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FreshChoice are proud supporters of the 2017 FreshChoice Kepler Challenge and Luxmore Grunt.


It was another great event, seeing a great turn out of competitors and spectators for what was expected to be some of the best weather the Kepler Challenge has seen in a long time.

The FreshChoice  team of volunteers including Monica, Dot (FreshChoice Te Anau) and FreshChoice Area Manager, Jeremy Samuels, were flown up to Luxmore Hut on the Friday evening in preparation for their early start Saturday morning.

The team chose the Superhero theme for the 30th anniversary of the event at Luxmore, giving the runners a good laugh; after all, they’re the real heroes!

Luxmore Hut is the first major station for all competitors as well as the turn around point for the Luxmore Grunt runners. Jeremy and Dot lead the gear-checking team making sure all the runners competing in the full 60km Kepler Challenge were carrying their essentials, while Monica was turning the 27km Grunt competitors around to go back down the hill. The drink station was pumping drinks out like there was no tomorrow, especially seeing as the event has moved away from disposable paper cups, in favour of a reusable silicone cup issued to all runners at registration. Regardless of our duties at Luxmore Hut, there was no shortage of encouragement from the spectators and Superhero cheer squad!


The Kepler Challenge race began at 6am, and the first runner reached Luxmore Hut around 7:10am, with barely a bead of sweat. The front runners do the compulsory gear check in the minimum time possible before carrying on like they haven’t just run up a mountain.

The stream of competitors kept flowing through Luxmore hut until about lunch time, when the final sweepers appeared to tell us the track was clear and it was time to pack up.

Sam Mccutcheon was the first male across the line for the Kepler Challenge in 4 hours 49 minutes and 59 seconds. While Ruby Muir was the first female competitor for the Kepler Challenge in 5 hours, 24 minutes and 54 Seconds – Just 90 seconds behind the female race record!!

Etienne Blumstein-Jones took out the first male for the Luxmore Grunt in 2:06:45 and Kirsty Sclater took out the first female for the in 2:22:44.

It was another successful event and the FreshChoice team are looking forward to next year’s event.

For further info, check out the Kepler Challenge website here.