Last year when the CRIM was over, I just kept reading how amazing the race was. So when it opened I registered right away. Then I promptly didn't think about it again for about 7 months. The week of the race, I realized I was registered AND I was supposed to run 12 miles as my long run that weekend. Initially I planned to just not make the drive to Flint since it was not in my plans but I figured that was silly so my mom and I made plans and off we went.
Now, I have never been to Flint except driving through on 75 so I had no real idea what to do. My mom had printed so directions so we managed to get off the expressway at the right exit and we ended up parking at the YMCA which was perfect! It was only a few blocks from bib/shirt pick up and the start. We parked, got our race stuff and headed back to the car to get ready. We then stopped in the YMCA to use the restroom (this was so nice that they opened their doors to the runners). The MTA station also did too which I thought was great.
The start area was very crowded but super well organized. There were 8 corrals and I was in E (my mom was in F). My plan for the race was to try and maintain my marathon goal pace, despite the hills. Now, I knew very little about this course. I had read it was hilly and that it had great course support. In my head there was a hill at Mile 5 and otherwise I had no idea.
I was not ready for everything this race had to offer. First, it was HILLY and I mean the whole course. Not crazy hills like Kentucky but there were a quite a few. Also, at Mile 5 there were 3 hills in a row. Now for the course support, oh my, it was amazing, beyond anything I had expected to have at a race. First from the race there were water stops every mile and Gatorade at Mile 5 and Mile 8. Then there was all the rest of the course support! A lot of the course went through areas where students from U of M Flint and Kettering University lived. The frat houses had music and sometimes beer, shots and just out there cheering. People and businesses were out cheering, watching, offering cups of ice, champagne, more beer, Jell-O shots and more music. It seemed like the entire city came out for the event and it was the most welcoming feeling ever. I also loved the mile markers and I wish I could have taken a picture but each mile was painted on the road! It was so cool.
I am so glad we went and I think this race is going to be a must run for me each year from now on. I loved it!!!