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Running with a purpose: One Crim racer perseveres after loss

Saturday will mark Hattie Christian’s 13th Crim race
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 6:17 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Hattie Christian wasn’t always a race group leader for the CrimFit Training Program.

“In 2009, I got a phone call from my son’s doctor. He’s been sick since birth and at the age of 40 they wanted to do a kidney transplant on him. Right away I thought, I need to be the one to see if I can give my son a kidney,” she said.

Christian was then introduced to the Crim Fitness Foundation and used it to get her health back on track hoping to donate. The journey to her 13th Crim hasn’t been easy.

“My son died in 2011. For two years he rooted me on. But after 2011, I didn’t look at it as though I need to stay in good health anymore,” she said.

Despite tragedy, Christian continues to persevere, using her story to encourage others to push past their struggles. She even takes that encouragement into her profession as a nurse for Hamilton Community Health Network

“It wasn’t until the Crim changed my life that I really started speaking about people not waiting until they go to the clinic or the doctor’s office, but talking to them everyday about their health and how important it is,” she said.

While her son has passed on, Christian said that he is with her every time she steps foot on the bricks

“Every time, I get to the bricks to the line, I hear his voice, ‘Go mama, go mama, go mama,’” said Christian.

Bobby Crim, the Crim Fitness Foundation and The Crim Festival of Races founder, said that this year could be his last year running.

“The Crim is the Community, the community is the Crim. I remember when stores were getting boarded up, the Buick Open left. Everything was leaving, jobs were going. The Crim was the only thing left and the community embraced it,” he said.

Running or not, his legacy lives on through the thousands of others who continue to take to the bricks every August. For many, the Crim Festival of Races helped to change lives, promoting healthier lifestyles and staying active.

“It’s natural for the majority of us. So its something that’s not hard to do, run or to walk,” said Christian.

The Crim announced Thursday that race times will move earlier. This is to allow more racers to start earlier in the day to avoid the extreme heat in the weather forecast for Saturday.

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