For over 40 years, the Crim Festival of Races in Downtown Flint has been drawing runners from across the world. This past August, I decided to run in it for the first time and I had a blast.
It’s called a “festival” of races because events actually take place over the course of two days. There is a 5k, 8k, a race known as the Michigan Mile, and of course the 10 mile run.
This year, over 10,000 runners and walkers took part in the 10 mile course.
Since this was my first experience at the Crim, I decided to play it safe. I hadn’t run a race solo (without the dog or pushing a stroller) in almost a year and only had a few weeks to train. As a result, I signed up for the 8k run with a goal of beating or matching my time from my run over the Mighty Mac.
The morning of the race I woke and dressed in more layers then I ever imagined I would be for a August morning in Michigan. Luckily by race time, the temperature was perfect.
Once there, I was able to meet up with many of my new co-workers. I didn’t realize so many of them were runners until we all signed up for the races.
Before I knew it, the gun went off and it was time to go. While I loved the solitude and beautiful views on the Mighty Mac race, the energy felt during the Crim is unbeatable. Bands line the sides of the course playing as you run past. People set up chairs on their yards to watch and cheer you on. Even the local college fraternity was along the path handing out beer and jell-o shots. Over the past three years the citizens of Flint have come together despite the ongoing water crisis and it was never more evident than that Saturday morning.
The other thing I will always remember about my first Crim race is coming up to the finish line. It was the first time I saw my son waiting for me at the end of a race. He’s the reason I started running (well the baby weight from him to be more precise). He’s been my training buddy for the last 18 month. To see him there waiting for me and cheering me on brought tears to my eyes.
I’m proud to say I did beat my time from the Mackinac Bridge run the year prior and I can’t wait for next year’s race. Maybe I’ll even kick up my training so I can do the full 10 miles!