Results of the 2019 Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge

The weather was perfect for the annual trail race on Saturday, Sept. 7 as the 10th annual Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge got underway with registration at 7 a.m. at the base of the Coquitlam Crunch trail beside Scott Creek Community Garden.  This was the fourth year the 50+ dragon boat team, the Nothin’ Dragon Masters from the Dogwood Seniors’ Society organized and hosted the event.


The Stair Master event started the day with last year’s winner, Nick Mcdonald (16 – 35 yr. age group) returning to hold the title for another year.  This time Nick ascended the 437 west steps in 1:32.04, shaving 2 seconds from his 2018 results of 1:34.0.  Placing second and third ‘overall’ for males was Josh Greenwood (16-35 yrs.) in1:41.6; and Sean Zoschke (16-35 yrs.) in 1:42.3.  Full results can be viewed here.

Congrats to the Overall Top 3 Females in the Stair Master were:

1. Liepa Bajarunas (0-15 yrs.) in 2:51.3
2. Shelby Murphy (36-64 yrs.) in 3:03.7
3. Marina Khonina (36-64 yrs.) in 3:15.9

Make It Or Break It 4-hour challenge gets underway at 9 a.m. (Photo: Originelle Designs Photography)


At 9 a.m. the Make It Or Break It 4-hour challenge got underway with the largest number of registrants in this category.  Returning record-holder, Douglas Race (36 – 64 yr. age group) took the title a second year in a row finishing with 18 laps, in a time of 3:46:10; a pace of 5:43/K; and a distance of 39.6.

Joining Douglas as the second and third overall were Tom Petryshen with 18 laps in a time of 3:50:35; and Ray Barrett with 16 laps in 3:41:28.  Full results in all age groups can be viewed here.

FEMALE MIOBI medal results:
(– 15 yrs.)
Gold medal to Nicole Comrie with 8 laps in 2:53:49.

(16 – 35 yrs.) 
Gold to Katrina Hombrebueno with 14 laps in 3:53:56
Silver yo Terita Deare with 8 laps in 3:05:35
Bronze to Despina Stratidakis with 6 laps in 2:18:59

(36 – 64 yrs.)
Gold to Patty Gallivan with 12 laps in 3:35:32
Silver to Rik Chapman with 12 laps in 3:36:23
Bronze to Ramona Toth with 11 laps in 3:41:45

Top three overall best times in the Make It Or Break It (MIOBI) 4-hour challenge. Left to right: Tom Petryshen (silver), Douglas Race (gold) and Ray Barrett (bronze), all in the 36 – 64 age group.  (Photo: Robbin Whachell)

MALE MIOBI medal results: 
(– 15 yrs.)
Gold to Victor Mandric with 8 laps in 3:11:47

(16 – 35 yrs.)
Gold to David Bandiera with 16 laps in 3:47:04
Silver to Cuillermo Cepeda with 14 laps in 3:49:48
Bronze to Walton Beaux with 12 in 3:32:07

(36 – 64 yrs.) 
See top three overall mentioned above: Douglas Race; Tom Petryshen; and Ray Barrett

(65+ yrs.)
Gold to John Beers with 10 laps in 3:41:12
Silver to Don Prince with 8 laps in 3:16:18

All MIOBI results can be viewed here. Participants that did not stay for medal presentation can email to organize the collection of their medal.


This year’s Crunch Quest saw a great increase in family registration in the recreational category, as kids collected stamps on their Crunch Quest passports and claimed a prize at the base of the Crunch thanks to sponsors FortisBC and Sandpiper Signs & Decals. The passport featuring 8 animal characters was created by graphic artist, Brad Nickason and was a real hit with the kids.

Those who participated in this category can view their times here.

A big thanks for those who supported the event as volunteers, participants, and sponsors.  All funds raised will support the Community Diversity Fund housed within the Coquitlam Foundation.

Event organizers wish to thank the sponsors and supporters of this year’s event! They are the Nothin’ Dragon Masters, 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, Mariner Brewing, Originelle Designs Photography, Rod MacBeth, Terry O’Neil, lululemon, Pasta Pollo, Starbucks, Steve Nash Fitness,, FA5 Fitness and Thrifty Foods.

PHOTOS!  Check our Gallery for photos, as well as our Facebook page photo album section.


Participants ascending the west stairs of the Coquitlam Crunch trail.  (Photo: Originelle Designs Photography)


The Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge is an annual event founded by Tri-City’s resident Alex Bell, which celebrates diversity and supports 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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2018 Crunch Challenge Champ to Defend Title

He’s back !

Determined to defend his title as the Make It Or Break It  4-hour challenge champion, Douglas Race has registered for the 10th annual Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge.

“I’m excited to test myself on the Crunch for a second year in a row,” Douglas said.  “This is the first time I’ve been the person with the target on their back, so I’m excited to see what the competition and the day brings. I honestly believe that the course record can be raised to 11-12 laps, but just not by me!”

The Make It Or Break It  is the signature event at the annual Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge.  Starting at 9 a.m. and closing at 1 p.m., the 4-hour challenge lets competitors race to see who can put in the most laps of the Crunch within the allotted time.

“Whether it’s a personal best, or your out to take a medal, this event has become very popular over the years,” said event founder Alex Bell.

There is lots of bling to go around as the top three male and female winners in four age-groups will be awarded gold, silver, bronze and event organizers are looking for more youth and those 50+ to become involved.

Half Lap Rule

New this year is the formal recognition of the half-lap rule for the Make It Or Break It challenge.  If a competitor feels they can make it back up to the top timing mat before time is out, this will be recorded as an advancement and count toward their performance. Read more here.  Online registration is underway until midnight on Nov. 4, and event-day registration starts at 7 a.m. Register online and save!

Douglas Race (in blue) starts his first Make It Or Break It at the Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge 2018

Stair Master for All Fitness Levels

Starting at 8 a.m., those competing in the Stair Master will vie to see who’s the fastest up the 437 west staircase.   Although anyone can compete in this event, the Stair Master is attracting elite tower climbers and the Stair Master titleholder is Nick Mcdonald who ascended in 2018, did so in 1 minute and 34 seconds.  This category is sanctioned for global ranking by the TWA (Towerrunning World Association).

Gold, silver and bronze  medals will go to the top three male and female winners in four age-groups. Youth and those 50+ are usually the least age groups registered, so chances to win a medal are high.

Slow but Steady? Go Recreational!

If racing is not your thing and you still want to come out and go at your own pace, check out the Recreational category which is by donation. This family-friendly option is great for children or youth and this year we’re launching the Kids Crunch Quest passport where you can collect stamps at stations along the trail and a completed passport gets you a prize when presented at the bottom.  This category also offers the option of being time-chipped so you can note your progress or work on a personal best.  Register online before Nov. 5 or show up on event-day to register from 9:15 a.m. onward.

Crunch for the Cause

Not only will you be taking part in a healthy activity, you’ll be enjoying nature on one of the most popular hiking trails around, all while supporting the cause. All funds raised go to the Coquitlam Foundation’s  Community Diversity Grant which provides grants to Tri-Cities individuals, non-profit organizations, or community groups initiating actions, programs or education aimed at improving integration, participation or access in the community for any diversity group(s) identified by the community as being marginalized.

Supporting this years event are: Nothin’ Dragon Masters, 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.


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‘Half-Lap Rule’ announced for Make It or Break It challenge

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 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.




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