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Queenstown’s new (trail) runner stunner

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, 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.