Cancer, Reed City Hospital

Wheatlake Festival of Races to be Virtual in 2021

Registration is now open for May event to fight cancer.

BIG RAPIDS, Mich., March 2, 2021 – Walkers, runners and cancer fighters of all ages are encouraged to register for the Spectrum Health Wheatlake Festival of Races—virtual style.

With a virtual format this year, participants can choose the route and time that is most convenient for them the weekend of May 14 to May 16. Event options include a virtual half marathon, virtual 10K, virtual 5K run and a virtual 5K wellness walk.

“Despite not being able to participate together this year, we want to continue the tradition of supporting the Wellness Center at the Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center in Reed City,” said race coordinator Danielle Wells. “Cancer doesn’t take a break for COVID-19, and we want to resume this event that is so near and dear to so many cancer patients and their friends and families.”

Those who register by April 18 at are guaranteed a commemorative “Don’t Give Up” race t-shirt. For those who register after April 18, shirts will be on first-come, first served basis. Participatory medals will be awarded to all who sign up for a running event. Kids shirts are also available for purchase during registration and in the race store for $10.

Participants can complete their run or walk on the unmarked Big Rapids Riverwalk and the White Pine Trail courses or participants may choose their own course.

“The Wheatlake Festival of Races has always been more than a run or walk—it’s our community coming together to honor and remember those we love affected by cancer,” Wells said. “This year, we’ll come together in spirit and resolve, while staying safe during the pandemic.”

Race proceeds support patients using the Wellness Center at the Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center in Reed City in a variety of ways such free appointments in the on-site boutique for wig and bra fittings, free integrative therapies such as massage and reflexology to aid recovery and transportation assistance.

New to the event this year will be $100 sponsored flower pots that will be displayed along the Wheatlake Wellness Path adjacent to the cancer center. The wellness path opened in 2020 offering patients and families an opportunity for reflection and relaxion before or after treatment. Those interested in sponsoring a pot can call Wells at 517.420.2404.

Participants are also encouraged to take photos while participating with family, friends or pets and send to or text to 517.420.2404.

Shirt pick-up will be Thursday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Rotary Fitness Park, next to Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital at 705 Oak Street, Big Rapids, MI 49307.


Spectrum Health System, 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, 4,600 medical staff experts, 3,300 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, 150 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 $550 million in community benefit in calendar year 2019. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we also received $37 million in philanthropy during calendar year 2019 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.


John Norton
Communications Specialist
Office: 231.592.4387
Mobile: 231.580.1079