Friday, March 6, 2009

For All U Irish—A Dilemma Part I

Every year a very good student organization at Michigan State, known as the Tower Guard, puts on a 5K race. This annual race is called the “Shamrock 5K” and run around St. Patrick’s Day. This race has consistently pulled between 120 to 180 people every year, but has grown in the past two years to include 322 in 2007 and 461 in 2008—some very respectable numbers for a local 5K. This rise notwithstanding, I have a major issue with this race.

But first, a little bit of Irish and St. Patrick’s Day trivia for you. 1) A four-leaf clover is considered by most Irish folk to be a symbol of good luck. Anytime you find yourself a four-leaf clover, consider it your lucky day and go play the lotto. 2) St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the life of St. Patrick, the man who brought Catholicism to the heathens in Ireland. And legend has it that St. Patrick used a shamrock to explain the “Holy Trinity” to the aforementioned heathens. As the word trinity suggests, he used a three-leaf clover to explain the ‘tri’ aspect.

Now, sidestepping the issues of whether the wearing of a four-leaf clover on St. Patrick’s Day is a misnomer (although you won’t find anyone in Ireland sporting a four-leaf clover on St. Patrick’s Day), the logo for the Shamrock 5K had always been a four-leaf clover.

Well, one day back in 2005 I decided to send an e-mail to the fine folks of the Tower Guard and inform them of this information. Their response…a very curt statement informing me that my unsolicited ‘facts’ were incorrect and unwanted.

And yet, every year since, they have always had a true Shamrock as part of their logo. But their insult has cut deep, and I have sworn off ever participating in this race until I receive a full public apology. I remain waiting. But, now I have a dilemma which may cause me to make my peace with this race—I will discuss next week.


Sun Runner said...

Forget that--you gotta come to Ann Arbor for the Shamrocks and Shenanigans 5K. It doesn't start until 11:30, and they have the appropriate number of leaves on their shamrock logo without any unsolicited fact-checking emails from the peanut gallery.

Sun Runner said...

P.S. My great-grandfather was an Irish immigrant. :)