The Fresh Choice Kepler Challenge is an annual running event held on the first Saturday of December. It is described as the "jewel in NZ's mountain running calendar". The challenge covers the 60km Kepler Track which is one of the Great Walks of New Zealand. It is an extremely popular race with entrants from all over the world coming to take on the challenge.
Along with the Fresh Choice Kepler Challenge is the Fresh Choice Luxmore Grunt. If you aren't keen on running the whole 60km you can give the 27km of the Fresh Choice Luxmore Grunt a go. But be warned it is not for the faint hearted! This sister race of the Fresh Choice Kepler Challenge has a nice 6km flat start then the steady uphill begins. Once arriving at the Luxmore Hut take in the views and fuel up as the down hill back along the track can be just as gruelling.
The race record for the Fresh Choice Kepler Challenge is 4:33:37 which was done by Martin Dent in 2013. The record for the Fresh Choice Luxmore Grunt is 1:52:30 which was done by Phil Costley in 2008.
To enter you will need to be fast, entries open on the first Saturday in July at 6.30am and all the limied spots are snapped up within minutes. But don't worry the start and finish point of the run is at the Control gates on the edge of Lake Te Anau, this is a great vantage point to cheer the runners in after their marathon effort! You can see what the competition and result of running the challenge is like before entering for the next year!
For more information about the race or how to enter check out the Fresh Choice Kepler Challenge website.