The committee and volunteers
As I'm sure any event organiser will tell you, without a team of volunteers little would be achieved. This page is dedicated to all those who happily give up their time to make the event great for you, the runner.
Race Logistics - Getting your jellybeans to the hills... and you back
The FreshChoice Kepler and Luxmore starts long before you turn up at the line. Crates of bananas, Hydration (Pure Sports Nutrition - awesome stuff!), oranges and even water are flown, driven or boated to the drink stations. 6 crews spend the night in the hills, and 3 of those have only limited shelter.
The local community of Fiordland is fiercely proud of the Kepler Challenge and so they should be, without their hard work year after year, it would not be the unique and immensely popular event that the Kepler Challenge is today. Year after year runners and sponsors often remark on the local spirit and efficiency that is prevalent from the registration hall to the event finish line. The Kepler Challenge is Te Anau’s biggest event and attracts not only the 600 competitors in the Kepler Challenge and Luxmore Grunt, but also many, many supporters which makes for a highly spirited and enjoyable weekend in the town. Flags, banners, runners and signs abound and you know when you drive into Te Anau, you are entering Kepler Country and there is something big afoot this weekend!
A core committee - a team of volunteers
The Kepler Challenge is organised by a small number of committee members of diverse talents and expertise, who give up their time throughout the year and assume roles each essential to the event. These people are charged with the annual organising of the event and often become very hands on over the event weekend. They are also responsible for the long term planning and management of the event with the following mission statement in mind:
"To organise an exemplary annual event that challenges runners of all abilities, that supports and is supported by the community, and encourages life long appreciation of Fiordland’s natural environment. The event will provide ongoing social, economic and physical benefits for the Fiordland community."
Leading up to and on the weekend, the committee is supported by many volunteers, of many ages, from the Fiordland region. These people are there year after year for the event weekend and contribute literally thousands of volunteer hours to make the event run well, safely and enjoyably for all. From the person who hands you your race number on check in, to the person who hands you that much appreciated cup of water or banana at the last drink station, they are all volunteers. The Organising Committee would like to thank all these volunteers for their continued selfless, hard work, of which there will be hundreds of people and for all those in the future, of which, we are sure will be thousands as the Kepler Challenge continues to be New Zealand’s Premier Mountain Running Event.
Each station has a friendly helping spirit. Most spend the night before the race either hunkered down in a shelter or snug in a hut. Then it's up almost as early as the runners to prepare for the long day ahead. Even more so as each station has to wait till the next checkpoint is clear.
Now that might sound daunting to some, but tales of crayfish dinners and mysterious notes of song have been known to drift down to the finish line. Seems hardly surprising that spots on some stations are highly sought after.
If you have time over the weekend and would like to get involved we're sure to be able to find you a job... whether it's for five minutes or five hours!