Crim draws record participation to downtown Flint

Crim draws record participation to downtown Flint

Provided by Flint Journal


FLINT, Michigan — It’s been 35 years since Bobby Crim and 576 others crossed the finish line at the first Crim 10-mile road race, and the event is stronger than ever.

More runners, walkers and wheelers than ever before flooded downtown Flint Saturday to participate in one of the six Crim Festival of Races events, ranging from the children’s Teddy Bear Trot to the main 10-mile road race.

35th annual CRIM Festival of Races
Enlarge Mass start of the 10-mile run at the 35th annual Crim Festival of Races. 35th annual Crim Festival of Races gallery (32 photos)

Estimates Saturday showed about 16,800 participated this year. That’s the biggest turnout the event has ever had and about 700 higher than last year’s record-setting crowd, said Crim Fitness Foundation Race Director Deb Kiertzner.

Total participation in the 10-mile race was 10,371, up from last year’s record-setting 10,291.

Along with participants were thousands of supporters and spectators crowding the sidelines.

“It’s just unbelievable,” said Flint Township resident Durk James as the 10-mile runners filled First Street with the patter of rubber-soled shoes on the concrete.

James, 82, was at the first Crim and has ran in about a half dozen of the 10-mile races.

“Running the 10-mile will give you confidence,” he said. “You figure you can conquer the whole world.”

After the races, downtown remained crowded for hours as runners and supporters celebrated with food, music and drinks.

Rachelle Greenway, of Davison, brought 20-month-old son Finn with her to watch the 10-mile race.

Greenway said her husband, Burton Police Department Officer Tony Greenway, has run the 10-mile five times and was running Saturday in honor of his police dog, Cade.

Cade died Wednesday afternoon when he ran after a tennis ball and in front of a vehicle during some training.

“It’s been a tough week,” Greenway said.

The two were honored in 2009 as Burton Police Officers of the year.

“He lived with us,” Greenway said. “He was our pet.”

Corunna resident Garret Andrejack, 9, said he wasn’t sure how he would perform in the 1-mile race.

“I don’t know ... I had fun last year,” Garret said.

Garret would be showing the ropes to his 5-year-old brother, Braden, who planned to run the 1-mile for the first time.

Their father, Jerry Andrejack, has been running the 10-mile for 24 years.

“It’s a family tradition,” mother Jennifer Andrejack said.

Saturday’s 10-mile jog marked the first Crim, and the longest race yet, for 31-year-old Grand Blanc resident Matt Springer.

He finished up in about 66 minutes, almost 20 behind winner Julius Kogo of Kenya.

Springer said the best part of the Crim was all the people, both in the race and on the sidelines.

“It gives you a little bit extra motivation,” he said. “All you can hear is all those feet on the bricks.”

For Ann Arbor resident Peter Morville, the Crim was a kind of cool down lap after his last race, April’s Boston Marathon.

Morville, 41, has run the Crim 10-mile “probably four or five times” since 2002.

Despite having much less distance — and notoriety — than the Boston Marathon, Morville said the Crim was a great time.

“It was perfect weather.”