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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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.

Read More