Jim Wilcox ran his first Crim 10 mile race 24 years ago when he was just 14. And by this high school math teacher’s calculation, when he reaches his 30th race, he will be the youngest member of the 30-year club. But it’s not just Jim’s history with the Crim that is so remarkable, it’s his total passion for the race and all things Crim.
“The aura surrounding this race is addicting, and there are people, including me, that cannot get enough,” said Jim. “The Crim is literally Flint’s best day. Flint has seen many struggles in the past 20-30 years, particularly with the economy resulting from the difficulties with the auto industry. But through it all, the Crim has been successful and stood first.”
In 2013, Jim reached out to Crim Race Director, Andy Younger, simply because he “had a few ideas about how to make the Crim even better.” He came aboard, volunteering his time to lead pacers in the race. He was easy to spot with the Crim’s Running “C” logo tattooed on his calf. Over time, his role has evolved. Now, Jim is the Crim’s start line manager and this past summer, he was able to work alongside his wife, Colene.
“This race has greatly impacted my life, particularly in the area of physical fitness. Many of my family members and countless friends have sustained a more fit lifestyle because of this Foundation,” said Jim. “When you say the word ‘Crim’ anywhere in Genesee County, or even in the state of Michigan, people know what you are talking about.”
From runners, walkers and wheelers to spectators and volunteers, the HAP Crim Festival of Races brings nearly 50,000 people to the area every year to share in the thrill of accomplishing a goal, cheering on a loved one or just being part of one of the most exciting days in the city each year.