Crim Festival of Races kicks off this week - WNEM TV 5

Crim Festival of Races kicks off this week

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File photo from 2011 File photo from 2011

The organizers of the HealthPlus Crim Festival of Races gathered in Flint with past winners on Wednesday.

The event's opening ceremony begins Friday.

Bobby Crim loves to look back on how it all began 40 years ago when he and friends came up with a little idea that would grow into the monumental festival of races.

"It's grown from 750 to 15,000 just in the 10K alone. But then we have the 8K, 5K, the Teddy Bear Trot, the Michigan Mile. We will have 20,000 to 25,000 people participating this year," Crim said.

On Wednesday, organizers announced some big donations that will be made to help the community.

Matt Walsh said HAP is helping the Crim Fitness Foundation's Mindfulness Program by donating $25,000. Walsh hopes this will put more of an emphasis on health and fitness in the community.

"It helps programs with helping kids to stay focused and live in the moment, which we think is really important for the future," Walsh said.

For the first time in the race's history, the Crim funds usually given out as prizes will be re-purposed to improve the community by giving over 2,000 race scholarships to local kids.

Crim Director Andy Younger said the race actually helps people all year long.

"The proceeds and profits that the race makes directly impacts our year-round program, making the entire community healthier," Younger said.

Yet 40 years later, Crim doesn't take any credit for the race that couldn't have started without him.

"They reached out and embraced the Crim. The Crim is the community. The community is the Crim," Crim said.

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