Kepler Challenge Predictions

So the below are my predictions for the 2010 Kepler Challenge.

A few notes worth mentioning- Well I would like to think that the below is based a good solid research, facts, a deep understanding and intimation knowledge of the Kepler and those who will be at the sharp end, that simply is not true. Rather I have scavenged around for info and dirt. When I have not got the info I wanted, or it is not what  wanted to hear, I have simply made something up. For example I don’t even have a start list. Take it with a grain of salt, try not to get hurt feeling if your name is not listed and try not to fold under the pressure if it is.

1st– Martin Lukes. Marty is the 3 time defending champ and has never placed lower than 2nd at the Kepler in his 7 or 9 attempts at the race. When quizzed on his plans for summer- “well I would really like to the Kepler a good nudge this year”

2nd– Vajin Armstrong. You might know him as Luke, either way he is fast and has stated he is going to Te Anue to “Give Marty Lukes a run”. He has won 3 half marathons (fastest being a 73min) and beat Lukes at the Mt Vernon Run UP in the last 6 weeks. It will be his first kepler.

3rd- Norman Dunroy- 2nd last year, Norman is a mean up hiller and would have learnt a lot from his first Kepler last year. Rumors of a twisted ankle a few weeks ago?

Possible top 5ers/outside shot at top 3-

Shireen Crumpton- she has won the Legend and  Auckland Marathons this year, has the Luxmore Gunt record and most importantly has been on 5hr training runs with Russel Hurring (see below). The womans  5:22 course record? I think so.

Russell Hurring- Kepler legend! I believe he has won this race at least 5 times in the early 1990’s, the fasted being his 1994 course record of 4hr40mins, which he set when he was 40yrs old. Now some were around 55, the word on the street is he is in 5hr30 shape, thats top 5!

John Winsbury- no idea if he is coming over this year? My people have been trying to contact his people all week, but they aren’t returning calls?? John is a low 5 guy, if he comes over and is having a good day, he could push for top 3 again.

Luke Vaughan- 2x Luxmore Gunt winner and 5th last year in the big boys race. He will be looking to improve on that and seems to be in good shape, finish 3rd in the Dunn Run and Godely Head Run Out.

Expect to see them in the top 10

Andrew Rees Jones- 3 names is always solid at every race he turns up at and last weekend was 2nd at Flag Pole, with a 5min improvement on his last years time! He will run faster than his 5hr4? from last year.

Gary Melhuish- This Kepler first timer will be fueled by fear. The last thing he (any of us) needs is to go down to Bixley……

Matthew Bixley- NZ 24hr rep and recent 8th in the world at the rogaine champs. Bixley has been putting in the time and has a sub 6 in him if he can focus on running the last 15k, rather than talking smack to every one he passes in those last 15km.

Me- ahhh, I am but a shell of my once a little above average self with hip and leg issues. Haven’t really run pain free in a month. My high hopes of a fast Kepler are all but gone, with the main goal now like GaryM’s- not to be Bix’d.

And then there are a heap of folks not on this list that I have never heard of………

What are your picks?

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11 thoughts on “Kepler Challenge Predictions

  1. It’s a bugger that they don’t publish an entry list. There are still guys like Tony Fattorini to watch out for if he makes another trip over. Glen Ferguson is a pretty consistent performer too. Any idea if Carsten is heading down? And I thought Sam Wreford was going to give it another shot. I’m sure there’ll be lots of poring over the start list on Friday night!

    • I think I read a race report about TonyF and his last race on the Kepler, it was a few years old and he keeps coming back, so hopefully he will be there.
      I talked with Carsten, he said he wasn’t racing, to which Marty replied “thank fuck”.
      No idea re Sam Wreford? You would think he has some unfinished business and with a strong 2nd at the Auckland marathon is in good shape. I would say we would have heard if he was racing.

  2. Where’s the like button?

    If you guys can’t beat Bixley there must be something wrong with you. His legs should have been toast for a week after the World Rogaine Champs.

    Actually, word has it that Bixley was talking too much smack in the FIRST 15km last year, and got dropped along the way… 🙂

    • check it out Andrew, there is a “like” button! At the bottom of the post, I had never noticed it before.
      Yeah MattyB’s legs should be thrashed, I know mine would be!

  3. 1st – Lukes (4:40)
    2nd – Dunroy. (it was a ‘rolled’ ankle, reckoned he just started training in October. BS
    3rd – Guise. Yup, you poofter, done the yards, have the times ON the course

    Actually really hard to seperate Dunroy/Guise

    Fattorini – will be right up there if he shows up (5:06 PB I think)

    Winsbury – may have learnt to stay away or at least not to predict a 4:40

    Crumpton – will get 5th and course record of 5:22 for $5000 cash. Might get a ride home with the girls, they can buy me lunch, i’ll be hungry. She has indeed been training with Russell but I’m not supposed to say what sort of form he’s in.

    Hurring – Hopefully he knows nothing about Grant Guise, FB and Sumner so he won’t read this. Has been doing 4+ runs all year, lost huge amounts of weight looking incredibly trim. May run near 5:00, he thought if you could run sub 3 marathon you could run sub 5 Kepler, I always thought it was double. I don’t know jack shit.

    Reese-Jones – 3 names, Love it, I usually see him for about the 1st 5 minutes, must sledge him early as I may not get another chance

    Garandal – ran a 5:52 on no training, has just got back into doing lots of stuff. Just another bloke who would hate to lose to me.

    Armstrong – 73 minute half marathons don’t mean a whole lot unless he was doing 3-4 hours the next day or ran 2 hours to the start line. Wreford was a 2:25 Marathoner when he ran 5:03, Armstrong isn’t near that class. Sorry Dude your time will come.

    Pfahlert – usually sub 6

    Bixley – some twat who’d like to break 6 for the 1st time. Rumor is that he’s finally found some speed or at least learned how to suffer real good in the last 12 months. I’d hate to lose to this guy, he’ll let you know about it for a long time. You’ll hear him coming and start crying.

    Melhuish – Just hopes he’ll look pretty. Everyone else just hopes he doesn’t cry and have to stand there feeling awkward not knowing where to look and waiting for it to stop. Hot girlfriend with a fluffy rat for a pet. If he trained his name would come of the endagered list for Motatapu.

    Rachel Harris – 😦

    Glen Fergusson – not coming, been injured all winter, along with everyone else at Leith.

    Haverd – will get 2nd chick and should break 6 as well.

    • So is this the official Matt Bixley Kepler prediction for 2010? Have we seen it here first??
      Gotta love the Gary comments. I am disappointed he has not yet chimed in to defend him self. Like many endangered spices I guess he is keeping a low profile.
      Interesting to see we agree on some places, but not all, time will tell I guess

  4. some more commentary on the predictions.

    Last 10 years have seen only two blokes go sub 5, Lukes & Costley. Pretty much why Armstrong has no show of beating Lukes, it’s just not that easy to run sub 5. Paul Crowhurst (70 min 1/2 mary) got to Luxmore with Lukes once then struggled home for 5:52. Mark Tuckett beat Lukes around the port hills last year and managed to run 7:12, that’s a lot of hurting.

    The last few years have seen between 11 and 19 (i think) people run under 6 hours. Sub 5:30 pretty much gets you top 5. This year, given how many people have withdrawn from the field ~160 so far, I think it will be a slow field. There’s just not that many people who have serious injuries. I think it’s jut lack of commitment.

    I’d like to run 5:45, but given the 5 minutes I did yesterday and then the 4:48, 1500m barefoot (cos shoes hurt too much) I’m not sure what I’ll do. poor Gazzza, going to get beaten by an old cripple.

    Anyway, camping at the holiday park across the road from the event center. see ewes there 🙂

  5. Matt your are for getting Keith Murry (did do a 4:40 in 1996? and I think a 4:50 in the early 2000’s) and Carsten Joergensen (4:59:41 in 2006- article here- http://www.sportzhub.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1505&Itemid=73 )
    I think it is those 2, Costley and Lukes that have gone sub 5 and won it in the last 10yrs.
    Interesting what you say re how many have gone sub 6hrs. In the results from 1994 when my mum did it, about 30 people when sub 6hrs! Deep fields at the top end

  6. 1996 isn’t within the last 10 years :D, Yup forgot about Carsten J, average # sub 6 in the last 10 years is about 14.

    Murray Thomas made a comment a couple of years ago that the quantity of runners at the pointy end is greatly reduced. I think he said that you needed to run 5:30 just to make the top 20. I’ve got results back to 1999 I think, in all those years 6:00 would get you in the top 20.

  7. Pingback: Tarawera 100km Predictions « Ski Runner NZ

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