Fight Cancer and Register for the 2019 Wheatlake Festival of Races

After raising a record-breaking $14,000 in 2018, Spectrum Health  invites runners and walkers to support local cancer care once again by participating in the 2019 Wheatlake Festival of Races.

Team Brooks1
Team Brooks, supporting Shelly Brooks, at the 2018 Wheatlake Festival of Races.

This family-friendly event will be held on Saturday, May 18, and will include a half marathon, 10K, 5K run, 5K walk and kids dash. All proceeds will benefit wellness services for patients at the Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center, which provides free resources and services for those on a cancer journey.

“Cancer touches so many, and this event provides an opportunity to get active while making a great impact in the lives of local cancer patients,” said Danielle Wells, race director. “Many individuals last year ran in honor of someone they love, so this year we’re providing an opportunity to have the names of your loved ones displayed on a commemorative stake placed along the race route.”

New this year, participants can purchase a commemorative stake in memory or in support of loved ones who have been diagnosed with cancer. Stakes are available by visiting and can be taken home after the race.

The Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center serves 12 Northern Michigan counties as a comprehensive regional treatment facility. Featured within the center is a Wellness Center that includes a library, boutique and an integrative therapy room where free services are provided to assist patients like Shelly Brooks, of Canadian Lakes, through a cancer journey.

“From the minute I stepped in the doors, everyone was so kind and helpful. The Wellness Center was wonderful!” Brooks said. “I received free massages and acupuncture, and was able to rent out several helpful cookbooks from the resource library.”

As a recipient of the wellness services that the race helps provide, Brooks participated in last year’s 5K walk, and plans to do so again this year.

The race will feature a half marathon starting at the Reed City Depot, a 10K starting at Paris Park, a 5K run and 5K Wellness Walk both starting at the Big Rapids Bandshell. Children under 10 can participate in a kids dash for no charge. All routes will finish at the Bandshell behind Big Rapids Middle School. Those who register before April 21 will receive a reduced registration fee and are guaranteed a 2019 Wheatlake Festival of Races shirt.

To encourage early detection, free skin cancer screenings will be provided at the Bandshell from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the day of the event.

For information or to register, visit or call Danielle Wells, race coordinator, at 231.592.4208.


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