started out as a bit of a funny idea and it’s kind of snowballed.
‘‘A friend of mine from Scotland ran 5km in his hotel room, and that kind of sparked the idea in my head.
‘‘I thought it’d be a laugh and a good opportunity to raise some money for some charities, and make some positive use out of our time in quarantine.
‘‘I mentioned it to the boys and they were all keen … so off we went.’’
The foursome found themselves in quarantine at the same time: he, MacDonald and Murray had come back from a World Cup event in Slovenia, while Cooper was with them at the world champs in Austria a week earlier.
He and MacDonald are in separate hotels in Auckland, while Murray and Cooper are holed up in the same Christchurch quarantine hotel.
Masters says he’s ‘‘drawn the short straw’’ with a room that’s only five metres long.
Cooper, the smallest of the four, has the luxury of taking laps in 11m-long room.
Masters: ‘‘My one’s going to involve a fair bit more turning around — pretty much it’s just there and back.
‘‘I’ll probably have to mix it up between jogging and walking because you can’t really get up to speed in such a short distance.
‘‘It’ll definitely get pretty tedious and monotonous, but that’s what it’s all about.’’
When his quarantine ends next Wednesday, he’ll head to New Plymouth to see his folks for a couple of days, then return to Queenstown, where he’s
spent his summers since 2013.
The four boys will be ‘‘pretty stoked’’ with whatever they can raise, he says.
‘‘I know donations like this go a long way for those kind of charities, so we’re just happy to be able to give back because they do a lot for people like us and people in our sport.’’
● You can follow the lads running live on Insta: @edmasters; @brookmacdonald6; @murraycharles; @anton.cooper