Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

The Crim and Special Olympics


Last night I had a pre-race dinner with three running friends.  We all ran the “Crim,” a fundraiser for Special Olympics, this morning.  More on our race later.  As we ate  our pasta dinner yesterday evening we heard cheering out on the street and a high school band playing.  We made it outside in time to see many of the Special Olympians running their races.

You see, the Crim Festival of Races is a big deal here in Southeast Michigan.  It’s been going on for over 30 years and has grown to include the 10 mile road race, an 8K (5 miles), a 5K (3.1 miles) and a family walk as well as a Teddy Bear Trot for the little ones; all on Saturday morning.  Friday evening the Special Olympians run their own races and I have to say it’s hard to keep from crying as you watch them run or walk.  Most of them are grinning from ear to ear, and the crowd cheers for everyone.  It reminds me of a quote I read in some running book years ago.  Something like “how many middle aged folks get to do anything where people line up and cheer you on?”  That’s why we run, and that’s why they run too.  We’re not so different.

Generally I run the 10 mile race.  But these past couple of years I’ve been injured.  This year I had great hopes of being back on the 10 mile course, with it’s unweildy hills, fraternities offering beer, neighborhoods cheering, gospel choirs singing..well…you get the picture.  But two weeks ago while training I did something bad to my knee and even though I’ve stayed off of it, have iced it and heated it and massaged it, it’s still painful.  So I “downsized” to the 8K figuring I could walk 5 miles and I’d still get to see much of the course and enjoy the amazing support from the families, musicians and other runners out there.

The wheelchair racers headed off at 7:30  Then it was time for the over 10,000 runners and walkers doing the 10 miles to start.  Ten thousand runners is an amazing sight and it made me sad not to be out in that massive crowd waiting for the gun to go off.

By the time I saw the 10 milers off and got back to the finish line 3 blocks away the wheel chair racers had already completed their 10 hilly miles!  Talk about speedy!!

Those of us doing the 8K got started at 9:30.  It was a wonderful day for a road race!  Cool and sunny.  Perfect.  We had lots of support along the way, from the preacher type urging us on…

…to the cheerleader girls shouting for us to rally on our way up a hill.

There were the frat boys offering Crispy Creams…

and families with small children providing water.

There were singers and musicians along the way like this saxophone quartet…

…and a family that every year beats a rhythm on buckets for the entire time (hours and hours) that runners and walkers are going by.

I felt pretty good most of the way…

…until the middle of mile 4.  Then the knee started to give me trouble.  But I found that it hurt less if I was running, so I tried to run as much as I could.  Too bad I hadn’t TRAINED to be running!

Here are a couple of amusing photos…first the back of one woman’s shirt that made me laugh…

…and second, a beautiful little old lady, standing alone ringing a cowbell for us as we ran by…

…and a little old man playing his accordion as he walks down the sidewalk!

And then I was at the finish!  This is already too long…so I’m going to post the finish line pictures tomorrow!    Suffice it to say I made it, bad knee and all…and it was a wonderful day.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

6 thoughts on “The Crim and Special Olympics

  1. Congrats, well done!!! The t-shirt was funny. Diana


  2. Congratulations! Walk or run, it’s the effort that counts. What a fun day, and I loved the t-shirt too.


  3. More than a decade before I became a special ed teacher, I volunteered for the special olympics. I’ll never forget that experience.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful day! I felt like I was there, seeing all the triumphs, characters, and community. Isn’t it the best when you feel that sense of community? I could see it in everyone’s faces!

    Congratulations on giving it a shot, depsite the injury, then finishing, and doing it all for a worthwhile cause.

    Looking forward to the finish line photos.


  4. Congratulations on getting out there and doing the walk and hope your knee is not too much worse for the wear!


  5. I think you did a great job going out there and doing the walk!!
    It’s for a great cause and must have been so much fun for you all to do!


  6. What a great event! Thanks for picking out and posting some of the interesting tidbits. That shirt is perfect; that would be me! Glad you were able to do some of it, and also so glad that you *do* get involved in this.


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