A sea of green as far as the eye could see.

The 38th Annual Spectrum Health Irish Jig 5k returned in full splendor on Saturday, with thousands of eager runners taking to the streets in East Grand Rapids.

Despite 40-degree temps and a drizzle, more than 2,200 runners gathered for the event. Many were dressed in bright green, donning colorful socks, tutus, and full-on leprechaun outfits.

The event, held annually around St. Patrick’s Day, promotes awareness about colorectal cancer and helps raise funds to support medical services.

“Spectrum Health is dedicated to improving health and supporting our community to be active,” said Carrie Manders, senior director, BHSH System Communications.

“It was wonderful to see our volunteers and community members cheering on the participants through the East Grand Rapids community,” Manders said. “And a special thanks to our health care team, as many participants ran in their honor today to show support for their tireless dedication.”

Race results are posted online by Classic Race Management.

Top finishers


Mary Munanu, 27, Lansing, 16:00.64

Samantha King, 29, Belmont, 17:18.17

Ella Nauta, 20, Byron Center, 23:43.52


Mitchell Klingler, 29, Coldwater, 14:41.04

Alex Russeau, 32, Dundee, 14:47.24

Andrew Benkovsky, 28, Eaton Rapids, 14:55.48

The Irish Jig has grown to become one of Michigan’s premier 5K (3.1 mile) road races.

March is colorectal cancer awareness month. Spectrum Health provides net proceeds from the event to the Spectrum Health Cancer Center colorectal cancer fund, providing colorectal cancer screenings, prevention and diagnostic services here in West Michigan.