I used to do many running races. Several years ago, I decided to stop racing and refocus on other priorities. I loved to train, but never loved to compete so it wasn’t hard to make this decision. Now, I run two races a year. My “season” starts with the 5K run on Friday morning of AADE’s Annual Meeting and finishes 2-3 weeks later when I run a 10-mile race in Flint, Michigan called The Crim. The two races I run have something in common that I really enjoy. There are lots of others out there being active.
The dedication of the hundreds of diabetes educators who get up in complete darkness on Friday morning to join forces as we run/jog/walk is wonderful to see. Some run as fast as possible and others walk along chatting with a friend (or making a new friend). Even if someone can’t complete the distance, they can join in for the camaraderie. We ask people with diabetes to be active and here we are practicing what we encourage.
My husband is from Flint and has run The Crim every year for the past 37 years since its inaugural race, making him one of less than 20 people who have done this. Wow! It is fun to return to his hometown, meet with friends, and run this race. There are about 8,000 people in the 10-Mile Race from elite athletes to people who walk the 10 miles, giving it all they’ve got. The winning time this year was 45:55 for the men (4:36 min/mile) and 54:28 for the women (5:27 min/mile)! I was a little slower than that - well, a lot slower.
The Crim Road Race started in 1977 as a small race with a few hundred people, initiated by Bobby Crim (Michigan’s Speaker of the House at the time) as a fundraiser for the Michigan Special Olympics. Crim’s assistant, Lois Craig, helped in this endeavor. The race has grown over the years and is now the Crim Festival of Races. The events include the original 10-Mile Run (including a Wheelers Division), as well as a 10-Mile Competitive Walk, an 8K Run/Race walk, a 5K Family Run/Walk, a Professional Mile, a Competitive High School Mile, a Family 1-Mile Run, and the Teddy Bear Trot (where all of the children get a matching shirt with a teddy bear front on the front, a teddy bear back on the back, and race number 1. So cute!). There is truly something for everyone. The two-day event brings in over 16,000 competitors. Bobby Crim, now age 81, completed the race in 1:58:22 and Lois was standing at the 5 ½ mile mark, ready to hand water to Bobby and to cheer for us all, as she does every year.
There are now year-round training programs in the Flint area including neighborhood running clubs, the Crim training program, a community fitness program and a school fitness program. Those involved in the programs wear team shirts and participate in big groups. I love to see all of them; people of all ages and from all walks of life.
Are you involved in some type of activity on a regular basis? Walking, jogging, or running? Tai chi or yoga? Swimming or water exercise? Do you encourage people with diabetes to be involved in an event? The ADA Walk for Diabetes or JDRF’s Walk to Cure Diabetes?
Physical activity has such great benefits; it is wonderful to see people being active and supporting each other in our activities.