Nick Mcdonald Named Stair Master 2018

Thirty-three competitors came out for the third ever Stair Master challenge to see who is the fastest up the 437 west timbre stairs on the Crunch trail.

This year’s event attracted elite tower runner and CN Tower record-holder, Shaun Stephens-Whale, and the event has since been sanctioned by the Tower Running World Association.

Congratulations goes out to the 2018 Stair Master, Nick Mcdonald who put out the fastest climb in 1:34.0 beating out Shaun Stephens-Whale’s time of 1:40.0 by 6 seconds. In a close third was Ryan Walton with 1:43.4.  Last year’s Stair Master Steven Hughes came fourth beating his 2017 record (2:00) with a time of 1:56.3.

Event organizers caught up with Nick after the event to pick his brain on a few things:

How did you find out about the event?
I run the Crunch often as a quick workout as I live close by. I saw the signs lining the Crunch and figured it would be fun to challenge myself alongside other ‘Stair Masters’.

How did you train for the event?
Apart from running the crunch, I enjoy mountain biking, hiking and playing hockey. I prefer to diversify the physical activity I engage in while focusing on what I find enjoyable. I have become more intrigued by stair climbing as of late. I find the Wreck Beach stairs out at UBC to be a good alternative and convenient to train at while at school.

Were you aware Shaun Stephens-Whale was competing against you?
I did not know of Shaun prior to the race. A quick google search post race informed me that he is quite the stair climbing athlete. I didn’t realize that Shaun was actually the fellow that approached me after the race and congratulated me. He was very humble and genuinely interested in my race approach. It would be a great opportunity to train with Shaun and I look forward to seeing him at future events.

Nick Mcdonald breezed up the 437 stairs in a record 1:34.0 (Photo: Jurgen Kaminski)

Any comments about the race itself? Did you pass anyone?
The race was well organized. In the days leading up to the race I actually wasn’t sure what set of stairs the ‘Stair Master’ would take place on. The new set is quite grueling given its steep grade. I was glad it was on the original set. I only passed my girlfriend on the way up. Kait is my go-to training partner and I was so proud of her for her second place finish!

Any other thoughts or experiences you’d like to share about your prep, the day, the event?
The real champs are the runners in the ‘Make it or Break it’ category. This year Douglas ran 9 laps in under 4 hours, that is incredible! All participants of this category are truly the fit and determined competitors. A massive thank you to all the volunteers that attended and those that organized the event in the weeks, months prior. Without them all, this event wouldn’t be possible!

What other events do you compete in? What’s coming up?
I have tentatively signed up for a few fun runs in the Vancouver area, namely the Turkey Trot and the Fall Classic. I am uncertain whether there are any stair races in my future but you can definitely catch me out at the Coquitlam Crunch during the week running sets in preparation for next year!

Will you be back to defend your title next year?
I look forward to taking part next year! This is an event that appears to be gaining a lot of momentum and I would love to be a part of it in the future.

Carmen Lee (Photo: Jurgen Kaminski)

The fastest female overall was Carmen Lee (above) with a time of 2:16.1. shaving 10 seconds off of the top female time of 2017.  Coming second overall was Tara Carruthers with 2:30.4; and in third place overall was Kait Swales with 2:38.2.  Congrats to Addison Kim who was the only 15 and under competitor.

Placements by age group (female)
15 and under:  Addison Kim (gold, 3:17.0)
16 to 35 yrs: Carmen Lee (gold, 2:16.1); Kait Swales (silver, 2:38.2); Leigh Brandt (bronze, 2:34.9)
36 – 65 yrs: Tara Carruthers (gold, 2:30.4); Shelby Murphy (silver, 3:01.2); Lori Brotto (bronze, 3:04.3)
There were no entries in the 66+ category.

The male youth entries increased this year, thanks to one dad who stopped in to register all three of his sons before their Saturday soccer match! Way to go Reis brothers, and congrats to our medalists.

Congrats to all our female competitors! We’re still looking for 65+ female athletes for next year! (Photos: Jurgen Kaminski)

Gold for Addison!  Our only female competitor in the U15 age group, Addison Kim! She put in a time of 3:17.0 outrunning several of the males in the same age group. (Photo: Jurgen Kaminski)

Placements by age group (male)

15 and under: Tae Kim (gold, time 2:24.2); Brenen Kim; Nicholas Reis
16 – 35 yrs:  Nick Mcdonald (gold, 1:34.0); Shaun Stephens-Whale (silver, 1:40.0); and Ryan Walton (bronze, 1:43.4).
36 – 65 yrs: Masamichi Shibata (gold, 1:48.9); Dean Brandt (silver, 2:02), Thierry Joffre (bronze, 2:12.9)
66+: Wylie McLallen (gold, 5:03.7)

Gold medal to Masamichi Shibata for the win in the 36 – 65 age group with a very impressive time of 1:39.9 putting him 4th overall in the Stair Master! (Photo: Jurgen Kaminksi)

Congrats to our Stair Master male medalists! (Photos: Jurgen Kaminksi)

For Stair Master official results click HERE.

If you have not collected your medal and would like to, email us at

For the event photo album on Facebook, click HERE. Thank you event photographer, Jurgen Kaminski!

Thank you to our 2018 event sponsors: 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, Running Room Port Coquitlam, Trio Sports Events, Pasta Polo, Magenta Printing & Imaging, Eagle Ridge Chevrolet Buick GMC, Coquitlam Chrysler, Optimum Family Chiropractic, Shaughnessy Veterinary Clinic, lululemon, Starbucks, photographer Jurgen Kaminski, the Royal Canadian Air Cadets Phoenix Squadron, and Rotary Club of Coquitlam Sunrise.

Competitors of the 3rd ever Stair Master event at the Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge on Sept. 8. (U15 kids missing from photo) Jurgen Kaminksi photography.

The Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge is an annual event founded by Tri-City’s resident Alex Bell, which celebrates diversity and supports the Nothin’ Dragon Masters senior dragon boat team and their community programs, and the Coquitlam Foundation’s ‘Diversity’ Fund. The event started in 2010 and takes place at the Coquitlam Crunch hiking trail in B.C., Canada. The Challenge features a Stair Master competition; the Make It Or Break It 4-hour competition; and a Recreational category.

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