Martin Dent from Canberra, Australia, blitzed the 2013 ASICS Kepler Challenge field in a record-breaking time of 4.33.37, on the challenging 60km mountain terrain course.
Beating a capacity field of 477 on a warm Fiordland day, Dent gained the lead early in the race, on the climb to the Luxmore Hut. Dent took out the King of the Mountain title, being the first to reach the Luxmore Hut.
In second place, Vajin Armstrong, winner of the previous three ASICS Kepler Challenges, came in over 20 minutes later, with a time of 4.55.17.
Rowan Walker also from Canberra, Australia was placed third in the 2013 ASICS Kepler Challenge, in 5.09.31.
Martin Dent had never run a race of this distance before, but he is an elite runner who had competed in the London Olympics. He said it was a great feeling to have broken the race record of 4.37.41 set by Phil Costley in 2005. At the finish line, Martin said after he took the lead, he didn’t look back and felt in good shape for most of the run, although near the end he thought, “The little hills began to feel like big hills.”
Dent is looking forward to defending his title next year and was thrilled to be competing in such a beautiful place.
Three-times ASICS Kepler Challenge winner, Vajin Armstrong (33) from Christchurch, was full of praise for the impressive performance of Martin Dent. “Good run, buddy,” was Armstrong’s comment to Dent at the finish line. Armstrong said he worked as hard as he could, but he couldn’t reel in Dent. Armstrong was also full of praise for the event, calling the race surroundings “magical”.
Rowan Walker, Canberra, Australia came in third in the 2013 ASICS Kepler Challenge in a time of 5.09.31.
For the second year in a row, Ruby Muir (22) from Napier won the woman’s event in the 2013 ASICS Kepler Challenge. Muir’s time of 5.45.02 was almost 8 minutes slower than her winning time of 5.37.55 last year. Muir is a leading New Zealand Mountain runner who found this year’s ASICS Kepler Challenge harder than last year. She said she’d been spending time training on her bike and that wasn’t the best build-up for a race of this kind.
Whitney Dagg from Dunedin came in second to Muir, and third place went to Jean Beaumont from London.
First local home in the 2013 Kepler Challenge, local policeman, Dwight Grieve ran a boot camp for runners in preparation for the race.
Steve Norris, Chairman of the Kepler Challenge Organising Committee, said, “The day has gone like clock-work. Warm, calm conditions have been perfect for the event. 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 our loyal sponsors.”
2013 ASICS Kepler Challenge Results
Martin Dent (Canberra, Australia) 4.33.37
Vajin Armstrong (Christchurch) 4.55.17
Rowan Walker (Canberra, Australia) 5.09.31
Ruby Muir (Napier) 5.45.02
Whitney Dagg (Dunedin) 6.03.05
Jean Beaumont (London) 6.21.09
On the same day, the Luxmore Grunt, took place, a sister race over the first part of the Kepler Track, up to the Luxmore Hut from the control gates on Lake Te Anau and back along the same route.
The male event winner was Geoff Williamson, from Dunedin. He estimated his time as 2.02 and won in a time of 2.03.43. It was Williamson’s first Luxmore Grunt and he found it hard at the top of the mountain.
Second place went to Troy McAlister, 19, from Winton in a time of 2.07.00. University student, Troy was also 2nd in 2011. A talented runner, McAlister is in the elite squad for the Under 19 New Zealand Triathlon team.
Richard Ford from Southland came in third in a time of 2.09.27.
Female winner was horse dentist, Louisa Andrew from Dunedin. After only gaining entry to the race a week ago, it was Andrew’s first time running the Luxmore Grunt. Second was previous local girl, Amanda Broughton in a time of 2.34.17. She was competing with her brother William. Magrethe Helles from Wanaka came in third 2.34.34.
Luxmore Grunt Results
Geoff Williamson (Dunedin) 2.03.43
Troy McAlister (Winton) 2.07.00
Richard Ford (Southland) 2.09.27
Louisa Andrew 2.27.02
Amanda Broughton 2.34.17
Magrethe Helles 2.34.34