The Crim Festival of Races is one of my favorite running events of the year. From the expo to following the blue line to the bricks for the finish and everything in between (HILLS!) – it is a weekend that I look forward to every year. This year was no different. I was really looking forward to showing my friend Paula the Crim experience from my Saginaw perspective. And you know your mileage is ramped up for marathon training when you are looking forward to running “only 10 miles”. The only things that I was slightly bummed about: this would be the first year my hubby wasn’t able to join me and the weather forecast was looking grim. But weather forecasts have been oh so wrong in the past, right? RIGHT?!?!
… wrong. We were standing in the race corrals just before 8am, getting soaked in the rain, waiting for our send off. The first corral started the race and made it just short of half a mile before the race directors called for a weather delay due to lightning sighted within 10 miles of the course. We were herded into shelter areas to wait out the storm – it would be a 30 minute delay from the last lightning strike. We shuffled into the University Pavilion and ended up packed in like sardines. The sounds inside of the building were deafening; you could hear runners talking about needing to warm up again, feeling hungry and thirsty, and wondering what would happen with the other races (the 5 mile and 5k that start after the 10 mile).
Fortunately I had friends to hang out with for the 90+ minute delay and in hindsight I felt like it was meant to be. When my friend Jenny and I got back into our corral, we found our friend Heather, who was running her first Crim. In the weeks prior to the race she had been full of doubt and really unsure of whether or not she was capable of running the race. We were happy to find her and silently agreed to all run together. With the weather and the delay we weren’t feeling confident about trying to PR – plus for me this race was more of a training run towards the Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon. We were more concerned with running safely and having fun!
And that we did! About a mile into the race, Heather told us that her goal was to finish in 2 hours 45 minutes, and Jenny and I assured her that she would beat that goal… by a lot. We followed the blue line through the course, pointing out landmarks and stopping for treats. Throughout the course I enjoyed champagne, mimosas, a chunk of a nutty donut, half of a Jell-O shot, a piece of bacon with a shot of orange juice, and I literally turned around and went back for a chocolate chip cookie. I said something about being able to do an ultra since I was able to stomach all of those different foods, and I’m pretty sure I won’t live that comment down until I actually do one.
We sang and joked. The girls gave me a hard time about a race I said I would do years ago that I didn’t end up doing and it was awful… Dashing Through the Snow 2016, #GeeThanksMegan. We ran and we walked. We were soaking wet but we were having so much fun. And just as we hit the bricks and approached the finish line, the sun came peeking out from behind the clouds. It was a perfect ending to what seemed to be a not-so-perfect race. In the end, it will go down as one of my favorite races.