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Hermes launches St. Patrick’s Day run, week after St. Malachi race they used to organize

January 26, 2018 GMT

Hermes launches St. Patrick’s Day run, week after St. Malachi race they used to organize

Hermes Sports & Events, the race organizer that filed and then dropped a federal lawsuit arguing that St. Malachi Parish could not use its own name in a run, is now organizing its own St. Patrick’s Day race.

The races are back-to-back weekends. The 38th annual, Irish-themed St. Malachi’s Church Run is March 10. The race benefits the West Side church’s community work. Hermes’ new race will take place the morning of St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.

“It feels like they’re trying to pull runners from the event,” said Sharon Lowe-Chapman, chair of St. Malachi run. “We were obviously disappointed when we heard that announcement.”

Hermes co-owner Nick Swingos said he doesn’t think that’s the case and that there are plenty of races held on St. Patrick’s Day.

What happened between Hermes and St. Malachi?

Hermes organized the St. Malachi’s Church Run for 37 years. Last year the Catholic parish decided to split from Hermes, claiming they made only $3,000 out of the more than $113,000 in registration fees in 2017.

Organizers responded the money mainly went to costs associated with the race, and the company made $15,000.

Hermes sued in July, trying to stop the parish from using the St. Malachi name in future races. The company claimed because of the long-standing partnership, runners would think Hermes would be organizing the race.

After outcry from runners, parishioners and community members, Hermes dropped the lawsuit in August.

What’s the difference between the two races?

Both races are St. Patrick’s Day-themed.

St. Malachi’s is now working with Greater Cleveland Cross Country and and working to rebuild its runner database.

The event has a 5k and a 2-mile run-walk race, and will begin and end near St. Malachi’s, which is on Washington Avenue.

“We’re the original kick-off to St. Patrick’s Day run,” Lowe-Chapman said. “We’ve been doing it for 37 years, we’ve got it down pat.”

Lowe-Chapman said the race not only celebrates Irish culture, but serves as the first race of the spring, to kick-off the race season.

There will be an after-party event at Mulberry’s. For more information about the run, click here.

Hermes is partnering with Armada Risk Partners, a local insurance company, for the St. Patrick’s Day race.

The race benefits the Irish-American Charitable Foundation, which supports local Irish start-ups and organizations.

There will be a kilt race and a 5k. The kilt run will go around the block from John Street and end on W. 6th Street. The course for the 5k begins and ends on W. 6th.

There will be drink specials at specific bars on W. 6th after the race.

“We’re pretty excited to bring something that different to the Cleveland community,” Swingos said.