Downhill mountain biking is an extreme sport by any definition, so it should come as no surprise that Hawke's Bay's global superstar rider Brook Macdonald is going above and beyond to keep himself busy in a managed isolation hotel.
Macdonald and three of his New Zealand teammates are stuck in quarantine having returned from the 2020 World Championships in Austria, so decided to run a half marathon in their hotel rooms for charity this Saturday morning.
The Hawke's Bay native described the idea first broached by fellow rider Eddie Masters as "more than extreme".
"I was like, count me out of that, I'm not doing that," Macdonald said.
But over a couple of days in his hotel room in Auckland, he came around to the concept, particularly with the opportunity to raise money for charity.
"That's the biggest thing is just getting people behind us," he said.
"I feel like it's something that will make people laugh."
Macdonald will run 2625 laps of his 8m-long hotel room, and said he isn't quite sure what to expect.
"I'm not too worried about the fitness, it's more the mental challenge will be the biggest thing," he said.
More than $5000 has already been raised by athletes Macdonald, Masters, Charlie Murray and Anton Cooper for their chosen charities; the Burwood Spinal Unit and Westpac Rescue Helicopter.
Both organisations are very special to Macdonald in particular, who spent four weeks at Burwood in Christchurch after breaking his back in a horror crash at the 2019 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Canada.
"Those four weeks were probably the most important four weeks of my life with the rehab I went through," Macdonald said.
And he said the Westpac Rescue Helicopter deserves plenty of support and recognition too for the amazing job they do responding so quickly.
"What I had to deal with was waiting for five hours for a helicopter on the side of a mountain, so it would have been a different story if my accident happened in New Zealand," Macdonald said.
The 2020 Worlds didn't all go to plan for Macdonald, who finished 63rd overall, but he said just to be back racing in his first international event since the crash was a massive win:
"It was definitely special to be back riding, and in a world champs a year later from where I last left off."
He is looking forward to spending the summer at home in Hawke's Bay, and taking a bit of time off training after 10 weeks away.
"We have a schedule for 2021 and racing starts in April, but given what's going on in the world everything changes so quickly," Macdonald said.
Anyone wanting to donate to the four riders' cause can do so at their