Senior Competitor Ups the Competition!
Each year the annual Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Crunch attracts more and more competitors. The event will celebrate its tenth birthday this Sept. 7 and some of the competitors have supported the event for many years. With the introduction of professional timekeeping and medal awards for the top 3 placements in 4 age groups for the Stair Master and Make It or Break It categories since 2016, competitiveness has become sharper.
In 2018, at the start of the signature category, the Make It Or Break It, where the goal is to see how many times you can make the full 2.2 km loop (up and down) the Crunch in 4-hours, event organizers announced that if a participant felt they could make it back up to the top of the Crunch for a final half-lap before the 4-hours were up, that the top timing mat would clock them for a .5 or half-lap. If they tried, but could not make it up before the 4-hour mark, they would be out-of-luck clocking no extra distance. No one had ever done so before (although the idea had been posed by one competitor in the previous year), so it was not expected.
Don Prince, a repeat competitor in the 66+ age group of this category completed 5 laps in a time of 3:17:47 and decided he could make it back to the top of the trail to clock the distance, and away he went.
After the horn blew for the 4-hour finish, results came in and according to the time, another competitor, Mark Hyder had the fastest result completing 5 laps for that age group clocking in at 3:04:06 on the timing mat at the start/finish line at the base of the Crunch. Meanwhile, the timekeepers and event organizers did not realize that Don Prince had made his way back up to fit in a half-lap. Mark Hyder could have done the same, and with 55 mins left on the clock, he could likely have easily done so.
Don Prince was awarded a silver medal during the medal presentation that followed, which was based on his time being clocked at the bottom. Organizers and timekeepers had not checked for the half-lap.
Mr. Prince later challenged the event team that he was the true winner. His resulting time was 3:49:34 for the 5.5 laps.
Results were adjusted accordingly and Don set a precedent by example for future Make It Or Break It events. Event organizers wish participants to be aware of this half-lap rule, as it could earn them a higher result.
“We love how this event has progressed with a competitive spirit,” said founder Alex Bell. “We also want to remind the public that this event supports diversity in all its facets, that it’s for every age and fitness level and its aim is to bring the community together. While the event was based on the Make It Or Break It challenge, most people would come out for the Recreational category. We want to support our athletes, but also keep our families and community involved.”
Don Prince with event founder Alex Bell in 2016. This year marks Don’s 4th time competing in the Make It Or Break It 4-hour event. He is one of the few competitors in the 66+ age group, and to date the event has not had any females in this age group.
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. We applaud local Cruncher, Don Prince who has competed in the event for several years in our 66+ category. We also salute the youth who have come out, and we look forward to many more for the 10th anniversary.”
“We’re looking at a special activation for children this year where they will get a passport and achieve stamps or stars along the trail and will receive a prize at the bottom for completing the Crunch.”
The Stair Master
2019 is the fourth installment of the Stair Master challenge, where participants run up the 437 west timber stairs to see who is the fastest. The event is attracting elite tower climbers and the Stair Master titleholder is Nick Mcdonald who completed in 1 minute and 34 seconds in 2018. This category is being evaluated for the global ranking of the TWA (Towerrunning World Association).
Medals and Age Groups
Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded in four age groups (male and female) for both the Stair Master and Make It Or Break It. Age groups are 15 and under; 16- 35 years; 36-64 years; and 65 or over. Online registration closes at midnight on Sept. 3 and offers savings, however, event day registration will still be available.
Go at Your Own Pace!
If you are not into racing, but still want to come out and support the cause, you can register as a family 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 group. If you are participating in a business or community group, please wear your group shirts.
Register online before Sept. 5
Online registration is simple and helps event organizers greatly. Fees are nominal for the Stair Master and Make It Or Break It and by donation for the Recreational.
Highlight Your Business or Community Group
Sponsors are still being sought, in particular, a title-sponsor. Interested sponsors can email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more, and community groups interested in participating with a group donation are also welcome and will also be listed as a sponsor. Supporting this years event are: New Earth Marketing, The Tri-City News, City of Coquitlam, Oddball Workshop Apparel, Sandpiper Signs & Decals, Coquitlam Chrysler, Fraser Health, FortisBC, Vancity, Trio Sports Events, BC Athletics, Eagle Ridge Chevrolet Buick GMC, Body by Brandt, Coquitlam Chrysler, lululemon, Pasta Pollo, Starbucks, and Thrifty Foods.
The event is being organized by the Nothin’ Dragon Masters dragon boat team out of Dogwood Seniors Society.