Silverstream reserve, Whare Flat, Dunedin
For more details on this exciting trail event >> Pigs Backyard Ultra Website
Kepler Track in Fiordland National Park
For full details and full results >> Kepler Challenge & Luxmore Grunt Facebook
Kepler Challenge 60km
Leith’s Jason Palmer was the leading Leith athlete finishing 11th overall, 9th in the Open Grade, 10th Male, in a very good time of 5 hours 50 minutes 14 seconds. Richard Campbell was the next Leith athlete to finish. He finished in 37th place overall, 25th in the Open Category, 32nd Male, in 6 hours 40 minutes 41 seconds. Next was John Bayne who finished in 56th place overall, 3rd in the Veteran 50+ category, 45th Male in 6 hours 59 minutes 44 seconds. Then came Nicola Chisholm in 136th place overall, 29th in the Open Category, 39th Female, in 8 hours 1 minute 12 seconds. Next was Hayden Scorringe in 141 place overall, 64th in the Open Category, 100th Male in 8 hours 4 minutes 39 seconds. Next was Glenn Thompson who finished in 145th overall, 65th in the Open Category, 103rd Male, in 8 hours 7 minutes 1 second. Then next was Croydon Paton who finished in 159th place overall, 15th Veteran 50+, 111th Male, in 8 hours 16 minutes 6 seconds.
Luxmore Grunt 27km
Michael Pullar Leith affiliated athlete finished in 30th place overall, 23rd in the Open Category, 23 Male, in 2 hours 38 minutes 20 seconds.
Hayden Scorringe reflects on his 8:04 Kepler Challenge 60km run
About 400 runners set off at 6am on the lakeshore of Te Anau. Full of energy and running freely. The first 5km is reasonably flat – a very nice flowing trail. After that it gets significantly harder to Luxmore hut, thinking the worst is mostly behind you – wrong. The track gets rocky and even steeper.
A couple of false summits and then the descent starts and feels like it never ends! Although I was trying to hold back here it still kills the quads as you descend for ages! It seemed to take an age to get to Iris Burn hut. From here apparently the track is flat 🤣. Definitely not!
The last half of the race is all very undulating, and I really struggled to get into a rhythm. The last 15-20k I was running on empty. Maybe a lack of training?
I had great intentions of trying to push a bit harder on the last 5km but my legs said no. All in all, stoked to tick another massive challenge off the list.
If I didn’t stop to take so many bloody photos I would have hit my goal time too 🤔
Jason Palmer’s Kepler Challenge 60km – a real bucket list race!
The Kepler was a race that I had wanted to do for several years, a real bucket list race. The remoteness of the course, the adventure, the altitude all appealed to me.
The race started at 6.00am in the morning and the pace went out at what I thought was a good speed. I held back as I was aware that there was plenty of ground still to cover. I reached the bottom of the climb to Luxmore and settled into a nice rhythm up the hill. I knew from my training that I wanted to reach Luxmore Hut in approximately 80 minutes. I passed a significant number of athletes up the climb and reached the hut alongside three-time race winner Nancy Jiang in 79 minutes.
After the gear check I made my way over the top past the two emergency shelters. This section was the most difficult for me as I wasn’t used to the loose gravel and uneven terrain. I found that I was consistently getting passed by other athletes over this section, however, I didn’t want to risk a broken ankle, therefore I held back.
After a gruelling descent, I reached Irisburn Hut with a group of five athletes. With 32km to go, I knew that this was the section where I would do well. I settled into a nice rhythm through the checkpoint at Rocky Point and eventually at Motorau Hut. From there I knew that I had 6km to go until I reached Rainbow Reach where Megan and the girls were waiting.
After I passed the girls, I knew I had 9km to go so I gave it everything. I managed to pass three more athletes along this section. Crossing the control gates and the finish line was an amazing feeling. The goal was sub 6 hours, I managed 5.50 and a 10th place finish which I was stoked with.
This is a must do race for anyone who is after an adventure. My advice for training would be not to count the miles you run each week, don’t stress about NOT meeting weekly goals. Go out and run in the hills and have fun – the fitness is a by-product. Oh and having a really supportive partner helps as well.