Ron Marinucci: Running the Crim

Ron Marinucci: Running the Crim

Boy, do I enjoy running the Crim! If it’s not my favorite race, it's right up there. And what a Crim the 35th was. From my view, everything went just perfectly. Record numbers overall (more than 16,800) and in the marquee 10-mile (10,371) had to agree.

It's always great to see Flint turn out on this day. It seemed there were record numbers of spectators lining the streets, too. I think I detected more entertainment on the course again this year; it's been increasing and improving for the past few years. With the hard times the city has faced, this must be a real boost.

The Crim is a ten-mile race (with several accompanying shorter distances for running or walking) through Flint. The course isn't any easy one, with some nice hills, the Bradley Hills. The 8K takes in a good portion of the longer race, including the toughest of those hills, the Bradleys.

Race director Deb Kiertzner must have talked the running gods into delivering an absolutely gorgeous day. Temperatures were in the 60s and 70s all morning long. Humidity was low. And the skies were sunny and blue.

It was my 20th Crim, as I realized earlier in the preceding week. Wow! That's 200 miles of the Crim. They haven’t been in consecutive years since I took off a few years foolishly it now seems about ten years ago for a variety of reasons. But then, during the race, I saw runners with the 30-Year Crim Runner and & 35-Year Crim Runner tee shirts and really marveled. That merits a bigger Wow!!!!! If I live to be 77 and don't miss any more Crims, maybe I can have one of those. Of course, others will then have & 50-Year Crim Runner& tees.

I passed a few of them out there who had run all of the ten-milers, including Darrell McKee, Jim Forshee, and the race's namesake, Bobby Crim. I exchanged greetings with each of them. They seemed to struggle a bit, but there they were, out there running their 350th miles of the Crim. They continued along with the determination that, well, earned them their 35-Year& bibs. I ran for a while with one woman who wore a “30-Year Crim Runner's shirt and I couldn't believe it. I asked her at about mile six if that was so and she said it was. I asked then,Did you start when you were two or three? She looked oh so young! She smiled and said, No, 19.” My answer,You certainly don't look that old, brought another smile.

There was also Mike Flagman Bowen, finishing his 26th Crim. As usual, he was toting his 20-pound black-and-white POW/MIA flag. It's a reminder for all of us never to forget.

Personally, I was pretty pleased with my effort, not quite so with my time, although I was within sight of my goal. It was about four minutes faster than my 10 miles at Hell two weeks before. That fit in nicely with Stu Allen's claim that, to predict a Crim time, subtract three to five minutes from a Hell finish. I realize I haven’t really trained this year. I’ve run pretty consistently, but not specifically trained—no hill work, no speed work, no longer runs. So, I was pretty happy. That night, I was tired and a bit sore from the 10-miler.

After that race, I walked the 8K with Karen, Carrie Farnum, and Michelle Mendez. I was going to wait for them anyway, so what was I going to do for 90 minutes? As it turned out, they were far faster than 90 minutes!

Their walk was a struggle for me. They walk fast! I found myself struggling to keep up, a few times jogging to catch them.

Karen had bought them matching “team shirts,” a brilliant purple color. They did look quite spiffy and more than a few runners, walkers, and spectators, even one of the course DJs, noticed and commented on them. Hey, don't they look nice!

As I noted, they walk fast. This was not a leisurely stroll for them, they move. Karen and Michelle finished at about a 14-minute pace, a whole lot faster than I could or do walk myself. And, I pointed out, some of the runners weren't that quick. Carrie was even faster, as the others joked, with a need to be in front. She finished with a pace of 12-minute miles. I couldn't keep up with that.

Walking the 8K, finally, after all these years, led me to stop at one of the beer stops! Apparently, someone said, these guys were having trouble getting rid of their beers; maybe that's why the guy gave me two of them. I shouldn't have had any, I know; because I wanted more after those!

Afterward, Karen and Ben Howells had us over for breakfast/brunch at their Flint residence. Karen and Ben had run the 5K, both finishing in the top five of their age-groups. It was great and all of us enjoyed it. We agreed that would be our new Crim tradition, breakfast/brunch with the Howells. It was a great cap to a great morning, but the day wasn't over yet.

I came home a bit earlier than Karen and went out for a bike ride, about 8 miles. It was a beautiful afternoon. Then Karen arrived and said we were going out to dinner with Carrie and her husband Russ to Antonio's, one of my very favorite restaurants!

Later, Bill Khan in the Flint Journal and Stu Allen in his e-mail newsletter, lamented somewhat that for many, the Crim is a beginning and an end to their fitness activities. Not for Karen, Michelle, and Carrie. They have been walking seriously and consistently for more than a year. And at the Howells brunch, they were already asking me to Find us some more races! I have, the Wayne County Light Fest 8K on Hines Park in November. All of us are looking forward to it!