Crim bringing the community together one mile at a time

After 5 years of working in the nation’s capital, Adrian Walker returned to back to his hometown of Flint.
Published: Aug. 23, 2020 at 9:03 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Adrian Walker is a Flinstone and after graduating from Michigan State, he left the mitten and landed a job in Washington D.C.

After he left, a little piece of home went with him motivating him to give back to the community that shaped who he is today.

“Not only resilient the city of Flint, but everything that the city of Flint means for a native like myself,” said Adrian Walker. 

After 5 years of working in the nation’s capital, Adrian Walker returned to Flint, his hometown described with character and tradition.

“I took it personally, in terms of coming back while I was young and giving my part and giving back to the city and becoming one of a few. There’s a number of people who are doing amazing work here. For me I’m just part of that puzzle,” said Walker.

Now a member of the Crim Fitness Foundation, Walker believes the Crim Race is a stable in the community, showing diversity through each stride.

“I’m glad as the race continued to grow we’ve always kept it here within the city of Flint which is a very diverse community whether you’re talking about the population that looks like me in terms of African Americans or the caucasions or even foreign students from UofM Flint or even gender or age. I think that’s important because it contributes to the overall place of this community,” said Walker.

Adrian’s father Johnny Walker Sr. was a regular runner in the Crim and introduced his son to the race in 1993 taking his first Crim steps in the Teddy Bear Trot. Although, Walker didn’t actually get into running until recently.

“I wasn’t a runner so I had this hiatus from 1993 to 2018 was the next time that I ran the Crim. I would always come down and volunteer cause it was a tradition in this community,” said Walker.

Running had a number of benefits, but the core was forming a unique father - son bond.

“For me it was also about keeping up the family tradition and wanting to beat his mark. When I ran the race in 2018, he was like that’s cool but I always did the Crim. That’s the big one and I was like I’m not a runner, but I’m competitive. So you know what I’m going to train,” said Walker.

He did just that. This year in March, Adrian broke his family’s 10 mile record. 

“It meant a lot because my dad has always set the pace in terms of the bar set high. It was a bar I never thought I would reach, but once I reached it I was like I can’t stop. I think he was excited that I had taken on running from him and now it’s become a way of life.'

About a month ago at 67-years-old, Adrian’s father passed away. While he’s not physically there, his legacy lives on to each finish line. 

“It’s like my guardian angel who’s out there running with me. When I’m reaching like mile 8 or mile 9 he gets me there. Now I know I have an additional runner who’s there watching with me. It’s a bigger sense of purpose now behind each run.”

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