Flint, MI—On Saturday, August 27th, in the early hours of the morning, the alleyways and side streets of downtown Flint filled with runners, walkers and handcyclists making their way to the starting line for the 45th annual HAP Crim Festival of Races. 

The energy in the air was contagious as it captured the guests and competitors with a sense of urgency and excitement.

For Douglas Edmonson, the morning trek to the starting line was all too familiar. Edmonson, 35, has been competing in the 10-mile wheel Crim for 12 years. Accompanying him to the starting line was his grandfather Bernie Mieslike who has helped him into his handcycle and gear every year. 

Douglas Edmonson and his grandfather Bernie Mueslik make their way through University of Michigan – Flint’s campus to reach the starting line during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)

“My first time was a learning curve,” Edmonson said. ”It’s a lot of shoulders. Some of these cyclists go thousands of miles a year. I am just a regular dude having fun. I’m gonna stop along the way and have a beer.” 

Edmonson crossed the finish line with a time of 56:03. Edmonson was one of thousands who happily completed the Crim on Saturday for their first, twelfth or thirtieth time.

Bernie Mieslike hands a helmet and gloves to his grandson Douglas Edmonson, a hand cycle competitor, during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
Douglas Edmonson smiles as he gets ready to race with his hand cycle during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
Hand cyclists line up side by side on the starting line during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
Douglas Edmonson, 35, crosses the finish line for his twelfth time participating in the annual 10 mile Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)

For many Crim attendants, the race means beating a personal record from the past or meeting an entirely new goal. Sydney Devore, a returning Crim race participant, was the first woman to cross the finish line in 2021. Devore was curious to see if she could not only place first again, but if she could beat her time from last year. 

Devore, 30, originally from Ferndale, completed the Crim in 55:19 and was the first woman to cross the finish line. 

Sydney Devore raises her arms and smiles as she crosses the finish after completing the 10 mile run during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)

“I ran it last year for the first time,” Devore said. “I won last year and I had to defend that title. This year was much better. I think this is a race that really benefits knowing the course because it is so hilly. Last year I panicked when the hills kept coming because I wasn’t prepared.”

Devore smiled as she looked out across the bricks on Saginaw Street, glowing and euphoric, she laughed, “I really can’t believe I just did that. The whole time I kept thinking, is this really happening? I am still in shock!”

Her advice to young runners with the dream of winning big races, “Trust the development, trust the process. You can’t get anywhere overnight. You’re going to have ups and downs, highs and lows. You have to trust that the next high is still coming. Your best is still coming.” 

Not long before Devore, Daniel Soto finished the race in 48:40, bringing him into first place overall. Soto ran alongside teammates with a plan in place. 

“The plan today was to run 4:50s, just kind of see how we felt,”Soto said. And then the last couple of miles try and ratchet it down a little bit.”

Daniel Soto wins first place overall, crossing the finish line at 48:40, during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
Daniel Soto poses for a photo after winning first place overall, crossing the finish line at 48:40, during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)

Soto, originally from Des Moines, Iowa, felt that running the Crim was a personal initiation of sorts after recently moving to Rochester Hills. 

“This is my first Crim,” Soto said. “I feel like this is my inauguration into being a true Michigander. Everyone I talk to when I tell them I am a runner, they ask, ‘Have you run the Crim?’ I’ll finally be able to answer that question with a yes, which feels good.”

Check out more photos from the races below.

In the early hours of the morning, the National Anthem is sang before the start of the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
A runner stretches in the early morning sunlight during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
Crim runners warm up and stretch near the starting line during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
Runners line up at the starting line during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
Returning Crim runners of 30 years take off during an early starting time for the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
A Crim participant holds up a mileage time marker during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
A team of runners poses for a photo after completing the 10 mile run during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
A runner wipes his forehead after completing the 10 mile run during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
A runner catches his breath after completing the 10 mile run during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
A runner sits on the bricks after completing the 10 mile run during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
Sydney Devore’s medal for completing the 10 mile race shines in the morning light during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
Sydney Devore’s tennis shoes shine in the sunlight after she is the first female to cross the 10 mile finish line during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
Crim participants dressed up as Carebears poses for a photo during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
Kelli Renee, while waiting for her husband to line up on the starting line for the 10 mile run, poses for a portrait with her two daughters during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
Crim runners line up at the starting line during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
Crim runners line up to the starting line based on their pace time of 8:00 during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
A Crim staff member makes an announcement to participants at the starting line during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
Hand cyclists line up at the starting line during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
Bernie Mieslike and a friend assist Mieslike’s grandson get into his hand cycle during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
A hand cyclist crosses the finish line during the 45th annual Crim Festival of Races on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 in downtown Flint. (Jenifer Veloso | Flint Beat)
Travis Hoffner and Nickolas Dowland celebrate after finishing the Lois Craig Invitational race, the first race in the Crim Festival of Races, in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
As Patty Davis approaches the finish line of the Lois Craig Invitational race, she stands up out of her wheelchair to cross it on foot during the Crim Festival of Races in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
As Patty Davis approaches the finish line of the Lois Craig Invitational race, she stands up out of her wheelchair to cross it on foot during the Crim Festival of Races in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Racers compete in the Lois Craig Invitational race, the first race in the Crim Festival of Races, in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Racers head to the start line on Saginaw Street ahead of the Lois Craig Invitational race, the first race in the Crim Festival of Races, in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
A spectator cheers racers on from inside Churchill’s Food & Spirits during the Lois Craig Invitational race, the first race in the Crim Festival of Races, in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Carla Burden, who competed in the Lois Craig Invitational race, sings a song dedicated to her friends and fellow racers who have since passed away during the Crim Festival of Races in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
The Dragon Marching Band performs on Saginaw Street ahead of the Lois Craig Invitational race, the first race in the Crim Festival of Races, in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Mary Dillard, of the League of Women Voters, cheers on racers during the Lois Craig Invitational race, the first race in the Crim Festival of Races, in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Dan, of the Lapeer Eagle Riders, poses for a photo during the Lois Craig Invitational race, the first race in the Crim Festival of Races, in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. The Lapeer Eagle Riders lined their motocycles along Saginaw Street during the race. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Jax Webber hugs Joe Snell as he crosses the finish line of the Lois Craig Invitational race, the first race in the Crim Festival of Races, in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Anders Christensen competes in the Lois Craig Invitational race, the first race in the Crim Festival of Races, in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Specators cheer on racers during the Lois Craig Invitational race, the first race in the Crim Festival of Races, in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Mayoral Candidate Karen Weaver and Lois Craig, for whom the Lois Craig Invitiation is named, award medals to the race’s winners during the Crim Festival of Races in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Ernie Green and Kirsten Green, of the Lapeer Eagle Riders, get ready to ride off after the Lois Craig Invitational race, the first race in the Crim Festival of Races, in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. The Lapeer Eagle Riders lined their motocycles along Saginaw Street during the race. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Aaron Darby, left, and other racers compete in the Michigan Mile during the Crim Festival of Races in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Lennox Naswell and Jazz Farha compete in the Michigan Mile during the Crim Festival of Races in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Andrew Berg, Katherine Berg, Jack Berg, Brandon Morgan and Jack Morgan cross the finish line of the Michigan MIle during the Crim Festival of Races, in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Nina James runs down the final straightaway as spectators cheer during the Michigan Mile, a race in the Crim Festival of Races, in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Ed LaBair heads to his car after finishing 9th in the Michigan Mile, a race in the Crim Festival of Races, in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. LaBair, who is now 62 years old, has been running since he was in fourth grade, he said. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Ed LaBair poses for a photo after finishing 9th in the Michigan Mile, a race in the Crim Festival of Races, in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. LaBair, who is now 62 years old, has been running since he was in fourth grade, he said. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Tammy Kinloch greets her family after finishing the Michigan Mile, a race in the Crim Festival of Races, in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Runner Janette Sullivant hugs Cedric Kendall after finishing the Michigan Mile, a race in the Crim Festival of Races, in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. Kendall used to lead a running group Sullivant trained with, he said. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Runners compete in the Michigan Mile during the Crim Festival of Races in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)
Jawun Nelson, Crystal Nelson, Nia Nelson and Carrie Nelson pose for a portrait after finishing the Michigan Mile, a race in the Crim Festival of Races, in Downtown Flint, Mich. on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. (Michael Indriolo | Flint Beat)