Coquitlam gym owner puts out Stair Master challenge in support of diversity

Dean Brandt, owner of BodyByBrandt Fitness in #Coquitlam, would Like to Challenge all other gym owners and trainers in the Tri-Cities to match or beat his time in the STAIR MASTER event in the Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge taking place on Sept. 9th, 2017 at 8 a.m.

Brandt stated in a letter, that if another gym owner or personal trainer beats his time, he will personally donate an additional $200 to the charitable causes of the event!

You do not have to be a fitness trainer or gym owner to compete. This is the second year the Stair Master is being offered, and the inaugural event had only 9 participants, and was won by Trevor Schmidt with a time of 2:02.  Full 2016 Stair Master results here.

“This is a new event for us, and we know this year we’ll have far more competitors,” said Alex Bell, event founder. “We remind everyone that both the Stair Master, and the Make It or Break It 4-hour challenge have four age groups, and medals will be presented for the top three in both male and female divisions.”

Come out and try for a personal best, or challenge members of your family to see who is the fastest.  Timing is being provided by Trio Sports Events.

Online registration closes on September 7th offering a reduced entry fee. Race kits will be available for pickup before event day on September 7 and 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Running Room Port Coquitlam, so you can come out on event day ready to go.

Register today to compete against Dean or set a personal best time for yourself at www.coquitlamcrunch.com

Body by Brandt Fitness is a proud sponsor of this year’s Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge, and has assembled one of the best teams of trainers in the Vancouver lower mainland who compete as Pro Bikini, Pro Extreme Sport, and National level physique athletes. They specialize in diet and contest preparation.

This year’s event is being sponsored by New Earth Marketing, 98.7 The Point CKPM FM radio, Vancity; City of Coquitlam, snapd Tri-Cities, Yellow Dog Brewing, Body by Brandt, Eagle Ridge GMC, Shutter Up & Shoot, Thrifty Foods, Starbucks Coffee, Pasta Polo, 3D Basketball Academy, Kangho Hapkido Martial Arts Academy, Shaunnessy Veterinary Hospital.

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Coquitlam Crunch Challenge early bird registration underway until May 31st

Organizers of the 8th annual Coquitlam Crunch Challenge are pleased to announce that early bird registration is underway for this year’s event which will be held on Saturday, September 9th. 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 are simply 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 eight 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.  In 2016 the 50+ dragon boat team, the Nothin’ Dragon Masters have take 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.” – Source

The Challenge 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 4.5km, taking the average person (walking) anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hours. The Coquitlam Crunch Challenge offers something for everyone whether you are a hardcore athlete, or you just want to get out in nature and exercise alone or with your family or friends.

Three ways to participate:

– Starting at 8 am the Stair Master  challenges athletes to see who is the fastest running up the 437 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 group for both male and female divisions for The Stair Master or the Make It Or Break It categories.

In 2017, our overall winner was Olympian Tina Connelly who completed 8 loops just under 4-hours with a time of 3:56.48, a distance of 35.2 km.  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 and free for participants thanks to generous sponsors.

Corporate sponsors are still being sought and are encouraged to get involved in this health-conscious and inclusive initiative by emailing coquitlamcrunch@gmail.com  Thus far, supporting for 2017 we have New Earth Marketing; 98.7 The Point FM Radio; Eagle Ridge Chevrolet, Buick, GMC;  Pasta Polo; and the City of Coquitlam.

Our registration platform is operated through the Running Room.

REGISTER TODAY and SAVE 50% until May 31st!

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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.”

tina-connelly

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)

team-crunch-september-10

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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City of Coquitlam releases Coquitlam Crunch Challenge promotional video

 

Thanks to the City of Coquitlam, the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge has it’s first ever promotional video! The hard working production team put out a call out a few weeks ago, and our co-chair of the event’s organizing committee and Nothin’ Dragon Masters dragon boat teammate, Robbin Whachell helped explain the event on location at the popular hiking trail, the Coquitlam Crunch. You can view photos of the shoot HERE on Facebook.  Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge founder Alex Bell is also seen in the video.

With film captured, the City also plans to produce a tourism piece to further promote the use of the Coquitlam Crunch. It is definitely one of the landmarks of the Tri-Cities and a favourite fitness go-to! The Crunch is listed #3 on the 125 things to do in Coquitlam to commemorate the City’s 125th anniversary in 2016;  and was recently written up as the suggested ‘1st stop’ on the scenic Vancouver to Hope Highway 1 Route by the Vancouver Sun.

Event organizers would like to thank all those that came out to assist, and special thanks goes to Kathleen Vincent and Heather Escaravage from the City and Shaun Davis from Wildwood Creative for making it all happen!

Online registration closes at midnight on Tuesday, September 6th, but you can show up on event day to register starting at 7am.  The Stair Master starts at 8am; the Make It Or Break It at 9 am; and the Recreational will formally get underway at 10 am after welcome remarks by mayor Richard Stewart.

We are excited to see you!

Medals will be awarded in 4 age groups in both female and male divisions for the STAIR MASTER challenge, and the MAKE IT OR BREAK IT events.

If you do not feel like competing but wish to support the Coquitlam Foundation‘s ‘Diversity Fund’ and co-benefactors the, Nothin’ Dragon Masters senior dragon boat racing team,  join our RECREATIONAL category that will formally start at 10am.  Perfect for the entire family.

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.

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Online Registration Closes Tuesday, Sept. 6 at Midnight – Race Kit Pickup Dates Announced

Although you can register on event day starting at 7am for the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge, we hope you have taken advantage of our online registration. It will save you time.

By registering online, it allows you to  pickup your Race Kit (race bib and shoe time chip) at Port Coquitlam Running Room at #202,  2748 Lougheed Hwy during store hours on:

Thursday, August 8th; and

Friday, August 9th.

If you are unable to pickup during this time, your kit will be ready for you at the registration table on race day.

Please note that you will be required to fill out a waiver on race day.

We are excited to see you!

Medals will be awarded in 4 age groups in both female and male divisions for the STAIR MASTER challenge, and the MAKE IT OR BREAK IT events.

If you do not feel like competing but wish to support the Coquitlam Foundation‘s ‘Diversity Fund’ and co-benefactors the, Nothin’ Dragon Masters senior dragon boat racing team,  join our RECREATIONAL category that will formally start at 10am.  Perfect for the entire family.

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.

 

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

In 2015 in Helsinki, Finland Marten Bostrom ran 400m in 64.00 seconds in an incredible display of stair climbing prowess as seen in this Youtube video.  He managed his ascent by taking every second or third stairs of the 426 climb known as Malminkartanonhuippu, an artificial hill near Helsinki. Not long after, a man named Toni Leinonen, completed the same stairs in a jaw-dropping 58.75 seconds!

Meanwhile in Canada and fast forward to 2016,  organizers of the 7th annual Coquitlam Crunch Challenge in Canada, have put out a challenge to Canadian athletes to run in this year’s Stair Master on Saturday, September 10th to see who in Canada is the fastest up the 437 stairs of the Coquitlam Crunch.   The Crunch is a steep, urban 2.3 km trail that follows a route under large hydro power lines and is Coquitlam’s version of the Grouse Grind, a well-known hiking trail in Vancouver.

437-Stairs-CoquitlamCrunch

At the top of the 437 stairs of the Coquitlam Crunch.

“We are very excited about this new category in the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge,” said event founder, Alex Bell. “So many people come to the Crunch just to do the stairs which were put in by the City in 2014. The Crunch is always open to the public during our annual challenge, but this year we will close the stairs (but not the side path) for 30 minutes or less to put on the Stair Master challenge,” said Bell.

Registration is underway and for the inaugural year of the Stair Master, the fee to sign-up is only $10! Trio Sporting Events will be providing timekeeping of this exciting uphill foot race.

“We feel our Stair Master climb is just as difficult as the Helsinki version and we have more bends and wider steps in some portions, as well as 9 more stairs!” said Brian Kenny, co-chair of the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge and president of the Nothin’ Dragon Masters dragon boat team who are the new event organizers. “It will be interesting to see who takes the challenge, and what the fastest time will be. We also encourage anyone to work on their personal best over the years ahead.”

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 running the stairs after them.

Who will be the fastest up the 437 stairs of the Coquitlam Crunch on Saturday, September 10th?

Who will be the fastest up the 437 stairs of the Coquitlam Crunch on Saturday, September 10th?

Once the Stair Master is completed, the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge’s signature event, the Make It Or Break It which start at 9 am. It challenges competitors to run or walk the full Crunch trail loop of 4.5 km as many times as possible in 4 hours. Medals will be awarded in four age groups and in male and female divisions for both of these competitions.

If the Stair Master and the Make It Or Break It  sound too exhausting, there’s the Recreational category for families and individuals who want to go at their own pace.  “All participants will have time chips and bibs,” said Brian Kenny. “We think the children will get a kick out of being in the event, and everyone will leave knowing their time up to the top and down.”  The Recreational portion starts formally at 10 am, right after a fun family-friendly warmup by local fitness guru, Krista Langtry at 9:45 am.

The Coquitlam Crunch Challenge has something for everyone and event proceeds will go to the seniors paddling team, Nothin’ Dragon Masters as well as to a ‘Diversity Fund’ with the Coquitlam Foundation.
Online registration now closed – Come out at 7am on Saturday, September 10th to register for the 8am Stair Master.

The event is a City sanctioned #Coquitlam125 official event, and is proudly supported by New Earth Marketing, 98.7 CKPM FM, Vancity, Jessica Prasad ilovehomes.ca, Eagle Ridge Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pasta Pollo, Thrifty Foods, Starbucks, and Tri-City Printing.

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