Glen’s Grunt grind for a podium finish

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It must have been that last Leppin which got Queenstowner Glen Campbell over the finish line for third in the Luxmore Grunt.

The 28-year-old bowled up to registration five minutes before last Saturday’s race in Fiord­land looking for a spare energy drink – scoring the last one – before setting off on the 27km race.

The Luxmore Grunt is the sister race to the massive 60km Kepler Challenge. This year’s event attracted 150 runners in the shorter race and 400 in the longer one.

Campbell is now eyeing up the next Kepler Challenge after sampling its sister race.

“I think the Kepler would be a bit more social because you have more time to chat to people because it’s obviously longer,” he says.

“I still had a good time on the Luxmore Grunt saying g’day, howdy and woohooing people as I passed them – and it was a massive bonus to come in third.”

Campbell finished his 27km in 2hr 13min 49sec, just over 30 seconds behind second place­­­­­getter Andrew Middle­ditch. Mathew Broad took top spot in 2:10:36.

Fellow local Fiona Kokich also had a great performance in the Luxmore Grunt, coming second in the women’s section just under a minute behind race winner Rosara Joseph’s 2:31:41.

The Queenstown contingent entered in the full Kepler Challenge didn’t make any of the top spots this year but still represented the resort well.

Mike Davies managed a personal best in his third Challenge, finishing in 8:13:45.

“I was 10 minutes faster and a year older,” he laughs. “As you get older, you tend to get wiser.”

Other locals included men’s race entrants Mark Douglas, Stuart Cochrane, Andrew Evans, Davide Lovison, Matt Hall, Vaughan Crowther, Simon Horan, James Harcombe and Martin O’Malley; and women’s race entrants Chrissy Schreiber, Tracey Woodford, Sabina Ledergerber, Bridget Davies and Annemarie Robertson.