The second race to the grace the Skyrunning ANZ series this year is the Shotover Moonlight Sky Marathon or “Shotover” as its affectionately called. Shotover is a unique once in a life time race that is held on private untouched trails of the New Zealand high country. It features punishing climbs, stunning ridge running and for those that choose it – a helicopter taxi service to the start line!!
The 2016 edition of the race is set to be a real cracker with a sell-out field (once again) and a real fast line up. One of those gunning for a top finish is Shona Stephenson and we were lucky to grab five minutes with her to talk about the race.
Skyrunning ANZ: So Shona you are a world class ultra runner having great results in numerous international races but have you tried Skyrunning before?
Shona: Yes! I’ve managed a 9th place at the Mont Blanc Marathon in Chamonix France, 6th place at Buffalo Stampede. I’ve even given a vertical km a go for fun!
Skyrunning ANZ: Cool so what has lured you back again to Skyrunning?
Shona: The Skyrunning ethos is all about the climbs, stunning single trails and the hurt locker! It’s all about the challenge, pushing your boundaries and the being rewarded with a stunning summit! That’s what I am chasing.
Skyrunning ANZ: What are you most looking forward to about the Shotover Moonlight Marathon.
Shona: Awesome ridge line running that New Zealand is known for! We lack it a bit here in QLD Australia. I’ve been imagining myself running along those razor back ridge lines on all my long runs up Camp Mountain, Mount Nebo and Mount Glorious.
Skyrunning ANZ: What other races are you planning on doing this year?
Shona: The Northburn 100mile in March will be great to go back to and I might get down to Buffalo……or Hounslow and visit my Sydney mates. We will see. I just want this year to be exciting.
Skyrunning ANZ: What is your number one tip to beginners racing Skyrunning races?
Shona: Focus! Think positive thoughts. Chant 4 positive words over and over again in your head when climbing up a mountain. Believe in yourself and your training and enjoy the experience. Sorry! That was more than one;) I think I just want to let everyone know that if you stay positive then you will make it up the finish line.
Skyrunning ANZ: Great advice Shona, So Up Hills or Down Hills, which do you prefer and why?
Shona: Lol! Everyone knows I get passed big time on the climbs! I love to bomb down the descents.
Skyrunning ANZ: Don’t we all, and finally for the gear nerds amongst us what pack and shoes will you wear for the race?
Shona: My trusty shoes, inov8 X-Talon 200s and my Inov8 Race Elite Vest. I might take my Inov8 Race Elite belt too…. depending on the weather and if I need more kit handy.
Well there you have it, Shona is pumped for Race 2 of the Skyrunning ANZ series and so are we!
Now enough reading let’s get out and into some mountains!