Fresh Choice Kepler Challenge 2016

June Newsletter

Welcome back runners. We expect you’ve been looking for further challenges in 2016 and we have just the one for you.

The Kepler Challenge Organising Committee has been hard at work already, making improvements and fine-tuning for this year’s running of the world-famous Fresh Choice Kepler Challenge, on Saturday, 3 December 2016. This year we will be introducing a new entry system using pre registration. Read on for important information.
Online entries for all pre registered runners will open at 6.30am on Saturday, 2 July 2016. Go to to find out more.


2016 Charity Challenge Spots

If you would like to save yourself the drama of an early morning start, and the worry of making it onto the list, you can be one of our special charity runners. For a non-refundable fee of NZ$1000, you can secure your place in the 2016 Fresh Choice Kepler Challenge. We have only 15 charity places available, and the first 15 people to register their names with the race secretary between the 11th and 19th of June 2016, will be entered.
For your NZ$1000, the Kepler Challenge Organising Committee guarantees your entry to the race by 20th June, an event T-shirt and complimentary event breakfast.

Previous recipients

The NZ$15,000 paid by the charity runners, always goes to a worthy, local organisation. Last year the Organising Committee deliberated over many deserving causes, before deciding on the Fiordland Community Shuttle Committee and the Kid’s Restore the Kepler. This year's recipients will be known by the end of June.

The Fiordland Community Shuttle Committee had been hiring a vehicle to transport people to Invercargill to attend hospital or other specialist visits. They put the Kepler Challenge Charity Runners’ money towards the purchase of a vehicle.
The Kids Restore the Kepler involves all the early childhood education centres in Te Anau, Mararoa and Te Anau primary schools and Fiordland College. This group used the Kepler Challenge Charity Runners’ money to buy wet-weather gear for the primary school children, enabling them to participate in outdoor activities, regardless of the weather conditions.


Pre-registration essential

In an on-going effort to improve the entry system, the Kepler Challenge organising committee are excited to introduce a new system for 2016 entries. As part of this process all runners need to create a new account via our website.

Pre-registration opens this week and closes at midnight Friday 1st July 2016. You must be registered by then in order to submit your entry to your chosen race on Saturday 2nd July 2016. Places are then allocated in the order received as in previous years.

Here's how the new system for the 2016 Fresh Choice Kepler Challenge works.

1. Pre register before the deadline

Accounts can be pre-registered via the Entry forms page and at before the pre-registration deadline.

  • You must have a user account to be eligible to enter the Fresh Choice Kepler Challenge or Luxmore Grunt.
  • Once registered, keep your Kepler account for life
  • As such you will need a unique email address per account.
  • Each user account can only be used to enter ONE runner (you) per year. Each individual runner must pre-register.
  • You will also need to provide complete and up-to-date runner details (profile, commentary and medical) each year.
  • Pre-registration does not guarantee you a place - you will need to submit an entry each year.

2. Enter online once entries open

On race entry day, login at the race entry page with your account username and password at least 30 mins prior to entries opening and wait for the entry form links on the page to appear. (Tip: you could login the night before and leave the page displayed!) Entry form links will be displayed from 6.30am New Zealand time. Complete and submit the online entry form. You will be given notification of your entry status - either a reserved place or waitlisted or unsuccessful - and if successful notification will be sent to your account email. Places will be allocated in the order they are received, and entries will close when all places in an event and its waitlist have been filled.

3. Make payment

If successful on submit a confirmation message will appear and a reserved or waitlisted entry will be added to your account. You can now safely logout to allow another runner to enter with their account. We prefer you to log out at this point whether or not someone else needs the device to enter - the server’s are very busy at this time and it’s easier for you and everyone else if you pay later on. You can then return and login again later at to add items from the store, checkout, and pay online before the payment deadline. Payment can be made online via credit card (VISA or Mastercard) using secure verification supplied by DPS/Payment Express.

4. Become fully confirmed

Once we have received your complete entry information, along with payment for reserved places, you will be sent an email to tell you that your place in the event is confirmed.

5. Please note

Reserved places will be offered to other runners if we have not received all required information and/or payment within 10 days of the online entry date.

Please check your spam folder if it looks like you didn't receive any emails and be aware that they make take a little time to reach you.

For a full run down on the entry process visit


Announcing the Fresh Choice Kepler Challenge

The Kepler Challenge organising committee are excited to announce that we have a new naming rights sponsor. Fresh Choice Te Anau are signed up for the next three years. “We are excited to have a local business support such a big local event.” Steve Norris, organising committee chairman.
Monica and Keith Cullen have been supporters of the Kepler Challenge for the last 15 years as volunteers and competitors. They are a well known entity in the Te Anau community by contributing to major Te Anau initiatives such as the Event Centre, Tennis Courts and the Te Anau Manapouri cycle trail as well as assisting numerous individuals and events through their monthly Fresh Choice Community Fund grants.

“The Kepler Challenge is an Iconic event in Fiordland and New Zealand and Fresh Choice are delighted and privileged to now be able to support this Event as the major sponsor.” Monica and Keith Cullen, Fresh Choice Owners.


Stoat Line Update

You may not be aware that a percentage of your entry fee goes to the on-going checking and maintenance of the Kepler Birdsong Project, initiated by the Kepler Challenge Organising Committee several years ago.

If you wish to come along as a volunteer to help check the traps, this is what it entails.

We fly by helicopter to the bush-line below the Hanging Valley shelter, on the Kepler Track. From there, we walk 27km to Rainbow Reach checking and rebaiting 108 traps down the Iris Burn Valley. Depending on the weather, we try to do the checks during the first two weeks of each month.

We'll endeavour to plan checks for the weekends, so as many of you as possible, can get the opportunity to come along and help.

If you’re interested in joining us, please register with Steve Norris via

You can find out more at
Keep a close eye on our website. It is regularly updated and you can find out information about all aspects of the event, including conditions of entry and this year’s entry fee.