FLINT (WJRT) - (8/13/17) - The official start to the Crim Festival of Races is less than two weeks away.
Sunday morning, runners and walkers alike tested out the 10 mile course.
"We're really excited about trying our practice run to see where were at, how we're going to do," said Diane Jerichow.
Jerichow is part of the WT 23 timed walking group who says every week, she and the 29 others in the group have set goals of increasing their time and mileage for the course around Flint.
"We're working on the hills. Hills are always a big challenge," she said.
The races not only draw the challenge of completion to runners and walkers, but they also attract a sense of comradery among teams competing.
"You don't want to let everyone else down, so you want to be there, you want to pump them up and you want to encourage everybody and have a good time and get in shape," said walker Jim Zonca.
Runner Donna Wood has ran the Crim four times, but hasn't ran herself since 2014. While that may discourage some, it was the words of encouragement that got her to where she's at today running the course.
"You take each mile as it comes, you take each practice as it comes- your group nights are with each other and you're all in the same boat together," she said.
She says it's all about progress and not necessarily perfection.
"Week by week it comes together, you don't have to run super fast, you can have your group pace and that gives you confidence to believe that as your miles climb, you're going to make it," she said.
Runner Laurie Pierce had to drop out because of knee surgery last year, but this year, she's back to give the course her all.
"I couldn't do it on my own. It's these guys that make it happen," she said.
The official kickoff for the Crim Festival of Races is Friday, August 25th.