FLINT (WJRT) -
(08/20/14) - Downtown Flint is preparing for the thirty-eighth annual Crim Festival of Races.
A news conference officially kicked things off on Wednesday. It came with a big announcement from HealthPlus - the race's title sponsor.
HealthPlus has agreed to continue that sponsorship through 2016. That's big news for everyone involved with the race.
It's time of year that brings more than 15,000 people to Flint to push their bodies in a popular series of races.
"It puts Flint in the national spotlight for such a wonderful thing every year," said Andy Younger, race director.
The Crim motivates runners and walkers to live healthier lifestyles, and attracts elite athletes from all over the world.
Defending champ Julius Kogo from Kenya will return to run for his fifth consecutive title in the 10 mile race. He completed the course last year in under 46 minutes.
Spectators at the big event will also notice the women's defending 10-mile champion, Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton, who is also from Kenya.
Adding to the excitement, HealthPlus announced Wednesday morning it will continue it's partnership with the race.
"The main thing that it does is it helps provide a financial foundation for us that we can continue to make the race a better and better experience and also help keep the price at a manageable level for people," Younger said.
So more participants can lace up and challenge themselves to get and stay fit.
"Without it I don't think quite as many people would be committed to running and walking," Younger said.
It's not too late to register for the Friday and Saturday races. For more information and a schedule of events, click HERE.