The ninth edition of the Shotover Moonlight Mountain Marathon took place over the weekend on Ben Lomond Station in Queenstown. Sweltering temperatures made for challenging conditions for the majority of competitors but it didn’t stop one of New Zealand’s top ultra marathon runners from breaking the course record. Scotty Hawker ran 4:19.27 to shave 6 minutes off the record set in 2018 by Ryan Carr.
Hawker, formerly of Christchurch is now primarily based in Australia and Europe competing in the Ultra Trail World Tour, but with a summer back home in New Zealand he was keen to challenge himself on one of New Zealand’s toughest marathon courses.
“It was so great to be back home and racing in NZ to kick off my 2020 race season. I’ve wanted to run the Shotover Moonlight Marathon for a few years now and it didn’t disappoint. The course has everything including ridgelines, waterfalls, scree descents and even climbing up a ladder next to a waterfall.”
“The whole experience of the race was incredible from the start to finish and I can’t thank the Foster family enough for opening up this incredible area for trail runners from all corners of the globe to enjoy and experience. I certainly hope to be back for the race in 2021” said Hawker
Hawker was challenged throughout the race, with Queenstown’s Weston Hill finishing in 4:25.41.
In the women’s event Australia’s Belinda Ralph won in a time of 5:42.44, she was followed by Dunedin’s Sharon Lequeux in 6:00.40
The 30km Adventure Run was won by Julen Moreno of Queenstown/Spain 3:04.51 and the women’s event by Katharine Hockly of Queenstown 3:29.40
The half marathon was won by another Queenstown runner Max Wainwright in 1:33.13 and the women’s by Shannon O’Sullivan (United Kingdom) in 2:00.19 The final event of the day was the new 6km event the Moke Lake Run with Adam Eason, Wanaka setting a blistering pace of 24:52 and Jgreta Simamaj, Albania in 31:46.
“Saturday was one of the hottest years we’ve had out on the course, which added an extra degree, or degrees, of challenge for the runners. Runners were extremely lucky to have a great group of volunteer ‘musterers’ out at aid stations on course helping keep everyone hydrated and motivated through the day,” said race director Hamish Foster.
The Shotover Moonlight events are organised and managed by the Foster family who have owned Ben Lomond Station for 34 years. The race gives runners an opportunity to test themselves on the trails, ridges, water races and mustering routes of Ben Lomond Station and experience panoramic views of New Zealand’s iconic high country. The 2021 event will be the tenth edition and will be held in mid February 2021.
For full results see http://shotovermoonlight.co.nz/results