Martin Dent wins 2014 ASICS Kepler Challenge

Martin Dent from Canberra, Australia has won the 2014 ASICS Kepler Challenge for the second time, in a time of 4:51:28 on the challenging 60km mountain terrain course.

Beating a capacity field of 458 runners on a mild, calm Fiordland day, Dent gained an early lead in the race, on the climb to the Luxmore Hut. Dent took the King of the Mountain title for the second year in a row, being the first to reach the Luxmore Hut.

In second place was Mark Green (41) from Sydney. Green finished twelve minutes after Dent in a time of 5:04:14.

Stafford Thompson of Dunedin was placed third 5:09:39, in the 2014 ASICS Kepler Challenge.

Martin Dent, aged 35, is an elite runner who competed in the 2012 Olympic Games and three Commonwealth Games. Last year Dent competed in the ASICS Kepler Challenge for the first time and won in a record breaking time of 4.33.37. At the finish line today, Dent said he was “absolutely stuffed” and found that the hills were hard to climb this year.

In second place, Mark Green, son of one the Kepler Challenge’s first organisers, grew up in Te Anau and is very familiar with the event. Last year Green placed 5th in the ASICS Kepler Challenge. He was pleased to improve his placing this year and put in his best time of 5:04:14

Stafford Thompson from Dunedin came third in 2014 ASICS Kepler Challenge, in a time of 5:09:39. Stafford is the son-in-law of Russell Hurring, long-time ultra-distance competitor.

Vajin Armstrong, three-time winner of the ASICS Kepler Challenge and second place-getter last year, pulled out of the race at the Luxmore Hutt due to injury.

Completing her hat-trick, Ruby Muir from Napier, won the women’s 2014 ASICS Kepler Challenge in a time of 5:51:39, five minutes slower than her winning time in 2013. Ruby passed the finish-line with bloodied knees, saying that she has completed the race in her personal worst time. She was pleased to finish the race and prove to herself that she can adapt to her quad muscle injury.

In second place was Beth Cardelli from Australia, in a time of 6:07:53. Beth was named as Australian ultra-marathon runner for 2012 and 2013.

Jo Johansen came in third, in the 2014 ASICS Kepler Challenge, in a time of 6:12:52.

First local home in the 2014 ASICS Kepler Challenge was local policeman, Dwight Grieve. Dwight ran a boot camp for runners, in preparation for the 2014 ASICS Kepler Challenge.

Steve Norris, Chairman of the Kepler Challenge Organising Committee said, “The day has gone very smoothly. Warm, calm conditions have been perfect for the runners. The track is in excellent condition, thanks to the Department of Conservation. The Te Anau community always gets in behind this event, with excellent support from the hundreds of volunteers and lour loyal sponsors.”



Martin Dent (Canberra, Australia) 4:51:28

Mark Green (Sydney, Australia) 5:04:14

Stafford Thompson (Dunedin, New Zealand) 5:09:39



Ruby Muir (Napier, New Zealand) 5:51:39

Beth Cardelli (Australia) 6:07:53

Jo Johansen ( New Zealand) 6:12:52



On the same day, the ASICS Luxmore Grunt took place. The ASICS  Luxmore Grunt, a sister race to the ASICS Kepler Challenge, covers the first part of the Kepler track, up to the Luxmore Hut and back along the same route.

The male event winner was Luke Hurring in a time of 2:00:48. Luke said the 2014 ASICS Kepler Challenge and Luxmore Grunt was part of a huge family event, beginning with his father Russell’s 60th birthday earlier in the week. He said conditions were a little breezy up at the Luxmore Hut.

Second place went to Alan Funnell (46) from Dunedin in a time of 2:08:44. Funnell has been running for 13 years and is the race director for the Three Peaks event.

Nathan Jones from North Canterbury came third in a time of 2:11:48.

Female winner was Louisa Andrew from Dunedin, won in a time of 2:27:43. This was only 42 seconds slower than her winning time last year. She found the race tougher this year due to a foot injury.

Second was Joanne Brischetto from Australia, in a time of 2:29:56.

Katrin Gottschalk from Auckland came third 2:32:06




Luke Hurring (Auckland, New Zealand) 2:00:48

Alan Funnell (Dunedin, New Zealand) 2:08:44

Nathan Jones (North Canterbury, New Zealand) 2:11:48



Louisa Andrew (Dunedin, New Zealand) 2.27.43

Joanne Brischetto (Australia) 2:29:56

Katrin Gottschalk (Auckland, New Zealand) 2:32:06