By Darlene C. Carey
When more than 15,000 runners, walkers, and spectators flooded the Flint streets for the 41st Crim Festival of Races Aug. 27, one face among the many at the finish line stood out.
That was Margaret Rough, 88, walking her 25th year in the Crim. Sporting a bright yellow hard hat and red shirt, her face covered by a frowning paper mask, she danced among the finishers in celebration.
“I’m as rough as they come…that’s my last name,” Rough said. She was born in Flint and grew up on Stockton Street.
Rough walked the 8K race and finished it in 1:30:56 — an 18-minute-mile pace, placing her second in her age group of females 85-89. There were only two in that age group, but there were many behind her. She placed 256th of 364 in the female masters group, and 419th among 593 overall 8K participants.
Rough’s daughter Marge Padisak, the youngest of her seven children, said that her mom has endured health struggles within the last 15 to 18 years. She survived two brain aneurysms, and is a breast cancer survivor as well. This did not slow her pace. This faithful churchgoer goes to the gym and walks four miles a day.
The local spirit of the Crim didn’t stop with this one runner. Team Hurley’s Crim event coordinator, Beth Brophy, said the sense of local pride echoes with the hospital, now in the fourth year out of its 10-year contract as a sponsor of the Crim.
“It should be local, the blue line goes right by our hospital,” Brophy noted.
According to Brophy, there were no reports of injuries or heat exhaustion. She added that in the first year of Hurley’s involvement, she had over prepared and over staffed, but now her team “has it down to a science.”
Many of the volunteers on Team Hurley were UM-Flint nursing students, and Brophy added that helping out at the Crim was a “good learning experience for our nursing students.”
EVM staff writer Darlene Carey can be reached at DarCar7@hotmail.com.