(08/20/12) - This Saturday, it'll be time to hit the bricks and lace 'em up for the 36th annual Crim Festival of Races.
"It's here. This is the week, this is the week that we wait for," said Gerry Myers, Crim Fitness Foundation CEO.
As of early Monday morning, more than 12,000 people had already registered, and by Saturday, it's expected that more than 16,000 will be ready to run - in all likelihood, setting a new Crim record.
"It'll be slammed, wall to wall people. You can't get down Saginaw Street. We'll end up with about 50 to 60,000 people lining the streets downtown," Myers said.
When you combine racers with spectators, the Crim is anticipating its biggest crowd ever in downtown Flint on race day. With that in mind, a few changes have been made to help accommodate the big rush.
"The thing that we have to watch out for is that we want to make sure that the runners continue to have a good experience, so there's a certain element of capacity," Myers said. "We're doing wave starts so people will start based on the time they're expecting to finish, so it should help with some of the congestion."
The Crim Expo opens on Thursday at the Riverfront Banquet Center. The Special Olympics run, Pasta Party and 80's Fest is set for Friday, and new this year, a big fundraiser featuring an appearance by former Detroit Tiger Willie Horton.
"He's donated some jerseys, autographed jerseys that we'll be auctioning off at the Expo. All of the money raised there goes toward the youth program," Myers said.
When it's all said and done, organizers believe the Crim is about much more than just a road race.
"The nice thing is, it brings people from all over the world to look at Flint, Michigan in a positive way," Myers said.
Also as part of the Crim festivities, the Teddy Bear Trot will celebrate it's 25th year on Saturday.
To register for any of the Crim's races, click HERE.
ABC12 is your official home for the Crim. Live coverage begins Saturday morning at 6, followed by our Crim special at 8, with all the action from the bricks of Saginaw Street, through those dreaded Bradley Hills.
ABC12 Main Station