Crunch for a Cause…
The ninth annual Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge takes place on Saturday, Sept. 8 at the popular Coquitlam hiking trail that was expanded this year to include a second set of stairs.
The event was created by Coquitlam resident, Alex Bell to support diversity in the community by raising funds for the Coquitlam Foundation’s diversity fund. To date, the event has raised over $20,000 and the fund generates a yearly diversity grant up to $800.
It was in 2016, that Bell sought the help of the Dogwood Seniors Society’s Nothin’ Dragon Masters dragon boat team. This diverse group, while dealing with the challenges associated with aging, aim to keep an active and healthy lifestyle. They support challenged youth through their Kateslem Kids dragon boat mentoring and team building program.
“Bringing in Nothin’ Dragon brought new life to the event,” said Bell. “They have expanded the event and brought it up to a professional level with time-keeping and online registration.” The dragon boat team, who have an average age of 65 years, and some seventy members, also hosted and organized the inaugural Inlet Spring Regatta last year at Rocky Point, where 3000 paddlers competed and gave rave reviews.
Race and Recreation:
2018 sees the third installment of the Stair Master challenge, where participants run up the 437 west timbre stairs to see who is the fastest. The event is growing and this year it has attracted elite tower climber, Shaun Stephens-Whale of Roberts Creek, B.C. who is the current record holder of the CN Tower climb. The 2017 titleholder, Stephen Hughes did the stair climb in 2 minutes flat. Both men will be competing in the 16 – 35 age group. This category will be evaluated for the global ranking of the TWA (Towerrunning World Association)
The signature event of the Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge is the Make It Or Break It, which sees participants run or walk the 2.2 km length of the Crunch trail as many times as possible within four hours. The ‘spot at the top’ has an elevation of 280 metres and on average takes approximately a half-hour to reach while walking.
If you are not into racing, but still want to come out and support the cause and try out the trail, you can register as a family, group, or individual for the Recreational category which provides an optional time-chip so you can clock your progress, work on a personal best, or have your own competition within your family or group. The Recreational will start off with a warm up with Leigh Brandt, Canada’s first IFBB Bikini Pro, international cover model, and owner of BodyByBrandt personal training.
Youth and Seniors Wanted:
“We really have something for everyone!” said event co-chair and president of Nothin’ Dragon, Brian Kenny. “We encourage youth and seniors to register as participation from these age groups has been extremely low, and so many of our medals go unused.”
Gold, silver and bronze medals will be handed out for each race event (Stair Master and Make It Or Break It) for male and female categories. Age groups are 15 and under; 16- 35 years; 36-64 years; and 65 or over. Online registration closes at midnight on Sept. 4 and offers savings, however, event day registration will still be available.
A beer garden sponsored by Yellow Dog Brewing, Mariner Brewing, and the Rotary Club of Coquitlam will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the base of the trail adjacent to the Scott Creek Community Gardens. All proceeds support charity. Other refreshments and snacks will be available including a water-bottle-refill station.
Spectators and participants will enjoy exciting race action, community group information tables, event announcer Rod Macbeth; ‘Oh Canada’ sung by The Anthem Singer, Gregory Ould; a Kwikwetlem First Nation opening; words of welcome by Mayor Richard Stewart; and this year’s diversity grant presentation by event founder, Alex Bell.
The 2018 event is supported by New Earth Marketing, Sandpiper Signs & Decals, On Track Dental, Oddball Workshop Apparel, Joep Olthuis of Shutter Up & Shoot, The Tri-City News, Yellow Dog Brewing, Mariner Brewing, City of Coquitlam, snapd Tri-Cities, Vancity, Body by Brandt, Rod Macbeth, Pasta Polo, Magenta Printing & Imaging, Eagle Ridge Chevrolet Buick GMC, Coquitlam Chrysler, Optimum Family Chiropractic, Shaughnessy Veterinary Clinic, lululemon, Starbucks, Jurgen Kaminski, Rotary Club of Coquitlam Sunrise, and Hydro Pop Event Services Inc.