Photo courtesy of Crim Fitness Foundation

Kettering and the Crim Festival of Races

Kettering racers get ready for the run

The 37th annual running of one of Flint’s signature events, the Crim Festival of Races will be Saturday, Aug. 24, and Kettering University will once again have a strong presence among both the participants and spectators.

Sue Larsen, a 1999 Kettering graduate in Applied Math and Statistics, is currently an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Mott Community College. She’s also an accomplished distance runner who has won numerous races since she took up running about 12 years ago.

"I absolutely love running!,” Larsen said. “There is no better feeling than crossing a finish line of a race knowing you really gave it your all and that all of your training has paid off. I love the challenges the sport offers, and also the simplicity. You really need no equipment, and can do it anywhere. Running has given so much to me.  Many of my friends and family run, so it offers a nice social outlet. There is also the health benefits, too. It can be a great stress reliever. I didn't run in high school or college, so I was little late to the competition scene. I took to the sport pretty quickly and have been able to hold my own with other women who did run in college.”

Larsen ran her first Crim in 2000. She started with a goal of simply finishing the 10-mile course. She finished in about 90 minutes and has since trimmed that time to just over 60 minutes (60:33 to be exact last year). Larsen loves the atmosphere of the race itself.

"First of all, it is a family affair for me,” Larsen said. “My mom, sister, husband and in-laws all participate. I have a ton of friends who run.  It is a great social event. I think one of best parts of the race is to see how alive Flint becomes during Crim weekend. Thousands of people come out to run, volunteer, spectate and support the event. There are people cheering the runners on throughout the course and the energy of the event really helps you get through the tougher parts of the race. There is music at the start and finish and throughout the whole course. It is a wonderful experience.”

The opportunity to participate in an event that highlights some of the best aspects of the city of Flint is a big draw for many at Kettering. Dr. Mo Torfeh, Professor of Electrical Engineering, has participated in the Crim 10-mile race for more than 25 years. Torfeh notes that he always ‘wears his Kettering t-shirt’ to promote the school during the race and also mentioned the pride the race brings to the Flint community.

“Flint, our city, shines during the Crim,” Torfeh said. “I’ve met many GMI/Kettering alumni during the Crim and I’ve made many new friends and kept in touch with them through running the Crim.”

Crim Festival of RacesTrish Stommel, assistant director of admissions, has participated in the Crim several times. The race itself is an exciting challenge for participants, but Stommel also noted the Crim’s year-round training programs are an important component of the event’s impact on the Flint area as well.

“Not only does the Crim create a festive weekend, but it is a rallying point for year-round running,” she said. “We have an incredible running community that continues far beyond one race.”

In all, more than 100 Kettering students, faculty or staff members will be participating in one of the Crim events, which include the 10-mile race, an 8K and a 5K. Venetia Petteway, Director of Co-Op and Career Services, has participated in the 5K, 8K and 10-mile events.

Petteway noted that the event is both a great opportunity to bond and socialize with other runners and spectators and also to show off some of the many positive things going on in the Flint community.

"It’s an opportunity to participate in a global event right here in Flint, Michigan,” she said. “Flint is electric during the Crim. The entire city seems to light up in excitement, with people cheering on others they have never met or seen before.”

Join us downtown after the Crim!

Kettering and Crim Festival of Races participants will connect at Flint's 501 Bar and Grille from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, August 24. Beverages and light snacks will be provided for students, faculty/staff, alumni and families. Meet us there!

 For details, contact Jack Stock at (810) 762-7873 or


Crim a great opportunity to experience Flint

By Kip Darcy, Vice President of Marketing, Communication and Enrollment

When I moved to Flint last year, one of the first things I noticed was the faded blue line near my   house, near my workplace at Kettering University and in random areas I stopped throughout the   city. As an avid runner, I was excited to learn what the blue line signifies -- a year-round marker   of the Crim Festival of Races 10-mile route.

Kip Darcy, Vice President of Marketing, Communication and EnrollmentI ran my first Crim last year, joined by dozens of other Kettering University faculty, staff,   students and alumni. But while that line serves a necessary purpose on race day, I’ve found it even more valuable as a training tool. The Crim’s 10-mile route is a perfect course -- long   enough, with enough obstacles to be truly challenging, but not so long that training for the event   is an intimidating undertaking. Training along the marked course has been a rewarding experience. Along with preparing for the race, I’ve also been able to familiarize myself with key landmarks throughout the city that is now my home and I’ve been able to meet and get to know many people in the Flint area’s fantastic running community, many of whom use that same blue line for their own training.

Last year, while still new to the area, I was astounded by how huge the event is. It is an   amazing setup that truly showcases the many exciting things going on in the Flint area. Runners and spectators get to pass through areas of the city that are undergoing positive   transformations, pass the college campuses that attract thousands of young people into the   city on a daily basis and end the race downtown Flint, where new businesses and events have   helped the city build its new identity.

The Crim is truly a highlight of each year in Flint and a great example of the power of community   building and goodwill. Although a last minute change to my travel schedule will prevent me from running this year I will be privately rooting for each of you. I am running with you in True   Kettering spirit!

There’s only one ‘Bobby Crim’ race - By Dr. Mark Thompson, Professor of Electrical Engineering