- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - A life-sized statue of the founder of the Crim Festival of Races is expected to greet runners this summer at the starting line for the annual event, organizers said.

Joe Rundell of Genesee County’s Vienna Township recently finished work on the statue of Bobby Crim, The Flint Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1o5RbCv ). Movers on Tuesday took the work from the sculptor’s studio to a foundry in Clarkston, where it will be cast in bronze.

The statue is to be unveiled Aug. 21, ahead of the 2014 HealthPlus Crim Festival of Races weekend. Gerry Myers, CEO of the Crim Fitness Foundation, said the statue will be installed on a small city-owned slice of property. It was commissioned by Crim directors.

“He’s going to be facing the Crim’s starting line,” Myers said.

The statue shows Crim in running gear with a Crim Race bib pinned to his shirt. He has a smile on his face and both arms outstretched in a celebration pose.

Bobby Crim said it’s exciting but that the statue wasn’t his idea. He said the real people to recognize are all the volunteers who make the event possible.

“I haven’t done that much to deserve it,” Crim said. “I think of the thousands of volunteers. … If I could say anything, I think it’s a tribute to them.”

Crim, a former Michigan House speaker, created the Crim Road Race in 1977. The event has evolved over the years. Crim Festival of Races events this year include 10-mile, 8-kilometer and 5-kilometer races, along with the Teddy Bear Trot, on Aug. 23.

Rundell said he based the statue on several photos of Crim through the years. To make the representation of Crim, Rundell built a figure out of PVC pipe, then covered the pipe with a spray-on foam. On top of that, he added clay, and carved in details.

“It’s how he would have looked if you sort of combined a lot of different years,” said Rundell, who also has made several downtown statues of auto industry pioneers.

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Online:

http://www.crim.org

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Information from: The Flint Journal, http://www.mlive.com/flint