Annual Coquitlam Crunch Challenge Event Seeking New Administration

Coquitlam, B.C., Dec. 29, 2018 — The annual event which sees participants go up and down the Crunch trail as many times as possible in four hours turned ten years in 2019. The Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge continues to build the Community Diversity Fund with the Coquitlam Foundation.

The fund 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 (i.e. homeless), mental health challenges, physical disabilities, LGBTQ, new immigrants, visible minorities. Thanks to the many participants and supporters of, over $21,000 has gone into the fund.

For the past four years, event organizers have been the Nothin’ Dragon Masters 50+ dragon boat team, however in 2020 they are stepping down and founder Alex Bell is actively seeking another group to lead the event.

“We’ve enjoyed supporting over the past four years,” said the dragon boat team president Brian Kenny, “but we are looking forward to focusing on our 3rd annual Inlet Spring Regatta and our Kateslem Kids Program.  The 50+ team operates out of the Dogwood Pavilion in Coquitlam and hosts 44 dragon boat teams during their April event in Port Moody and they mentor challenged youth in dragon boating during the year.

“I would like to acknowledge the huge contribution of the Nothin’ Dragon Master’s,” said event founder Alex Bell. “They’ve generously donated their time which has taken the event to a whole new level. During their administration they enhanced the event to include professional timekeeping, they added the Stair Master event and last year they created the Crunch Quest pass for kids,” said Bell whose vision is to have people representing every diversity group participating annually.

The Fund has supported such groups as the Tri-Cities Brain Injury Support Group and the Immigrant Services of BC. ISS of BC used the funds to put on a local job fair for immigrants and refugees and the Tri-Cities Brain injury support network used the grant to fund two years of social and recreational activities for survivors of brain injuries.

Grant applications are now being accepted for the Community Diversity Fund, and groups may apply by contacting the Coquitlam Foundation before Feb.14.

Persons or groups interested in taking over the event should note that it comes with an established website, Facebook page and newsletter platform. If you are interested or want more information email

The 2019 Crunch Challenge would not have been possible without the kind support of 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.

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. Learn more at

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Guy Black on his 24-Hour Crunch marathon

On Saturday, September 10th, Port Moody resident Guy Black became the first person to walk up and down the Coquitlam Crunch for 24 hours. Dubbed his Midnight Crunch, he achieved twenty 4.5 km loops in the 24 hour period. (Photos above were taken by Joep Olthuis,

The following is Guy’s post-event message:

The Coquitlam Crunch 24 Hour Challenge totally surprised me in so many ways. It became a big event – an effort of community. After looking at some photos of myself I can’t believe I did it, and what it became. One photo stands out and that was the one of Diane Lee and I at the top, very late Friday evening, and Geoff Scott was filming us and my face was wet. I did not realize how hard on my body the walk actually was.

I trained for two months to get ready, which included 2 and 3 hour hour runs and 5 hour walks up Mount Seymour, but when I actually saw how steep the Crunch steps were I became very worried and had some self doubt, maybe a lot of doubt, that I could make it.

When the 24 hour Crunch began things went okay and the trail was not too bad but it was quite long and seemed to have 3 different sections to it. Most of my walking time I was accompanied by someone, and we would talk and that took my mind away from what I was doing. At 1:59 am I checked my phone and saw the time, but said to Diane Lee (who was my the head of my support team), “Hey it’s 1:59 am” and she said no it’s not. I said it was probably only 11:00 pm and I checked again and it was 1:59 am – we were so happy time was moving fast.
When we hit 3:00 am I was suddenly hit with feeling very sleepy and just wanted to close my eyes, so I walked with my eyes shut and held on to Diane’s shoulder. When the sun came up Saturday morning and people started to arrive they started to cheer me on and my low energy gradually changed to me walking faster and wanting to push myself harder. Even people in the Make Or Break It “insane” category who were running the entire route for 4 hours of the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge that was now underway were cheering for me. I was more impressed by what they were doing more than by what I was doing.

Each time I reached the bottom of the hill Rod MacBeth from The Point radio station announced my arrival and everyone would cheer. It was becoming a big deal. On my 19th crunch I passed two runners and said to them as a joke, that I would run my 20th crunch and they smiled. That was my joke to them and I had no plans to actually run it. When I found out I had only 45 minutes left and I had finished #19, I decided I would run the last one, so I ran most of the way up and all the way down and passed the two runners and they said to each other, he said he was going to run it and he is doing it. That made me smile.


Honourary Colonel Ted Hawthorne of the British Columbia Regiment presented Guy with a Colonel’s Challenge Coin for his community work in honouring veterans (Photo: Joep Olthuis)

During the night we saw bears twice near the top and I saw several coyotes. Geoff Scott from Tri City Community TV amazed me by spending so much time filming including late Friday night and then he went home and edited everything and put it online. Geoff came back again Saturday, spending most of the day filming. He was just amazing.

Mayor Richard Stewart walked with me many times Friday and Saturday and it was a pleasure to have his company, along with his dog. MLA Selina Robinson walked several times Friday and then reappeared Friday night for a late night walk in the dark. These two people proved their commitment to their community.

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. They were wearing bright headlights and arrived at our support tent ready to walk, and we made it to the top and back. She was concerned for my safety since I was doing some late night walks by myself and she showed up again around 3:00 am and walked with me. Amazing !

Carol Todd came on Friday and again on Saturday. We are friends and I was walking for her and the Amanda Todd Legacy Society, she helped to keep me going by her just being there.
Honourary Colonel Ted Hawthorne of the British Columbia Regiment is a man who sometimes walks with two canes. I met him half way up the Crunch, and he came to support my walk. He thanked me for what I was doing by presenting me with the Honourary Colonels Challenge Coin. Amazing…

Rod from The Point FM was great and he put the spotlight on me many, many times and every time I arrived at the bottom of the hill he announced my arrival and cheered me on. He said I was his hero for that weekend, but I think he was my hero.

Diane Lee’s Kang-Ho Hapkido Martial Arts Academy, well without them I could not have done the 24 hour crunch. They were there the entire time, they looked after me and made sure I was safe and walked with me. They were the backbone of me being able to make it.

And everyone that cheered me on just made it easier for me to keep going. All of the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge participants cheering for me was great and very surprising;
To Alex Bell, Robbin Whachell and Brian Kenny, thank you for listening to my unique idea to Crunch for 24 hours, and including it in the 7th annual Crunch ‘Diversity Challenge;
And to Linda Reimer for always supporting me and our community;

Coquitlam City Councillor Terry O’Neil who wished me well on my send off and later waited for me half way up the hill;

Mark from Fin Donnelly’s constituency office;

MP Ron McKinnon and Port Moody City Councillor Zoe Royer for continued support;

Moveo Sport and Rehabilitation Centre for fixing my injuries and making me feel better;

Diane Strandberg of The Tri-City News for her great coverage of the event and writing “Go Guy Go”;

CTV for their commitment to our event and coming Friday and Saturday to film;
Global TV for their Thursday morning studio interview;

Kang-Ho Hapkido Martial Arts Academy support team members: Sun Woo Park, Chan Woo Park (brothers); Clinton Lee; Go Takai; Dan Birsan and his son Alex; Ezra Mara; Tetty and her son Kenneth Boediman; Wilson Lee and Adam Altwasser; Tony Shen and Farhang Behrouzi; Anthony and Jennifer with thier son Trevor Ho; Stefanie Putzhammer with her son Peter Hutter; Laleh Kermani with her son Armeen; Joanne Terry with her son Zachary Edwards; Sarah Ha; Serena Lee; Diane Lee, and Manager Kang-Ho Hapkido Martial Arts Academy.

I am positive I have missed a few people I should be thanking, so sorry. In summary the event grew into something big and very special, and was a great effort by many people and most of them I have never met before. There was support and encouragement from people physically pushing themselves as hard or harder than I was.

There were so many people who made sure that I was safe, and helped me to reach my goal.


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