Rockford resident Austin Miller, 12, smiles as he starts the 5kGreen tights and tutus, red beards and shamrock hats made the the Spectrum Health Irish Jig 2017 a colorful sight.

Some folks ran, some walked and some did a combination of both in the 5K race held Saturday, March 18—the day after Saint Patrick’s Day.

The 34th annual annual event, sponsored by the Spectrum Health Cancer Center, raises awareness about colorectal cancer. It supports screenings, diagnostic services and prevention efforts.

For many runners, the race kicks off the running season. This year, 3,583 people donned layers and ran in 35-degree weather through the streets of East Grand Rapids.

“We’re excited that they are proactively engaged in their health and coming out here and running,” said Elizabeth Burnson, race director and member of the Spectrum Health community relations team. “This was a very successful event.”

Results are posted online by Classic Race Management.

The top finishers are:


  1. Mohamed Hrezi, East Lansing: 14:17.76
  2. Louis Falland, Grand Rapids: 14:34.97
  3. Mitchell Klingler, Coldwater: 14:37.67


  1. Samantha Johnson, Comstock Park: 16:31.79
  2. Jordan Chester, Allendale: 17:37.25
  3. Allie Schellhammer, Grand Rapids: 17:47.38