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Labour Day 5K exits the City after balking at $3,000 CoH fee

The Swan’s Running Club Labour Day Race will go ahead on Monday with the organisers opting for a change of course after being asked to pay $3,000 by the City of Hamilton to hold the race in the city.

However, the Corporation of Hamilton has not ruled out the possibility of the race returning to the City next year. A meeting is scheduled next week to discuss the matter, although too late for this year.

Chayce Smith was the overall winner of the 2019 Labour Day 5K race, in a time of 16:31 (Photograph by Akil Simmons) (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

“Over the years, there have been fees associated with the hosting of the race in Hamilton; fees that have been informally waived,” a City of Hamilton spokeswoman explained yesterday.

“Due to the pandemic, as well as government and city protocols, we have been transparent and required organisations to go through the same application process. The Swan’s Running Club sought permission to have this race in the City; however, they stated they were not fully aware of the cost associated.

“The City’s board was prepared to meet to discuss the fee waiver. However, the board’s next meeting was scheduled to take place on September 8 — after the race date. The Swan’s Running Club then made the decision to host the race outside of the City.

“We recognise the value that the club brings to the athletic space in Bermuda and with the appropriate notice, the City of Hamilton looks forward to receiving future applications in the appropriate time frame for the board to review and act on.

“The City is committed to supporting grassroots organisations in Bermuda, as demonstrated through our many partnerships, including the Court Street Market and pop-up vendor installations across the City, as we continue to strive to make the city dynamic and vibrant for all.”

The organisers of the race have already been forced to limit the number of participants to the first 100 entries because of Covid restrictions.

The race will now start at the junction of Langton Hill and North Shore, and take the runners east to the Barker’s Hill roundabout before the runners climb up the hill to Palmetto Road and Marsh Folly Road before turning left to the finish line at Dutton Avenue near the netball courts.

The 5K race, which was a late cancellation last year because of the pandemic, will again be the first race on the road racing calendar.

Juniors and walkers will start at 8am and runners at 8.30am over a new course also. They will run on a 2.2km course, starting at Dutton Avenue and taking the runners east along Palmetto Road to Roberts Avenue before returning on Palmetto Road to the finish line at Dutton Avenue.

There will be three junior age groups — 8-10, 11-12 and 13-15 — while participants in the 16-19 age group will compete in the 5km race.

Chayce Smith was the overall winner of the last race in 2019, with Gayle Lindsay the women’s winner.

Registration will be at www.racedayworld.com and number pick-up will be at the Bermuda Industrial Union on Union Square from 7.30am on race day.

Anyone wishing to assist as a marshal is urged to contact race director Amin Smith on 520-9747.

Swan’s Running Club is also collecting running shoes to send to Haiti to assist that country after a recent earthquake. Anyone with any old sneakers that they would like to donate should bring them to the Labour Day race.

A collection will also take place at the Swan’s charity race, which will take place on October 10.

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Published September 03, 2021 at 10:27 am (Updated September 07, 2021 at 8:10 am)

Labour Day 5K exits the City after balking at $3,000 CoH fee

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