Race Preview: Shotover Moonlight Marathon

shotover moonlight

After the excitement of Tarawera last weekend, we stay in New Zealand for another very popular race. The Shotover Moonlight series of races features a marathon and a number of other shorter events too, including a 30km.

The course

Starting beside the famous Shotover River runners follow along sheep tracks. There are historic gold mining water races and high country mustering routes too. The course climbs and descends over 2,600m through tussock lands. There’s mountain ridges, beech forest and creeks, a scree slope descent, a ladder climb beside a waterfall and even a tunnel on the valley floor. The race finishes near picturesque Moke Lake where runners and spectators can relax and reflect on their achievement. Celebrating with fellow competitors and supporters.

Mountain marathon

One of our picks to do extremely well in the Mountain Marathon event is Nancy Jiang. Nancy is having a great season with wins at the Kepler Challenge, and Skyline Traverse in Wanaka. She will be pushed by fellow Queenstowner Becky Sheffield, and visiting American runner Amanda Basham, who is doubling up after the Tarawera Ultra Marathon in Rotorua last weekend.

Unfortunately, two-time defending champion Ryan Carr has pulled out due to injury, leaving the opportunity for a new winner in the Mountain Marathon. Favourites to win the mens 42km Mountain Marathon now are Martin Gaffuri (Switzerland), Ross Gollan (Scotland), Daniel Borquez (Chile), Adam Clarke (Australia), Thomas Lubin (Tahiti), Robbie Rawles (New Plymouth), Ruud Kappert (Netherlands). Paul Nouvellon (Marlborough)

30km Adventure run

The 30km event was set to be a battle between Australians Matty Abel (now withdrawn) and Locky Kennedy. Furthermore, USA runner Zak Marion is looking to enter, but is on tired legs post the Tawawera Ultra. In the ladies 30km, favourite is likely to be Sally McRae (USA).

Quick facts
Largest field ever for the event with 600+ runners competing across five events (42km, 30km, 21km, 10km & 5km)
Runners from 23 countries.
Eighth year of the even, organised by the Foster Family from Ben Lomond Station.

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Dan on Twitter
I'm a mediocre runner who can bat above his average when I train hard. A man of extremes, I do enjoy everything life offers and consider it an absolute pleasure just to be able to put one foot in front of the other and let my mind wander somewhere different.

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