After 40 years, the Alterna Bread and Honey Road Race has officially announced that it will no longer exist due to the high police expense involved in putting on the event. Ellie De Sousa has been the race director for 14 years, she said in a press release, “Our volunteers and our race committee, have all worked together and have been doing so for the past 40 years, to accomplish two goals. Firstly, to promote community athletic participation and secondly, to dedicate race proceeds to charities.”
She continued, “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who worked tirelessly to put on this great community event. To all our dedicated and committed sponsors, without you the race would not have been possible. And most of all, our participants, who made it all worth while.”
Police costs for the event were estimated at $27,700 CAD. De Souza said, “Historically our event was paid for by the Peel Police. Our fees were absorbed by the police, because they had funds allocated to community and charity events like ours. They only started charging in 2018.”
Charlotte droppin' the hammer at the Bread & Honey 1k this past weekend, after I told her there would be freezies waiting at the finish line. Happy International Running Day! Note: we're both sporting our @the_rooster_project singlets! #running #theroosterproject #breadandhoneyfestival #breadandhoneyrace #internationalrunningday
She continued, “We were notified earlier in the year that costs would be applied to our event going forward, but since we were notified so close to the event, the police agreed to pay for the 2018 race. We tried to make a compromise and use course marshal’s and volunteers instead of police, but for safety reasons it wasn’t allowed. At a cost like that, there’s no way we could afford it.”
The event previously held both 5K and 15K races.
Event coordinators have shifted their focus to the Streetsville Mile. The road mile previously cut runners off at the nine minute mark, but for 2019, there will be a nine to 12 minute category added. The course is a flat, fast, and certified race. Sergio Raez-Villanueva, NACAC 10,000m fourth place finisher, has won the event two years in a row. In 2018, Raez-Villanueva crossed the line just ahead of University of Toronto athlete and coach Dennis Davenport.
The Bread and Honey festival takes place on the first weekend of June in the village of Streetsville in Mississuaga, Ont. The event hosts a parade, and the Streetsville Mile kicks-off that parade. “We have two sponsors that donate really good prize money: $500 for the top male and female, and an extra $500 for running a sub-4 minute mile. We also have master’s prize money. Our first year we had five Ontario records broken in the female divisions.”
De Sousa assures that as long as the parade runs, so will the mile. “We’re piggy backing off the parade. As long as the parade continues, so will the mile.”