5 Reasons the Coquitlam Crunch is a Great (or Better) Option to the Grouse Grind

Those of us who live in the Tri-Cities know full well what ‘doing The Crunch” means, and the popular hiking trail is slowly becoming a favourite of fitness pleasure seekers from other neighbouring cities as well, even those living east of the Port Mann Bridge. According to the City of Coquitlam, during the summer the trail sees as many as 50,000 visits per month.

You don’t have to convince us as to why we love our local hiking trail, but Lower Mainland Grouse Grind enthusiasts should know these five reasons we think The Crunch is tops and is certainly worth a visit!

  1. The Coquitlam Crunch is free! Yes free. You can even park for free and enter the trail at four different crossing streets, letting you choose your circuit.
  2. The Crunch is more centrally located in the Lower Mainland versus the Grouse Grind in the North Shore.
  3. The Coquitlam Crunch is open year round! Although winter snow means watching what footwear you use, the Crunch is always open.
  4. The Crunch is for all fitness levels! There’s no pressure that once you are on the trail, you can’t turn around and head back down.  Anyone can. You can leave the trail at any point. You can go at your own pace, and stopping anywhere along the trail will not bother anyone else.
  5. The Crunch offers a variety of workout options! It’s no wonder it’s a go-to spot for local fitness instructors. With two sets of stairs – and a total of over 890 steps, the Crunch is perfect for those wanting to crush stairs to their heart’s content or offers a bit of both stairs and trail for a longer climb providing more variety because this popular fitness destination is a 2.2 km climb with over 240 metres in elevation change.

If you are a Crunch newbie, welcome to the experience, and if you’re interested in finding something to train for, SAVE the DATE for the 10th annual Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge on Sunday, Sept. 8! This charity event has three categories:  the Stair Master; the Make It or Break It 4-hour challenge, or for those wanting to go at their own pace, the Recreational.

We’ll see you at The Crunch!

The Stair Master is one component of the Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge and takes place on the west 437 stairs of the Coquitlam Crunch (Photos: Joep Olthuis)

 

 

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Crunch Kids 15-yrs and Under Wanted

Do you have a CRUNCH KID!? Why not register him or her in the Stair Master, or the Make It or Break It 4-hour challenge of the Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge? Here’s one young lady who competed last year, and medaled.

“The event has four different age groups, and we’d love to see growth in our 15 and under age group,” said event founder Alex Bell.  “We’ll be awarding a gold, silver and bronze in all the age groups for male and female. With the Stair Master being a new event, we only saw one participants in the 15 and under last year. So many medals were not handed out.”

In 2017 only two children competed in the four-hour Make It or Break It, and they took home a gold and silver.  They were Gracie Lorenson-Nordstrand and Maddie Falk. No boys competed.

“It’s easy to get a medal at our event, as we are still growing. This is only the second year we’ve given out medals, and the second year we’ve have professional time-keeping. I’m excited about the growth,” said Bell.

Last year only one 15 and under competed in the Stair Master,  and that was Liepa Bajarunas (seen above). The Stair Master starts at 8 a.m. and is a quick run up the 437 ‘west’ stairs of the Crunch.

“We’d love to see more schools, churches, and youth groups out competing. Fitness is a lifestyle, and kids often make it look easy!” continued Bell.  “Of course, if they do not want to compete in the two timed-events, they can always come out and do the Recreational, which is at their own pace.”

New this year, each participant 15 and under will receive a Starbucks reusable water bottle free while supplies last.

Gracie Lorenson-Nordstrand took gold in the Make It Or Break it 4-hour challenge in 2017 (Photo: Joep Olthuis)

This year there’s a group registration being offered. Online registration closes at midnight on September 4 offering a reduced entry fee. All funds go to charity. Race kits will be available for pickup before event day on September 6 and 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Running Room Port Coquitlam, so you can come out on event day ready to go. You can still register on event day, but come early. Registration opens at 7 a.m.

Stair Master is at 8 a.m.; Make It or Break It at 9 a.m; and Recreational starts at 10 a.m.

Bring the family pet as Shaunnessy Veterinary Hospital will be on site offering tips on hiking with your four-legged friend. Parents that will not be competing, but want to watch their kids can also hang out in the Yellow Dog Brewing and Mariner Brewing sponsored beer garden opening at 10 a.m.

All event details are at www.coquitlamcrunch.com

THANK YOU to our 2018 events 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, 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.

Maddie Falk took silver in the Make It Or Break it 4-hour challenge in 2017 (Photo: Joep Olthuis)

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Coquitlam ‘Stair Master’ Challenge Attracts Elite Tower Climber

Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge organizers created the Stair Master component of the event three years ago to provide another option for fitness advocates to support the charity that promotes diversity. The Stair Master sees competitors running up the 437 timber west stairs of the Coquitlam Crunch trail to determine the fastest ‘Stair Master’ in four ages groups for both male and female athletes. The Stair Master is the first event of the day and will start promptly at 8 a.m.

This year, elite tower climber Shaun Stephens-Whale of Roberts Creek, B.C. will be joining those vying for the title on Saturday, Sept. 8  and he’s registered in the 16 – 35 age group.  Shaun is known for competing in such stair races as the Eiffel Tower climb in Paris, France;  the Rainier Tower climb in Seattle, Washington; and he’s the current record-holder for the CN Tower climb in Toronto.

The 28-yr-old said his love for running started at the age of 12, when he saw a brochure for the BC Lung Association’s Climb the Wall event at the Sheraton Wall Centre. “At the time I already considered myself a serious runner, competing in many of the Vancouver’s local road races. The thought of running up a building was both a nauseating and exhilarating proposition – one that still captivates me to this day.” Shaun prepared for that first race by sprinting up and down the single flight of stairs in his living room while his dad sat on a couch, encouraging him and calling out splits. “50 times up, that was the goal, and four minutes of burning would just about get me there.”

“Of all the different types of training I do, none puts the body in more agony than a hard stair workout: lungs burning, legs flushed with lactic acid, vision squeezed as stars start to appear in your periphery,” said the former University of Victoria student who has decided to chase his dream of becoming one of the best tower runners in the world.

Tower running has seen tremendous growth with races occurring all across the globe and federations like towerrunning.com vetting for the world’s best racers. Alongside the growth in competitiveness, stair climbing as a fitness and wellness tool is becoming more recognized with campaigns such as Take the Stairs Day. “This shouldn’t be surprising,” says Shaun, “as there is perhaps no better way of getting a quick, effective, full body workout than going up stairs.”

Although Shaun is now a serious contender for the 2018 Stair Master title at the 2018 Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge, there are four age groups (15 yrs and under, 16 – 35 yrs, 36 – 64 yrs, 65 yrs or over) in both male and female divisions. A total of 24 medals (gold, silver, bronze) will be handed out for the Stair Master.

In 2016, the inaugural Stair Master had only nine people take part and Trevor Schmidt was the overall winner with a time of 2:08. With the event growing to twenty-five competitors in 2017, the overall winner was Steven Hughes with a time of 2:00. Despite doubling in size, the Stair Master only saw two competitors in the 15 and under age group, and that was Nathan Chow and Liepa Bajarunas, who both walked away with a gold medal. There were no entrants in the 65+ age group. This category will be evaluated for the global ranking of the TWA (Towerrunning World Association)

“We’re very excited to have Shaun competing this year!” said Alex Bell, event founder.”So many people come to the Crunch just to do the stairs. We know the Stair Master will grow, and we want to encourage all ages to try it. I know that there are some fit seniors out there, because I see them on the Crunch, and there are loads of Tri-Cities youth that would make the stairs look easy.”

The Stair Master will see competitors starting at 30 second intervals, and those that cannot make it to the top on a run, are asked to step to the side path to continue up walking, as not to impede the next contestant. The Crunch trail remains open to the public during the challenge, but the west stairs will be closed from 8 – 8:30 a.m. for the Stair Master. Crunch users will be able to cross over and use the new east stairs during that time.

Online registration is now underway thanks to Running Room, and timing is being handled by Trio Sports Events.   Registration for the Stair Master is also available on event day  (on location) at 7 a.m.  — Stair Master starts at 8 a.m. sharp. Registering online allows you to pick up your race kit in advance.

The 9th annual Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge supports the Coquitlam Foundation’s  Community Diversity Fund, as well as the Dogwood Seniors Society’s dragon boat team, Nothin’ Dragon and their youth mentoring programs.

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,  Magenta Printing & Imaging, City of Coquitlam, snapd Tri-Cities, Vancity, Body by Brandt, Rod Macbeth, Pasta Polo, Eagle Ridge Chevrolet Buick GMC,  Coquitlam Chrysler, Optimum Family Chiropractic, Shaunnessy Veterinary Clinic, lululemon, Starbucks, Jurgen Kaminski, and Hydro Pop Event Services Inc.

Get a reminder by RSVPing at the Facebook event page.

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 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.

 

Coquitlam Crunch ‘Stair Master’ Competitors Challenged to Beat Helsinki’s World’s Fastest Stair Run!

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Crunch Diversity Challenge Now Offering Group Registration

Here we grow again!  You asked, and we’re pleased to provide a group registration rate for the ‘Recreational’ category for this year’s Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge on Saturday, Sept. 8.

Get your friends, school mates, sports team, or work colleagues together and do the Crunch!  We encourage you to wear  your own team shirt with pride to identify your group, or order an event shirt to wear.

Group registration is a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 12 people.

Registration is $50 for 10 members + $5 for any additional members.

The Recreational category formally gets underway at 10 a.m. and is for those wanting to support the event, but go at their own pace up the Crunch trail.  Even though you’ve opted to not complete in the Make It Or Break It 4-hour race, you have the option to still be bibbed, and time-chipped to see how long it takes you to go to the top and back — run your own race with your group to see which of you was the fastest with one loop. Anyone registered in this category can start at any time after 10 a.m. up to  1 p.m. and the circuit up and down the Crunch takes approximately 1 hour.

‘The Spot at the Top’ of the Crunch (a 2.2 km gradual climb) will offer a reprieve with a rest area and refreshments, and the lululemon cheering squad!

Register today and join in on the fun!  There will be a beer garden sponsored by both Yellow Dog and Mariner Brewing waiting for you at the bottom opening at 11 a.m. and open until the event closes at 3 p.m.

REGISTER NOW!

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, Magenta Printing & Imaging, City of Coquitlam, snapd Tri-Cities, Vancity, Body by Brandt, Rod Macbeth, Pasta Polo, Eagle Ridge Chevrolet Buick GMC, Coquitlam Chrysler, Optimum Family Chiropractic, Shaughnessy Veterinary Clinic, lululemon, Starbucks, Jurgen Kaminski, and Hydro Pop Event Services Inc.

Get a reminder by RSVPing at the Facebook event page.

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 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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On Track Dental supports Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge

Organizers of the Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge are pleased to announce the support of On Track Dental who have come on as gold sponsors of this year’s event on Saturday, Sept. 8 at the Coquitlam Crunch hiking trail.  On Track Dental in Port Coquitlam offers a variety of dental services by Dr. Myrna Pearce, Dr. Candace Woodman, and Dr. Darren Zomar.

All proceeds from sponsorship and monies raised at the event will go toward the Coquitlam Diversity Fund.  Funds also support the Dogwood Seniors Society’s  50+ dragon boat team, the Nothin’ Dragon Masters and their community initiatives.  The team has been coordinating the event for the past three years.

“Initiatives like the Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge and programs offered by Nothin’ Dragon celebrate community spirit, healthy life choices and reach out to be inclusive to all,” said Dr. Myrna Pearce. “It is our pleasure to sponsor such a great community activity.”

On Track Dental joins other generous sponsors like New Earth Marketing, Sandpiper Signs & Decals, Shutter Up & Shoot, Oddball Workshop Apparel, Vancity, Body by Brandt, snapd Tri-Cities, Eagle Ridge Chevrolet Buick GMC,  Pasta Polo, 3D Basketball Academy, Optimum Family Chiropractic, Shaunnessy Veterinary Hospital, and the City of Coquitlam.

Would you like to support? To become an event sponsor email coquitlamcrunch@gmail.com.

Registration is underway for the 9th annual event and registering online in advance will save you time and money.  You can also pre-order your event t-shirts and pick them up before event day along with your race kit.

Whether you are a novice or serious athlete; working on becoming the best you; or if you are simply looking for a great outdoor activity that supports community, the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge is for you! The 9th annual event starts at the base of the Coquitlam Crunch at the Scott Creek Community Gardens and the full loop (up and down using the west stairs) of the Crunch trail is approximately 4.5 km, taking the average person (walking) anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hours.

Three ways to participate:

Starting at 8 am the Stair Master  challenges athletes to see who is the fastest running up the 437 west stairs of the Crunch;

From 9 am to 1 pm, the Make It or Break It category challenges athletes to see how many times they can go up and down the full length of the Crunch within 4 hours;

From 9:30 am to 1 pm with a formal start at 10 am, the Recreational category simply encourages everyone to come out and support community, get some exercise, enjoy the day and try to complete the  Coquitlam Crunch at least once or even twice in 2 hours.

Age groups: -15 years; 16-35 years; 36-65 years; and 65+ years. A bronze, silver and gold will be awarded in age groups for both male and female divisions for the Stair Master or the Make It Or Break It categories.

Many of our entrants participate simply because they want to work on their ‘personal best’ time, and are not necessarily interested in beating anyone. They want the achievement of simply saying, “I did it!”

Water and sports drinks will be available free for participants, thanks to our sponsors.

If you, or your business,  or community group would like to get involved please email us at coquitlamcrunch@gmail.com.

Get social and Like us on Facebook; and follow us on Twitter!

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.

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Early Bird Registration Underway for 2018 Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge

Organizers of the 9th annual Coquitlam Crunch Challenge are pleased to announce online EARLY BIRD registration which is underway for the 2018 event on Saturday, September 8. Registering early saves you approximately 50% off your registration fee!

Whether you are a novice or serious athlete; working on becoming the best you; OR if you are simply looking for a great outdoor activity that supports community, the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge is for you! The event was created nine years ago by local resident Alex Bell, whose goal was to create a ‘Diversity Fund’ within the Coquitlam Foundation. “My vision for the future is to have people representing every diversity group to join me in the Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge,” said Bell.  In 2016 the 50+ dragon boat team, the Nothin’ Dragon Masters have taken on organization of the event and funds also support their group and community programs which include mentoring challenged youth.

Diversity is more than just a difference in race or culture:

The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences.  These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.  It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.

The Stair Master takes place at the original 437 stairs at 8 a.m. Who will be this year’s fastest? (Photos: Joep Olthuis)

The event starts at the base of the Coquitlam Crunch at the Scott Creek Community Gardens and the full loop (up and down) of the Crunch trail is approximately 4.5 km, taking the average person (walking) anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hours.

Three ways to participate:

Starting at 8 am the Stair Master  challenges athletes to see who is the fastest running up the 437 west stairs of the Crunch;

From 9 am to 1 pm, the Make It or Break It category challenges athletes to see how many times they can go up and down the full length of the Crunch within 4 hours;

From 9:30 am to 1 pm with a formal start at 10 am, the Recreational category simply encourages everyone to come out and support community, get some exercise, enjoy the day and try to complete the  Coquitlam Crunch at least once or even twice in 2 hours.

Age Groups: -15 years; 16-35 years; 36-65 years; and 65+ years. A BRONZE, SILVER and GOLD will be awarded in age groups for both male and female divisions for The Stair Master or the Make It Or Break It categories.

In 2017, our overall winner was Ray Barrett with 8 laps and a time of 3:35:41.  Many of our entrants participate simply because they want to work on their ‘personal best’ time, and are not necessarily interested in beating anyone. They want the achievement of simply saying, “I did it!”

Water and sports drinks will be available free for participants, thanks to generous our sponsors.

NEW in 2018:

  • Event t-shirts are available for purchase on the Running Room registration page. Sizes come in ladies, mens and youth. Adults will be green as seen here, and youth will be safety yellow.
  • With the new east stairway in place, please note that the event will take place on the older stairs, keeping the race length the same from previous years.

Past and returning sponsors include New Earth Marketing, Rod MacBeth and 98.7 The Point FM Radio, Shutter Up & Shoot (photo above), Oddball Workshop Apparel, Vancity, Body by Brandt, Eagle Ridge Chevrolet Buick, GMC,  Pasta Polo, Yongho Martial Arts Academy, 3D Basketball Academy, and the City of Coquitlam.

Volunteers make it happen! We’re holding our first volunteers meeting at the Old Mill Boathouse on Tuesday, March 27, at 7 p.m.

To become a sponsor, or to receive more information on the event please email coquitlamcrunch@gmail.com.

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Coquitlam’s Diversity Fund Growing Through Crunch Challenge Event

[Seen in photo left to right: Robbin Whachell, event co-chair from the Nothin’ Dragon Masters; Dwight Yochim, E.D., Coquitlam Foundation; Brian Kenny, event co-chair and president, Nothin’ Dragon Masters; and event founder Alex Bell who is principal of the donor-advised, foundation managed Community Diversity Fund (CDF). Photo by Joep Olthuis / Shutter Up & Shoot]

Coquitlam B.C. – On January 6, organizers of the eighth annual Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge presented a $1,000.00 cheque to the Coquitlam Foundation for the “Diversity Fund.”

“It was fantastic to see the results of the hard efforts by everyone who worked on the 2017 Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge last September,” said Dwight Yochim, Executive Director, Coquitlam Foundation. “The rain on the day of the event didn’t dampen anyone’s demeanour as I saw smiles on everyone’s face including those who repeatedly ran the Crunch’s challenging stairs. The funds raised in 2017 bring the Community Diversity Fund total to almost $20,000.”

Grant applications are now being accepted for the Community Diversity Fund, and groups may apply by contacting the Coquitlam Foundation by February 16.  The Fund recently supported a Coquitlam-based job fair that was hosted by ISSofBC focusing on local refugees and new immigrants, attracting more than 150 participants.

“The more we can grow the fund the more we can grant,” said Alex Bell, Coquitlam resident and event founder whose vision is to have people representing every diversity group participating annually.  Bell is also the principal of the donor-advised, foundation managed diversity fund which provides grants to diversity initiatives that enhance the social and/or economic integration of diversity groups into the community. “Diversity groups include age (seniors and youth), socioeconomic (ie: homeless), mental health challenges, physical disabilities,  LGBTQ, new immigrants, visible minorities,” said Bell. “We’ve made great strides with this community event, and I’d really like to thank the Nothin’ Dragon Masters who came on board as event organizers in 2016.”

“We’re excited about the growth of the event,” said Crunch Challenge co-chair Brian Kenny who is also the president of the Nothin’ Dragon Masters, Coquitlam’s only 50 + dragon boat team. “Looking toward this year’s event, we are actively seeking sponsors to make the Sept. 8 event even better. We can be reached at coquitlamcrunch@gmail.com.”

The start of early bird registration will be announced by the end of the month. With the next Coquitlam Crunch Challenge only 7 months away, those interested in participating, or keeping abreast of all event details, are encouraged to join the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge mailing list. To subscribe go to coquitlamcrunch.com.

The 2017 Crunch Challenge would not have been possible without the kind support of New Earth Marketing; Rod MacBeth and 98.7 The Point CKPM FM radio; Vancity; City of Coquitlam; snapd Tri-Cities; Sandpiper Signs & Decals; Yellow Dog Brewing; Leigh Brandt and Body by Brandt; Eagle Ridge GMC; Joep Olthuis and Shutter Up & Shoot; Thrifty Foods; Starbucks Coffee; Pasta Polo; Kangho Hapkido Martial Arts Academy; 3D Basketball Academy; Lululemon Coquitlam; and Shaunnessy Veterinary Hospital.

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. Learn more at coquitlamcrunch.com

 

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Coquitlam Crunch Challenge registration drive underway!

THANK YOU TO OUR VOLUNTEERS!

You will see some smiling faces along the Coquitlam Crunch trail during the coming weeks! We want to thank our dedicated volunteers for giving up their time to help spread the word about the Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge set for Saturday September 9th.

If you attended the Coquitlam Farmer’s Market last weekend, we had a table and information out.  The photo above was taken by snapd Tri-Cities. If you missed it you can find everything on our website, coquitlamcrunch.com

Leading up to the event, now only 1 month away, volunteers will be handing out information cards and answering questions on how to register and support the 8th annual initiative which gives all proceeds to the Coquitlam Foundation “Diversity Fund” and the Nothin’ Dragon Masters 50 + dragon boat team and their youth mentoring initiatives.

“The event would not be where it is today without our volunteers,” said founder Alex Bell. “So many people have supported over the years, and many hands make light work!”

“I’m very pleased to have the Nothin’ Dragon Masters organizing again this year! The event has grown, and to have such an enthusiast group of people step in and take this on is admirable.”

The dragon boat team, with ages ranging from 50 through 80 years of age is operated under the Dogwood Senior’s Society.  Not only is the group a perfect example of diversity, the team also mentors challenged youth in the sport of dragon boating through their Kateslem Kids program. On top of training almost year round, and keeping up with their race season costs (they race against all ages throughout BC), they also sponsor the Riverside Secondary dragon boat team.

Event co-chairs wearing their Nothin’ Dragon Masters’ race shirts Brian Kenny (left) and Robbin Whachell (right) with 2016 volunteer Karin (Photo: Joep Olthuis)

“It’s a great event to be a participant in,” said Brian Kenny, Nothin’ Dragon Masters president, “as you can come out for the exercise and do the Crunch once or even twice in the Recreational category; or for those more fit and competitive-minded, participants can sign up for the Stair Master or Make It or Break It challenges.”

“We’re really encouraging families and community groups to come out together and walk the Crunch.  This event is all about community.”

Online registration is underway at a reduced price, but closes at midnight on September 7th. Not to worry, as last minute registration will take place on-site starting at 7am Saturday, September 9th at the base of the Crunch.

Supporting the 2017 Challenge is New Earth Marketing; Rod Macbeth and 98.7 The Point Radio, Body by Brandt, snapd Tri-Cities,  Shutter Up & Shoot, Eagle Ridge Chevrolet, Buick, GMC,   Vancity Port Moody, Thrifty FoodsPasta Polo, and the City of Coquitlam.

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. Learn more at coquitlamcrunch.com

(Video below by Joy TV News was done in 2012)

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7th annual Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge a Success!

Under new leadership, and with many new improvements in place, the 7th annual Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge,  held on September 10th was deemed a success by organizers. This year’s event saw the addition of a timing system provided and overseen by tricity’s Trio Sports Events, and pre-event registration took place through the Running Room, with local race kit pickup at the Port Coquitlam location.  All the event photos can be seen on Facebook HERE.

“Although our numbers were not as high as we’d anticipated, the weather was perfect, and almost everyone that participated said they’d be back again next year,” said Nothin’ Dragon president, Brian Kenny who co-chaired the event with paddling teammate and three year Crunch volunteer, Robbin Whachell. “When the sponsors say it was worth their while, and they want to return, you know the event went well!” said Whachell.

Monies raised from the event will  benefit both seniors and youth through the Nothin’ Dragon Masters senior paddling team who mentor challenged youth, as well as to build the ‘Diversity Fund’ housed under the Coquitlam Foundation, which was created by Crunch Challenge event founder Alex Bell in 2010.  Bell served as an advisor this year and both he and his wife Laurel were actively involved on event day, and Bell had the  honourary roll of handing out the gold, silver and bronze medals for both the Stair Master and Make It Or Break It categories, which were split into four age groups in both male and female divisions.

Adding to the event excitement was the heroic 24-hour Crunch marathon by Port Moody resident Guy Black, who successfully completed his goal with a total of 20 laps of the 4.5 km trail loop from bottom to top and back.

The inaugural Stair Master competitors! Check our results page to see who placed.

The inaugural Stair Masters competitors! Trevor Schmidt (in fluorescent green) was named the Stair Master for 2016. Check our results page to all the times. (Photo: Joep Olthuis)

“Guy’s feat was greatly supported by the community, and he rarely walked alone, even during the night. “A lady named Frida, who I never met before, walked with me Friday afternoon and then showed up at midnight with her daughter and daughter’s friend,” said Black.  “They were wearing bright headlights and arrived at our support tent and walked with me to the top and back. Frida was concerned for my safety and she showed up again around 3:00 am and walked with me once more.” You can read Guy Black’s post marathon recap HERE.

Guy was supported the entire 24 hours by Diane Lee of Coquitlam’s Kang-Ho Hapkido Martial Arts Academy.  Many fellow academy members came out to cheer him on, and walk with him. His effort was also dedicated to Amanda Todd’s Legacy, and Carol Todd was out at the start and completion of Black’s marathon.  On Saturday, Honourary Colonel Ted Hawthorne of the British Columbia Regiment presented Guy with a Colonel’s Challenge Coin for his community work in honouring veterans.

guy-black-legion-pin-hawthorne

Guy Black completed 20 laps in 24 hours, and is seen here with Honourary Colonel Ted Hawthorne of the British Columbia Regiment who presented Guy with a Colonel’s Challenge Coin for his community work in honouring veterans (Photo: Joep Olthuis)

The Crunch Challenge’s inaugural Stair Master component (group photo seen at the top) had competitor’s run the 437 stairs of the Crunch to see who was the fastest, and a mother, young child and the family dog took the tiresome run up the stairs (doggy first).  Trevor Schmidt was named the Stair Master for 2016 with a time of 2:08.o.  See the official results of the Stair Master HERE.

stair-masters-2016

Several of the competitors in the inaugural Stair Master competition, to see who could run up the 437 stairs of the Crunch the fastest. Trevor Schmidt (far left) was named the Stair Master for 2016. Tara Carruthers (seen third in purple) was the top female competitor. Craig Premack placed first in the over 55; Liam Cotnor in the U15 group; and Carmen Lee in the 16-35 age group. Check our results page for more. (Photos: Joep Olthuis)

“We’ve already been in touch with the City of Helsinki to see about sending our  future winners to attempt their mountain and stair climb which inspired the Stair Master event at the Crunch,” said Brian Kenny.  “We are quite sure our stairs are much harder and longer than the stairs in Finland, and we will invite their fastest stair runner here.”

Although former record-holder of the Make It Or Break It Matt Sessions did not attend this year, some serious competitors came out to see how many times they could do the full loop of the Crunch in 4-hours.  Olympian Tina Connelly took the 2016 title matching Sessions with 8 loops as the new record holder, with a time of 3:56.48 — a distance of 35.2 km.  Connelly said entering was a last minute decision.  “The experience was a ‘challenge’ for sure, but I was pretty confident that I could get 8 loops in.  I planned to do the first 3 loops harder so that I could get a good buffer of time to work with, once the legs fatigued on the last few stair runs, and it seemed to work well for me.  As far as next year, I’m not sure. I think trying to do 9 loops in 4 hrs would be almost impossible for me so, I’m pretty satisfied with what I did here and that may be it for me. I’ll leave it to the young ones.” Read our feature about Connelly HERE.

To view all the results of the Make It Or Break It, click HERE.

“The event is well on its way of becoming a signature sport and community event for  Coquitlam, and has the potential to become one for the Vancouver Lower Mainland, and the west coast region,” said Robbin Whachell, who said she has met people who drive over the Port Mann Bridge to climb the Crunch on a regular basis. “I met a woman in Surrey who told me she carpools with her friends, and they love the Coquitlam Crunch, because it’s a whole lot easier than driving all the way to the Grouse Grind, and it’s free.”

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The one to beat in 2017! Olympian Tina Connelly is the 2016 “Make It Or Break It” winner and new record holder with a total of 8 loops in 3:56.48 — a distance of 35.2 km. Check our results page for all the results in four age groups. (Photos: Joep Olthuis)

Next year’s date has already been announced and the event will take place on Saturday, September 9th, 2017. Interested sponsors can contact the organizing team at coquitlamcrunch@gmail.com.

The Coquitlam Crunch Challenge would not be possible without our volunteers, partners and sponsors.

Thanks goes out to the New Earth Marketing; Rod Macbeth and 98.7 CKPM FM The Point Radio; Eagle Ridge Chevrolet, Buick, GMCPasta Polo; Coquitlam Centre; Thrifty Foods  Vancity Port Moody, Wiivv Custom Fit 3D-Printed Orthotics, Jessica Prasad ilovehomes.ca, Starbucks, MaxFit Movement Institute, Xaler Massage, KD Fitness, Tri-City Printing, and the City of Coquitlam.

(Photos by and special thanks to event photographer,  Joep Olthuis, supandshoot.com)

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Just some of the faces at Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge 2016 from left to right: Robbin Whachell, Janet Toddington, Mayor Richard Stuart, Sheynal Saujani, Alex Bell, Terry O’Neil, Jodie Wickens and children, Selina Robinson, Laurel Lawson, and Brian Kenny. (Photo: Joep Olthuis)


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.

“The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences.  These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.  It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.” – Source

 

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Why you should support the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge…

Many of the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge participants will be out on Saturday, September 10th because they are into fitness, and may be working toward attaining a medal in either the Stair Master or the Make It Or Break It category in one of our male or female four age groups.  Some of those entrants may be competing simply because they want to work on their ‘personal best’ time, and are not necessarily interested in beating anyone. They want the achievement of simply saying, “I did it!”

Then there are those that are coming out because they’ve heard ‘all the buzz’ about the Challenge but have never even been to the Coquitlam Crunch before. They are teaming up with friends and family to finally discover what the hype is all about, and will choose September 10th as the day to finally make it happen.

The majority of those who are coming out on the big day, do so to support community.

Whether you are a serious athlete, working on becoming the best you, or looking for a great outdoor activity that supports community, the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge is more than a foot race or about climbing the Crunch trail. The event was created seven years ago by local resident Alex Bell, who’s goal was to create a ‘Diversity Fund’ within the Coquitlam Foundation. “My vision for the future is to have people representing every diversity group to join me in the Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge,” said Bell.

But, just what is diversity?

“The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences.  These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.  It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.” – Source

CC-Benefactors

One man with a vision, and the well-known event has grown by leaps and bounds. To date the event has raised over $16,000. With the growth,  in 2016 the Nothin Dragon Masters team became the new co-benefactors, hosts, and organizers of the event.  This is the same team who who will be helping host and compete in the dragon boat races for the BC 55+ Games at the end of September.

The Coquitlam based 50+ dragon boat team is made up of primarily seniors up to age 80 who refuse to sit idle. This diverse group, while dealing with the challenges associated with aging, aim to keep an active and healthy lifestyle. Not only does the club support close to 70 masters (male and female) athletes who compete throughout the year, they are also involved in the community and mentor challenged youth from the Tri-Cities in the sport of dragon boating through their Kateslem Kids program which came first this year at a regional youth dragon boat festival on Burnaby Lake. They also support the Riverside Secondary dragon boat team who came first internationally at the 2016  Concord Pacific Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival.

If you have not registered as yet, we hope we’ve provided a reason for you to do so.  Register online and save time – online registration will close on September 6th, whereupon we still be able to register on the day of the event at 7am.

Can’t make the date, but want to support? You can donate HERE.

The event is proudly supported by the City of Coquitlam, New Earth Marketing, 98.7 CKPM FM, Vancity, Wiivv Custom Fit 3D-Printed Orthotics, Jessica Prasad ilovehomes.ca, Eagle Ridge Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pasta Pollo, Thrifty Foods, Starbucks, and Tri-City Printing.

(Photo: Joep Olthuis)

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