Kepler Challenge 2015
449 Competitors lined up for a 6am start for their 60km pilgrimage around the Kepler Track. The forecast was for gale force winds and a high chance of rain but everyone arrived in good spirits.
In 1st place and completing his hat-trick, Martin Dent in a time of 4:49:36.
Dent (36) is an elite runner from Canberra, Australia, who competed in the 2012 Olympic games and three Commonwealth games. He is the 2013 and 2014 winner and is the current race record holder.
Dent lead from approximately 8km in. He was King of the Mountain for the 3rd year in a row, the title given to the first man to reach Luxmore Hut. At the finish line today Dent said “it was very windy and gear was important”. The track was wet and he felt early on he wasn’t going to set a course record. This year Martin was joined by his wife Kathie, who competed in the ASICS Luxmore Grunt.
In 2nd place was David Byrne from Sydney, Australia, a former Australian cross-country representative.
This was David’s first ASICS Kepler Challenge. He was attracted to the event due to his love of running off road and enjoys the challenge of a big mountain. He led from the start and Dent passed him 8km in, from there he managed to hold on to 2nd place, in a time of 5:01:47.
Sam McCutcheon from Wellington was placed third in a time of 5:02:01. He said “It was a tough day at the office and it was time for a beer”.
Completing her 5th Challenge was Ruby Muir from Napier. She came in 1st in a time of 5:37:23. This was Ruby’s first event as a newly married woman, husband Kristen Day came 2nd in the Luxmore Grunt. She described it “as an awesome race” and enjoyed the feeling of running scared knowing the course record holder was less than 5 minutes behind her.
In second place was Zelah Morrall from the UK in a time of 5:38:12. Zelah was excited to be back in Te Anau, this time bringing her family with her as a support team. She is the current race record holder and this record remains intact.
First local home was local Dwight Grieve. Dwight was stoked to have achieved a personal best time.
Steve Norris, Chairman of the ASICS Kepler Challenge Organising Committee said, “The day has gone very smoothly. Blustery weather across the top didn’t impede the race conditions. Credit and thanks to the local Department of Conservation team who got the track in such good condition following a recent severe Fiordland storm. The Te Anau and Fiordland Community always gets in behind this event, with excellent support from our hundreds of volunteers and our loyal sponsors.”
2015 ASICS Kepler Challenge Results
Martin Dent (Canberra, Australia) 4:49:36
David Byrne (Sydney, Australia) 5:01:47
Sam McCutcheon (Wellington, New Zealand) 5:02:01
Ruby Muir (Napier, New Zealand) 5:37:23
Zelah Morrall (Ludgvan, United Kingdom) 5:38:12
Fiona Hayvice (Wellington, New Zealand) 6:12:11
2015 ASICS Luxmore Grunt
At 7am 207 runners took part in the ASICS Luxmore Grunt, a sister race to the ASICS Kepler Challenge, which covers the first part of the Kepler track, up to Luxmore Hut and back.
The male event winner was Tane Cambridge of Christchurch in a time of 1:52:26. Tane said he was hoping to bet the race record but was happy to have beaten his coach, Michael Adams time of 1.57.
2nd place went to Kristian Day from Napier in a time of 2:01:54. This is his first Grunt after competing in the Challenge 5 times. He said he was feeling good, the race suited his running style and he would be back next year.
Grant Guise from Backcounty Runner, came 3rd in a time of 2:06:16.
Female winner was Lizzie Wesley Smith from Nelson, who won in a time of 2:18:24. This was her first Grunt, she said “It was a hard slog up but felt like a party coming down”. She even had time to give her Dad a kiss on the way down.
Second was Shireen Crumpton from Dunedin, in a time of 2:21:36.
Sarah Douglas from Queenstown came third in a time of 2:25:28.
2015 ASICS Luxmore Grunt Results
Tane Cambridge (Chrischurch, New Zealand) 1:52:26
Kristian Day (Napier, New Zealand ) 2:01:54
Grant Guise (New Zealand) 2:06:16
Lizzie Wesley Smith (Nelson, New Zealand ) 2:18:24
Shireen Crumpton (Dunedin, New Zealand) 2:21:36
Sarah Douglas (Queenstown, New Zealand) 2:25:28