Canadian Olympian’s Coquitlam Crunch Challenge “Make It Or Break It” time, now the record to beat

The 7th annual Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge took place on September 10th and the event draws some hardcore athletes each year.  Matt Sessions, former record holder for the Make It Or Break It event, which sees competitors doing as many 4.5 km loops of the Coquitlam Crunch trail within 4-hours, reached a total of 8 loops in 2015. He also held the record in previous years when the event was a 10-hour length.  Sessions did not attend this year, and was said to be away for another athletic event.

This year, Olympic long-distance runner, Tina Connelly, who won a bronze medal in the women’s 10,000 metres at the 1999 Pan American Games impressed the crowd at the Crunch Challenge as she too completed 8 loops just under 4-hours with a time of 3:56.48, a distance of 35.2 km.  Her ‘best overall’ and ‘women’s gold’ performance garnered cheers each time she ran in to cross the Crunch base timing-mat.

“The experience was a ‘challenge’ for sure, but I was pretty confident that I could get 8 loops in,” said Connelly. “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.”

In 2014, retired female track and field Olympian who was once ranked first in the world in the 1500 metres, Leah Pells also took on the Make It Or Break It, doing the most laps of any of the female competitors at the Crunch during that year’s 10-hour feat.

“This is the first year we’ve had professional time-keeping,” said event founder Alex Bell. “In the early years we simply used a stamp card at the top and bottom of the trail to see how many cycles the athletes made in the designated time. Having Trio Sports Events handling our time-keeping this year is a huge asset, and will give our athletes a time to train for, and we hope the incentive to beat at the following year’s event.”

The Make It Or Break It, saw athletes competing in four ages groups (-15 years; 16-35 years; 36-65 years; and 65+ years), and gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded in male and female divisions.

See the official event results HERE.  All photos from this year’s event can be seen HERE on Facebook.

The 2016 Coquitlam Crunch Challenge was proudly supported by the City of Coquitlam, New Earth Marketing, 98.7 CKPM FM, Vancity, Wiivv Custom Fit 3D-Printed Orthotics, Jessica Prasad, Eagle Ridge Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pasta Pollo, Thrifty Foods, Starbucks, MaxFit Movement Institute, Xaler Massage, KD Fitness, and Tri-City Printing.

(Photos by 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.

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