Volunteer's book recalls stories of Kepler Challenge
Noel Walker and Helen Willett shared memories before the official launch of Mr Walker's book Calling Them Home, a tale of being the Kepler Challenge race announcer for the past 20 years, in Te Anau last night. Mrs Willet has been a volunteer on the race for the full 25 years - the sole volunteer to assist in every race in the event's history.
"I think the whole Kepler Challenge story is fascinating, in that it's an event that grew out of the community and in 25 years it's developed into an outstanding event," Mr Walker said.
The experience had given him a chance to look at - and write about - the human interest and humour that went along with the race's long history, he said. "Mostly it was just a lot of fun . . . It was just a great opportunity to reflect on the stories and the people that have been part of it all. There are lots of local people who have been involved and who stayed involved for many, many years. We just love the chance to show off Fiordland's hospitality; it's a very well-run event, and we take pride in making sure all the parts come together to give all the runners a special day." Calling Them Home was written to mark the race's 25th anniversary next month.
The Southland Times