Thirty-Ninth Annual Irish Jig Kicks Off March 18

Annual 5K promotes colorectal cancer awareness while raising funds for outreach and prevention programs.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 8, 2023 — The 39th Annual Corewell Health™ (formerly Spectrum Health) Irish Jig 5K is set Saturday, March 18, 2023, in East Grand Rapids. Considered one of Michigan’s premier 5K (3.1 mile) road races, the Irish Jig promotes colorectal cancer awareness while raising funds to support cancer prevention and programs.

“March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and Corewell Health is proud to present this event to help raise awareness of colorectal cancer,” says Barbara Schmidtman, PhD, Vice President of Cancer Health. “Among cancers that affect men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, yet it is largely preventable. Thanks to increased awareness of the risks and symptoms, advances in screening tests and evolving treatment options, the number of people dying from colorectal cancer continues to decline.”

Online registration will be taken through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, 2023. In-person registration will be available during pre-event check-in on Friday, March 17 and prior to the race on Saturday, March 18.

The 2023 Irish Jig will feature a “staggered” start, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Walkers will start after all runners have crossed the starting line at approximately 8:45 a.m.

All participants will receive a race shirt. In addition, each race participant will be invited to select a bib or bibs to wear on their back: a green bib signifies a runner, a white bib is for a cancer survivor and a blue bib honors a family member or friend. Participants are also encouraged to wear blue or green clothing on race day.

The USA Track & Field certified course is mostly flat with a few gentle hills through East Grand Rapids. Top age group winners and qualifying teams receive prizes, and top overall finishers receive cash awards.  Teams must have a minimum of five and a maximum of ten members to qualify for team awards. Irish Jig team competition is offered in three divisions (Large Companies, Small Companies, and Social Division).

Race proceeds go toward building up the cancer patient assistance fund, which helps to provide transportation, lodging and other resources for patients going through cancer treatment. Funds are also used to raise awareness and to provide colorectal screening kits in our communities.

Donations supporting colorectal cancer awareness and prevention can be made during event registration or online at For more information about colorectal cancer, visit

About Corewell Health™

People are at the heart of everything we do, and the inspiration for our legacy of outstanding outcomes, innovation, strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Corewell Health is a not-for-profit health system that provides health care and coverage with an exceptional team of 60,000+ dedicated people—including more than 11,500 physicians and advanced practice providers and more than 15,000 nurses providing care and services in 22 hospitals, 300+ outpatient locations and several post-acute facilities—and Priority Health, a provider-sponsored health plan serving more than 1.2 million members. Through experience and collaboration, we are reimagining a better, more equitable model of health and wellness. For more information, visit


Tim Breed
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