As a lead up to this year’s Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge on Saturday, September 10th, Port Moody resident Guy Black will be attempting to become the first person to complete a 24-hour marathon on the popular hiking trail, the Coquitlam Crunch. He will start on Friday, September 9th at 1 pm and his completion will culminate with the official stoppage time of the event’s Make It Or Break It category, where competitors will see how many times they can complete the 4.5 km loop within 4 hours. At night Guy will wear a head lantern and purple lights in honour of Amanda Todd’s Legacy.
“Guy approached us with the idea in support of this year’s event, and we thought it very brave of him,” said Brian Kenny, co-chair of the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge‘s organizing committee. “The Challenge is hard enough at 4 hours, but to do 24, almost seems crazy!”
Guy has trained hard to get himself ready for this unique challenge by running, walking, and weight lifting and through his martial arts practice. Guy’s overall conditioning is very important and a vital component is his martial arts training. He is a member of Coquitlam’s Kang-Ho Hapkido Martial Arts Academy, who will be acting as his support team during the 24 hour effort.
To prepare for this upcoming endurance test, Guy’s been taking long runs to Belcara Village and Buntzen Lake, walking up Rick Hanson’s Thermal Drive hill and Rochester, and even trekking up Mount Seymour once each week. “I have done several long distance all night walks before, including walking 100 km from Port Moody to Victoria in 2014,” said Guy. “But crunching for 24 hours is something completely different, and might be the most challenging thing I have ever done.”
Members of Kangho Hapkido, along with Fin Donnelly, MP for Port Moody – Coquitlam (center) with Guy Black to his left. The Hapkido martial arts team will be providing support at the Crunch during Guy Black’s attempt to become the first person to complete a 24 hour marathon on the Coquitlam trail.
Another reason for Guy’s attempt is to help commemorate Coquitlam’s 125th anniversary, and the city’s mayor Richard Stewart plans to be on hand to see him off, along with other well-wishers. Even though Guy is in great shape, and has been successful with his training, he said he can’t guarantee he will complete the 24 hours. “It will be a very difficult physical challenge with no guarantee of success or even survival,” he said. “The Crunch is either walking up or walking down a hill and nothing else, no flat sections, just up or down. Some people have compared the Crunch to the Grouse Grind or even Mount Seymour and perhaps you can’t really compare a hill to a mountain, but it is very steep and not a short easy walk.”
Knowing what it takes to endure a test of physical strength, Guy has been offered encouragement by his good friend and fellow martial arts colleague, Fin Donnelly, MP for Port Moody – Coquitlam, who supports the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge each year he’s in town. “I’ve known Guy for about six years, and he’s a hard-working community advocate who has done a lot for veterans,” said Donnelly. “As a long distance swimmer, I know how hard his effort will be, and how he will also feel a sense of accomplishment on completing his run. Good luck, Guy!”
Left to right: Robbin Whachell, Co-Chair, Coquitlam Crunch Planning Committee; Guy Black; Diane Lee of Hapkido Kangho Martial Arts Academy; and Brian Kenny, Co-Chair and President, Nothin’ Dragon Masters dragon boat team.
The Coquitlam Crunch trail will remain open as usual during Guy’s run, as well as during the Saturday official event which takes place with registration starting at 7 am, through to the medal presentations which should wrap up by 1:30 pm. The stairs will only close for one half hour (8 am to 8:30 am) for the Stair Master challenge, but the side path will still be accessible during that time.
If you’re not into timed or marathon like activities, the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge event offers the Recreational category, perfect for family’s or individuals who want to enjoy the day out and support diversity. Online registration via the Running Room is available ONLY until midnight on Tuesday, September 6th, whereupon registration will then take place the morning of the event. Save time, and register online. There are 4 age groups in both male and female divisions.
More information is available at www.coquitlamcrunch.com
The Coquitlam Crunch Challenge is an annual event held each September to raise funds for the Coquitlam Foundation and Dogwood Seniors Society’s Nothin’ Dragon Masters. Coquitlam Crunch is a steep, urban trail that follows a route under the hydro lines. (Photo: Joep Olthuis)