CRIM 2020 – Virtual
Crim 2020 may look different this year, but that isn’t stopping participants and perhaps even some first-timers from competing in one of the world’s top 10 road races.
For the last 44 years, the HAP Crim Festival of Races has taken place in downtown Flint as an iconic celebration of fitness and wellness for all ages. Unfortunately, due to Michigan’s COVID-19 gathering guidelines, changes to the race were necessary. With some innovative adjustments, however, Crim officials ensured they could still host the popular wellness festival by developing a Virtual Crim Race for individuals to complete and feel the spirit of the Crim.
According to Hurley Medical Center’s Service Line Administrator John Stewart, “The Crim is more than a race. The Crim is a festival of races that supports participants at all levels and gives those interested in running an opportunity to run.” While there couldn’t be an in-person race this year, instead, the Crim went virtual, giving runners a 10-day window to complete their registered mileage, submit their time to the Crim, and receive a race bib and hoodie to commemorate their achievement. In past years, Crim participants received a t-shirt. This year, however, race organizers wanted to change it up and provide runners with a long-sleeved hoodie “to signify the uniqueness of this year in comparison to all of the other years,” Stewart said.
Andy Younger, the Race Director of the Crim Fitness Foundation, explained the community’s need for the race, saying “[The Crim] has become an event that inspires people, tens of thousands of people, to get out and be active all year long, all summer long.” According to Andy, the board debated whether they should even have any type of event this year, but one look at their mission prompted them to adapt tradition to meet the needs of the community.
“Everything we do is geared toward helping people be healthier and have a better quality of life,” Andy said. “And we do that through health and wellness.”
Even with the race going virtual, organizers provided several preparatory resources to help runners train for the 10-mile race. These resources included information from professional trainers regarding things like stretching and avoiding common dangers of running, such as dehydration and heat exhaustion.
Sharing information to keep the community healthy has always been a focus at the Crim. The Crim Fitness Foundation partners with The Flint Community Education Initiative to help families and students cultivate vibrant communities through nutrition programs at schools, sports programs for children, and even a series of mindfulness videos, often youth-led, on their website.
Andy shared, “This thing that started as a race has grown and blossomed over the years… it’s an opportunity to inspire people to be active and healthy… it’s also an opportunity to support all those things we do throughout the community to keep people happy, healthy, and vibrant all year long.”
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