Posted on 2 Comments

Event 8 – “Ain’t no mountain high enough…”Shotover Mountain Marathon.

When I signed up to do a 10km in Queenstown I didn’t know what to expect…so here is the story of when I ran my first ever 10km – up a mountain.

Link to the donations page:


What was the event? 

Shotover Mountain Marathon in Ben Lomond Station in Queenstown, New Zealand. The different races to happen include 5km, 10km, 21km, 30km, 43km…The event was held on 16th of February and this is the story…


What happened at the event? 

As I crossed the line after running the 10km the adventure was not just running 10km it was about weaving through the valleys and each step being more than an accomplishment to my goal of 10 x 10km runs globally. I’ll be 100% honest – I did not imagine that this would be as mountainous as it was. Literally the incline allowed me to view some of the most amazing sights I have ever seen. 

The journey to the finish line started 5 months before when I registered to run. The Shotover Moonlight Marathon for me would just be – a run- easy – I thought (but it was so much more…) The emails received where so detailed and everything was very well laid out. I felt ready to be able to turn up at 9:30am and understand what would be happening. The times were detailed very clearly and all equipment required. The funny story behind all of this – the event is not run by an events company. This is a family run event and I’ll be honest – the community spirit of the approx. 650 runners, the personal approach and everything that makes you feel special – is why this event is perfect.

Post registration, which was in one of the local sports stores in Queenstown then the waiting game was on. The morning was an early rise and I experienced what I had never experienced before – a runners excitement. I had never felt the butterflies sore through my stomach as I waited in the start line. My body was feeling nervous but I knew Inwas about to be part of something special. This was a community. 650 run this every each year but the thing that was exciting me…it was a such community vibe. 

Before the event everyone was wishing each other luck – it felt like a casual run (although it completely wasn’t). The mountains stood next to us…and ready for us to climb.

The countdown began and so did my mission to begin my 10 x 10km runs during Around the World in 80 Events for Revive MS. I started to run (as I was given advice by Martin and Steve – who I knew Steve from past events and Martin of whom I met here) our your left in front of right and repeat. Very useful as I tried to ensure I didn’t slip and parachute off the side of the mountainous ridges.


2.3 miles in – the struggle began. I felt my legs go but only because it was a mountain. The grip in each step was getting me up the mountain. More energy consumed as “Hercules – I can go the distance” played in my ears. I was able to sing the chorus at one point which means “I was still alive”. The route had volunteer marshals out who were amazing and very supportive. I did ask one of them where is the. Us stop – but actually no bus available on a Saturday in the middle of nowhere. The route was on uneven terrain but the scenery was spectacular. 

The route wasn’t just uneven terrain it was  creeks, like proper up to my waist in fresh mountain lake water. I mean don’t get me wrong it was amazing to have the water cool me down – but when your backpacking and you’ve only got 2 pairs of shoes – but it’s ok they dried. 


Each person did the run for a different reason but as I got 300 metres away I shouted to someone walking called Darren – we can do this…We ran together and his legs took him quicker to the line but it was nice to share the moment of me just about to approach that finish line. 

Anything else to add? 

As the finish line appeared – I was ready to cross my first ever running line. 10km achieved on a terrain I had never trained on. I came in the top 50 of a global “Trail Run…” for the 10km which you know what – I now can call myself an athlete who is rehearsing for the moment of a marathon. 1 hour 13 minutes and 37 seconds – but probably 13 minutes and 37 seconds of them was taking photos and accepting I was in the most beautiful part of the world. 

Everything was perfect that I experienced. This event has potential for growth. But the two things that they have spot on are the buy in for those who have participated in the past and the vibe they create. It is an event with heart. Ran by family and for family. There never would be an event that you would- high five the event organiser, who speaks on the microphone and really ensures everyone feels part of the events. I felt together as part of the community – probably only because I got to know Martin and Steve so it was great to have friends. I then met a fellow Scot Julieann and then her partner Dave – who were such a lovely couple who live in Auckland. (I have friends mum and dad!!)

I ran this event for charity and the main thing I want to get across is I ran to ensure that those who can’t run or at times cannot walk – can have or one day have a day where they can feel relaxed and at ease, which is what Revive MS gives – that sense of freedom. It’s about the realisation of what MS really is…I hope me passing on the message can do just that…

One thing to take away…

In the middle of nowhere stands a few amazing mountains with beautiful scenery. Events can happen in the middle of nowhere but can have such an amazing impact on people’s life…

Thank you to all who organise such a wonderful event…I’m glad it was part of my adventure. 


2 thoughts on “Event 8 – “Ain’t no mountain high enough…”Shotover Mountain Marathon.

  1. Well done Matty boy! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  2. Matt, every role you take on, you take on wholeheartedly and with unbounded enthusiasm. I have no doubt that this will carry you through to the end of what will be a herculean task. Good Luck mate, you must be aware that you have a lot of supporters back in Glasgow watching every step. Safe Home Mike

Leave a Reply