As the first official and only sanctioned event to determine the record-holder for most ascents of the Grouse Grind in a one-day period, the Multi-Grind Challenge involved seven endurance athletes seeking their personal best while raising valuable funds for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Grind For Kids program. Since its inception five years ago, Grind For Kids has contributed almost $620,000 for the cardiology unit at BC Children’s Hospital.
After opening the gates early Saturday morning at 4:00 am, Multi-Grouse Grind Challenge participants hit the trail on the longest day of the year during a steady and dedicated uphill battle which saw a number of unprecedented results in the first-ever event of its kind on the Grouse Grind.
Leading the way was 24-year-old Colin Pither who set a blistering pace early in the day. Hot on his heels, however, was 69-year-old Idar Karlsen whose upbeat, positive and steady approach to the day saw him take over the lead in late afternoon to ultimately be awarded the Multi-Grouse Grind Challenge title with 15 Grinds on the day. A long-time and passionate local Grinder, Karlsen has completed 725 lifetime Grinds to rank seventh in the all-time standings.
Not to be outdone, Sarah Tomlinson set a record on the ladies side with 13 Grinds completed. A familiar face on the Grouse Grind, Tomlinson’s achievement was a personal best and sets the bar for future Multi-Grouse Grind Challenge events.
After finally wrapping a long and very successful day on Mother Nature’s Stairmaster, the seven participants had hiked a collective total of 63 Grouse Grinds in a one-day period.
“We are thrilled to congratulate all of our Multi-Grouse Grind Challenge participants on a job well done,” said Grouse Mountain general manager Michael Cameron. “The achievements of these incredible athletes are extremely commendable and they should take great pride in supporting the Grind For Kids program.”
“We sincerely thank the Multi-Grouse Grind Challenge participants for all of their efforts on the Grouse Grind today,” said BC Children’s Hospital Foundation's Stephen Forgacs. “The money raised today by these determined athletes, and by those who participate in Grind for Kids throughout the summer will have a significant impact on care for children in BC with heart disease.”