70-year-old runner to run 40th Crim race - WNEM TV 5

70-year-old runner to run 40th Crim race

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Racers of all backgrounds, young and old will be hitting the bricks for the Crim races this weekend.

Some of the racers are out to prove age is only a number.

"I started this thing just as a way to stay in shape. Now I have to run it," said Tom Martin, runner.

For 40 years, Martin has laced up his sneakers to run the 10-mile Crim race. He hasn't missed a year since the festival of races began in 1977, proving age doesn't stop this 70-year-old from doing what he loves.

"Part of it is because I can. That's what people tell me, 'Tom you can! You're knees are OK. You can still run,'" Martin said.

He was born and raised in Flint. For Martin, each mile is more than just another trek down the course. Instead, it's another mile down memory lane.

"Well, I go through some of my old neighborhoods. I lived in two of the neighborhoods we go through so I reminisce. Run by my old church that we went to. Well we were married there. We went there for years," Martin said.

he said his brother Jim helped persuade him to run the first Crime all those years ago. Jim Martin said he's proud of his brother's achievement and will be cheering him on this year.

"It's great because he was always that person that would hang in there and do those things day after day after day," Jim Martin said.

Over the 40 years Tom Martin has run the 10-mile race, he said he's seen Flint change a lot in that time. He said he's still proud to race in Flint.

"I actually think it's played a big role in keeping Flint together as a community and as a place where we can say there are a lot of good things about Flint. This is one of them," Tom Martin said.

Tom Martin said this year, especially in the wake of the water crisis, he's glad to see the positive influence the Crim Festival of Races has in the city. As for racing years after this one, he said if his body will let him.

"Each year, every one of us probably debates do we have another year? Another 10 years? 50? We'll find out. I'm getting up there, so we'll see," he said.

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