Founder of Crim makes bittersweet announcement - WNEM TV 5

Founder of Crim makes bittersweet announcement

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Elite racers from across the country are headed to Mid-Michigan for the famous Crim Festival of Races.

But it will be a somber celebration for the race's founder.

Residents from all over Flint and the surrounding areas have participated in the Crim Festival of Races for more than 40 years. It's all thanks to one man who took the first step.

"I'm so proud of what we did then. I'm so proud of what we've involved ourselves to," said Bobby Crim, founder.

Crim is the founder and the inspiration behind the festival. He is more than 80-years-old and still has a passion for running, but his health has forced him into retirement.

"In all likelihood it will be my last race. I don't run anything less than a 10 mile, so that's it," Crim said.

That being said, Crim's mission for the festival lives on as more and more people come out in support of the race.

"HAP could not be prouder to serve as the title sponsor of this year's Crim event and because we know the first step is the hardest, HAP is honoring those first time runners with these stickers," said Terri Kline, president and CEO of HAP.

For Crim, even though this may be his final race, it's not the end of life's marathon.

"But you can sure bet that when I cross that finish line, I'll be thinking about those 40 years and I'll be thinking 'God, I wish I could do it all over again.' Thank you," Crim said.

The Crim is a 10-mile trek across the city of Flint. It started in 1977 when Crim, who was then speaker of the house, and Lois Craig wanted to raise funds for the Special Olympics program that was just starting up. There were 707 people who ran in that first race.

Now, about 50,000 people join in the festival each year.

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