If it’s too hot to run it must be July and if it’s July it must be Crim time? Wait you say? Isn’t Crim in late August? Yes to both, if you want to have any chance of racing a grueling 10 Mile road race then you had better be in the sharpening phase of your training in July.
The Crim 10 Mile Road Race is one of only a few truly elite 10 mile road races in the country each year. Named for it’s founder Flint area native and former Speaker of the State House for Michigan, Bobby Crim, the Crim has always enjoyed an awesome reputation among runners from all areas of the globe. The first race was on the 4th Saturday in August back in 1977. It started in mid day and featured hundreds of runners including several “big name” runners who ran to help support the Special Olympics program. It has since evolved into a series of races and special events centered in downtown Flint. Several American records have been set on the course and countless world class elite runners have participated. The listing would take too long to include but the very short version includes super elites such as Joan (Benoit) Samuelson and Bill Rogers.
Back in 1977 my running consisted of a few occasional runs mostly to remind myself that I could still run. It was my first year out of grad school and I was working for an architectural firm in Flint. I was not aware of the race. Had I been aware, I probably would have at least given it serious thought about entering. Many other things were on my mind back then, most of them involved my wedding day that was only a few weeks from then, so on the other hand, maybe I would not have chosen to compete.
Flash forward to 1984, the year of my first Crim. I left the Flint area in 1978, now had two young baby daughters, and had recently somehow managed to return to a more serious form of running. I discovered a local running club, The Novi Trackers. This group more than anything else was responsible for my running career moving forward. Members of this group told stories of the Crim race the prior year and encouraged me to join them at Crim in 84. I remember being a bit hesitant as I had not raced in anything more than a few miles up to then but was excited to return to my hometown where I established my running roots many years earlier.
Now as summer is past it’s midway point my thoughts begin to focus more and more about my returning to race “The Crim”. For at about this time each summer, I begin to train a little harder, focus a little sharper, and anticipate a bit more, about the 4th Saturday in August and another return to Crim. Except this year will be much different!
Oh I still approach Crim like a child approaches Christmas, but this year will mark my 30th running of the Crim! One of many special innovations Crim organizers have evolved is the establishment of The 30 Year Club. The 30 Year Club was initiated at the 30th running of the Crim in 2006. It consisted of all the 24 runners who had ran every Crim! Each year since new members are admitted to this now prestigious club of Crim veterans. So this is my year. The 2016 Crim will be my 30th and I have been anxiously awaiting this year’s race for several years now! Next week it officially begins as I have been invited to my first meeting. I hope to learn much more of what and how the Crim organizers have in mind to help me and about 15 other Crim veterans make this our best Crim experience ever!
Please check back regularly as I certainly plan to post many updates on the rapidly approaching 4th Saturday in August, downtown Flint Michigan!
Thank you and Run Happy