Riley McLincha: Crim's Biggest Cheerleader
By Ron Marinucci
Riley McLincha has been called the Crim’s “biggest cheerleader.” Indeed, he is a
man of many Crim hats.
The Clio resident is one of the 22 All-Crimmers, having run each of the 33 ten
milers. “The Crim is the first race I’d ever done,” he admitted. “I didn’t know how
dangerous it was” to run in the 90-degree heat and high humidity of that inaugural event in 1977. “But I said, ‘Everyone else is. So I can, too.” He chuckled at the thought, “I didn’t know you could walk. But I saw others walking, so I figured ‘I can, too.’”
In 1987, McLincha combined running with a hobby he’d picked up a few years
earlier, juggling. He “joggled” the Crim that year. As if that weren’t daunting enough,
five years later he began “drubbling.” In “drubbling” McLincha runs while dribbling
three basketballs at once. He’s done every Crim since 1994 with his three basketballs.
And he does more. He also sings the Star-Spangled Banner to kick off each Crim
morning. “Riley truly is the voice of the start when he sings the national anthem,” said
race director Deb Kiertzner. “I’ve told him that’s his job as long as I’m race director.” He also serenades runners with The Spirit of the Crim, a tribute song he wrote himself.
The retired General Motors skilled tradesman and beer connoisseur, who holds a
degree in science, has also painstakingly researched all of the Crim finishes, compiling a database where all runners can find their times in the ten mile race for any year back to 1977. It can be found online at www.crim.org.
McLincha continues to raise money for the Special Olympics. He has designed
tee shirts, “Top Ten Reasons I Did not Win the 2008 Crim,” with all proceeds from sales
going to charity.