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

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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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

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