Long Standing Mississauga Event Officially Cancelled

 

Sometimes, certain changes are unexpected. 

For over 40 years, not much has changed with the Alterna Bread and Honey Race in Streetsville, Mississauga. As one of Mississauga's long standing races, the course is a highlight for racers each year, some taking part in the event for 10 to 15 years in a row. The 1K, 5K and 15K courses themselves has barely changed since the time they were first marked. 

A change in police policy earlier this year has altered the course of the Alterna Bread and Honey Race.

In a press release, it was officially announced that the race will no longer continue to exist due to the high police-related costs of $27,700 associated with running the event.

This past year marked the 40th anniversary of the race and the ending of a long legacy for runners, organizers and families taking part.

In the past, the police costs were covered by the Peel Regional Police, and this was the case for the 40-year period that the race existed. Each year, a portion of the Peel Regional Police Budget went towards supporting non-profit and charitable organizations, such as the Bread and Honey race. It was an expense that the race organizers never had to worry about. 

The new police policy does not allow services to be provided at no cost to organizations, including non-profits and charities. The change in policy was announced earlier in the year right before the start of the 2018 race. Due to the announcement being so close to race day, Peel police agreed to pay for the 2018 race. 

Ellie De Sousa, Bread and Honey Race Director for the past fourteen years, said that the organizers and directors tried to reach out to the local councillor for support, however, there was no way to change or mitigate the situation after the new policy was put in place.

"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," says De Sousa.

De Sousa, in a conversation with inSauga, mentioned that raising the fees for runners to participate was not an option. The early bird cost of participating was $40 and the maximum cost was $60. The whole idea behind a lower fee was to allow families, children and others in the community to part take in the event and to continue the community tradition. 

De Sousa also mentioned that with that kind of a police cost, there was no way that the organization could continue to fund itself for years going forward. Much of the costs would also leave little to no options for donating to partner charities. 

"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," says De Sousa.

For those of you who are not aware of the history of the race, it began back in 1979 when it was launched by the Credit Valley Marathon Club. The runners that started the marathon wanted to give something back to their community and those individuals that started the race have continued to run the event till the unfortunate end. 

The directors of the race have shifted their focus to the Streetsville Mile. The Streetsville Mile will be running in conjunction with the Bread and Honey Festival that takes place on the first weekend of June. This makes it possible for the race to continue and for race organizers to not worry about police costs.

The race will kick-off the parade with a short but energetic run. The race is certified and the top athletes will receive cash prizes. All of the medals given to runners have different coloured based on the timing that you received to complete the mile. 

This will be the third year that the Streestville Mile event will take place. 

"The Streetsville Mile is a flat, fast, certified race, where you can set records. Look for many improvements, including a new category, 9 minute to 12 minute mile. Stay connected for lots of exciting updates," says De Sousa. 

For those who are interested they can visit the website for race updates and registration. 

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