Kepler Challenge 60km Mountain Run & 27km Luxmore Grunt
Where and When:
Date from: Saturday, 5 December
Date to: Saturday, 5 December
Location: Kepler Track
Fiordland National Park
This event has been held annually on the first Saturday in December since 1988, and follows the 60km Kepler Track. Starting at the Control Gates of Lake Te Anau the route follows an easy first 6km before it takes a steady climb to the Luxmore Hut. The next 12km offer wonderful views of the South Fiord along the undulating tops before a spectacular descent to the Iris Burn Hut. A gradual 17km journey down the Iris Burn brings competitors to the Moturau Hut on Lake Manapouri and from there a 6km run to the last checkpoint at Rainbow Reach. The home straight follows alongside the Waiau River and back to the Control Gates.
The concurrent Luxmore Grunt event follows the same route as far as the Luxmore Hut, then returns via the same route back to the Control Gates. This is not to be sneezed at as it is 27km of "hard yakka" living up to its name. One hundred and fifty hardy souls pit their wills against this colossal mountain and there are always some thrills and spills to be had in this event.