NZ: Queenstown. A place known for its adventure. And now, a trail run gem to add to its menu of wild delights.
Queenstown long-distance runner Adrian Bailey has announced the inaugural Shotover Moonlight Mountain Marathon for February 4, during Waitangi weekend.
Featuring 5km, 10km and half-marathon choices, the race will trail from the old Pipeline bungy site in Skippers Canyon, via the Moonlight Track, to Moke Lake.
Speaking to scene.co.nz, Bailey said the race will have a “wow” factor due to the panoramic scenery, the variety of terrain, including river trails, bluffs and ridge-lines, and signs of the area’s rich goldmining history.
“On the ridge-lines you can see Queenstown, which is fantastic, but also other mountain regions like Mount Aspiring and, of course, Ben Lomond,” he told the media outlet.
“There will be world-class mountain runners in the race, without a doubt. There is interest from America, Australia and up north – people are already raring to enter.
Bailey expects the fastest [marathon] time to be just under three hours: “Even though it’s a good testing course, you make up a lot of time on the long, gradual downhills.”
Bailey – who organises an annual 5km and 10km running series at Queenstown’s Jack’s Point – expects about 250 to 300 entries in the shorter races. The marathon can take up to 420 runners.
“In the first year I’d be ecstatic if I get 200,” Bailey says.
The idea for the race came after Bailey was introduced to Ben Lomond farm owner John Foster by veteran local multisporter John Knight.