Shotover Insights - 6 Questions with Lauren Harris

Lauren Harris and friends at the start of the Shotover Moonlight Mountain Marathon 2017. Lauren Harris and friends at the start of the Shotover Moonlight Mountain Marathon 2017.

Shotover Insights will be a quick catch up with several people connected with organising or competing in the Shotover Moonlight Mountain Marathon and Trail Run events in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Lauren Harris is a Queenstown local who competed in the Shotover Moonlight Mountain Marathon in 2017 for the first time with a group of friends. We asked Lauren why she gave the marathon a crack, what her highlights of the day were, and of course, whether she's coming back again for 2018.

1. What sort of running do you usually do?

None. I was a hiker, I love the outdoors and the experiences it brings.

2. What made you want to target the marathon?

2017 was the very first year I ever signed up to a marathon event, with the encouragement of two of my very best friends we decided not only to tackle one marathon but to do three in just four weeks.  Our training centered around the Shotover Moonlight. We knew it would be incredibly difficult but the most rewarding of the three since the course is on a private station; what other opportunity would we have to see scenery like that on tap during the race.

3. It is an extremely challenging course, and simply reaching the finish line is a huge achievement in itself. Your time was 10:27:18 - that's a long day out on your feet. Were you always confident you would reach the cut off, and complete the course?

I was always confident all three of us would cross the finish line, we all have a very stubborn streak in common. Our goal was always to finish together no matter what time it took us. Last place is still a finisher.

4. What were the highlights of the day and the course for you?

I still haven't stopped talking to anyone that gives me half a chance about this amazing event.  The rock wall we climbed, the ladder by the waterfall, the 2600m climb and decent over the whole day through to the rock tunnel . The friendly faces that were at every water station giving encouragement, this marathon is the whole package.  My very favourite thing would be the new found bond with my friends and the laughs and just having each others back for the entire way.  

5. What were the most challenging parts of the course, and did you have any 'want to give up' moments?

Each part of the course offers something new and unique, so each stage felt like a new adventure. All the encouragement was absolutely fantastic, even from all the other runners. So no, 'want to give up' moments.

6. What advice would you give to other recreational runners who are considering entering one of the Shotover Moonlight races? 

Absolutely do it, the marathon offers something none of the other events did.  We have all been waiting to sign up again for this years event, which we have now, and we have even found a few more people to do it with us. I definitely wear my race t-shirt with pride.


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Shotover Moonlight Events


Accommodation Packages

Are you entering the Shotover Moonlight Mountain Marathon, 30km, half marathon or the Moke Lake Run? 

Would you like to helicopter to the start?

You could stay at either Ben Lomond Lodge or Moonlight Lodge the night before the race.

Leave your car at the finish line at Moke Lake and we'll take you into our lodges for a fantastic meal and great company. 

2020 Race and Supporters Packages - Sold Out.
Packages include 2 nights accommodation, transport to either Ben Lomond or Moonlight Lodge, 2 x dinner, 2x breakfast and a stunning helicopter flight to the start of the race.

To be added to a waitlist please contact

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