Top Tips for Race Readiness

Spectrum Health Irish Jig 5K Only Weeks Away

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 19, 2018 – The unofficial running season in West Michigan gets underway with the Spectrum Health Irish Jig 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, March 17.

Online registration for the 35th Annual “Jig,” held this year on St. Patrick’s Day in East Grand Rapids, is available at

The Irish Jig is recognized as one of Michigan’s premier 5K races and is limited to 4,500 participants. All registered participants will receive a short-sleeved technical shirt and commemorative 35th anniversary green beverage glass. The annual event seeks to raise funds and awareness for colorectal cancer prevention and treatment.

Megan Snow, clinical program specialist, Spectrum Health Athletic Training Services, offers these race readiness tips:

  1. Be safe
  • Run or walk during daylight and/or warmer times of day.
  • Use reflective accessories.
  • Wear bright clothes.
  • Run or walk against traffic so you can see cars coming.
  1. Dress for the elements
  • Pick shoes with the least amount of mesh.
  • Wear socks that wick away moisture but keep your feet warm.
  • Dress like it is 20 degrees warmer.
  • Layer with thin tighter layers.
  • Keep your head, neck and hands covered.
  • Use a warmer moisture wicking top as your base layer closest to the skin.
  • Your outer layer should be breathable but windproof.
  1. Stay hydrated
  • Hydration is important no matter what time of year it is. Make sure you are hydrating before, after and during exercise.
  1. Get your blood going
  • Get your blood pumping inside before heading outdoors for your run. Walk up and down stairs, do a few jumping jacks or sit ups or use a jump rope.
  1. Adjust your pace
  • Keep a slow, steady pace with shorter strides.
  • During winter weather, run on fresh snow if possible for better traction.

Here are more ‘tips” for people planning to participate in the Irish Jig:

  • Register online for a discounted rate through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 15.
  • Register onlineby 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, February 27 to select your shirt size. People who register after 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, February 27 will choose from available remaining participant shirt sizes at Irish Jig event check-in on Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17 on a first come, first served basis and receive a commemorative glass while supplies last.
  • Register at Derby Station at 2237 Wealthy Street SE, in East Grand Rapids on Tuesday, February 27 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to save $3.00 on each Irish Jig registration. Participants will also be able to select shirt size on the last day the option is available (credit card, check or cash will be accepted). Plus, take advantage of Derby Station specials that evening!



Spectrum Health, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,200 medical staff experts, 3,200 committed volunteers and a health plan serving 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 220 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $459 million in community benefit in the last fiscal year. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $30 million in philanthropy in the most recent fiscal year to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.

Susan Krieger
Media Relations
Office: 616.391.5541
Mobile: 616.307.7880