Man completes 60-kilometre charity run in Adelaide hotel room during coronavirus quarantine


Not wanting to waste his time in his 14 days of coronavirus quarantine, an Adelaide Hills man decided to turn the confines of his hotel room into an improvised running track.

Tony O’Neill, 54, of Strathalbyn came back to Australia at the start of the month after travelling to the UK when his mother died.

He had earlier promised to participate in Fred’s Big Run, a fundraiser for the Fred Hollows Foundation in which participants pledge to run various distances for donations to help cure blindness in Australia and overseas.

“I realised I’ve signed up for this and said, ‘I’ll have to do it in quarantine and it might alleviate my boredom’,” he said.

Each day, he ran around his hotel room for between 45 and 75 minutes.

A construction worker opposite Mr O’Neill’s hotel room give him a thumbs-up.(Suppled: Tony O’Neill)

Each lap of the room was 11 paces, all measured on his Fitbit watch.

“It measures the steps and then converts that to distance,” he said.

“From the door to the window and then a sharp left turn to the next wall around the edge of the bed, that’s a good 11 steps.”

Mr O’Neill said he set himself the target of 60 kilometres but had since surpassed that — running an extra kilometre on Sunday night.

“At the end of the day, it’s not a big sacrifice, honestly,” he said.

“It’s like 14 days out of my life — I’ve got a roof over my head, I’m warm and dry, three freshly cooked meals at the door, I’ve got my fitness. I can raise money and hopefully put a few smiles on people’s faces.

Mr O’Neill has so far raised more than $1,300, and is due to be released from the Pullman Hotel in Adelaide tomorrow after having his second coronavirus test yesterday.

Beers donated in ‘random act of kindness’

Mr O’Neill celebrated his birthday during his time in quarantine.

Builders doing construction work in a carpark below his room noticed cards on his windowsill and a sign saying “Help, send beer, SOS” — so had some beers sent up to him.

“I just thought that was a beautiful, beautiful random act of kindness and they certainly didn’t have to do it,” he said.

A man drinking beer behind a window showing a sign on paper
Mr O’Neill thanks construction workers for sending him some Corona beers while in quarantine.(Supplied)

Staff also presented him with a birthday cake and a bottle of wine, all while wearing personal protective equipment.

Mr O’Neill is now looking forward to being reunited with his wife Sharon.

He said he was also keen to enjoy a run outside, “in a straight line for as long as possible, taking in as much air as I possibly can”.



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