What a great day for  a race: Nearly 4,300 people ran and walked under sunny skies through the streets of East Grand Rapids in the 2018 Spectrum Health Irish Jig.

Race director Kelsey Haynes credited the weather—chilly but sunny—with helping to draw participants to the 35th annual race, which raises awareness about colorectal cancer.

“Today’s race was amazing,” she said. “We had a great turnout of people. We had a lot of people in costume, which was amazing.

“We had lines at the photo booth and lots of people getting their free photos. Everyone seemed to be participating well with the vendors.”

This year, the Irish Jig expanded its expo for participants. The Spectrum Health Beat Expo encompassed 16 booths that provided give-aways, merchandise for sale and advice. Runners could consult with therapists from Spectrum Health’s sports medicine team and the cancer center.

“All proceeds from the race will go back to supporting services for those who otherwise couldn’t afford them,” Haynes said. “The event supports diagnostic, prevention and treatment services for colorectal cancer.”

In all, 4,283 runners and walkers took part in the Saint Patrick’s Day event. Race results are posted online by Classic Race Management.

Top finishers


Sarah Boyle, 31, Brighton, 16:49.38

Joanna Stephens, 23, Rockford, 17:01.62

Megan O’Neil, 21, Stanwood, 17:34.54


Mohamed Hrezi, 26, Lake Orion, 14:06.79

Zacchaeus Widner, 26, Lansing, 14:44.05

Alex Russeau, 28, Dundee, 14:46.85