Racing for Honey “77

Bryan Scallion’s Idea

by Cross Country Nova Scotia Staff, May 8, 2020

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The origin of Nova Scotia’s longest running loppet and why a pot of honey still rewards skiers at this annual event. A conversation with Dianne Powell about the history of the Honeypot Loppet.

Bryan had this idea of organizing a ski race in 1977.  He wanted to raise money for the provincial ski team, which he was coaching.  The race was held up here behind our house on these trails (Wentworth).  The course would have been anywhere from 13 km – 20 km.  We kept bees, there was a limited market for honey.  Brian would average the top five finishing times, and skiers finishing within that time, won honey.

“At one time we had 200 people skiing the Honeypot up here (Wentworth), the registrants all came through the kitchen.”

DIANNE POWELL | HONEYPOT 1985

At one time we had 200 people skiing the Honeypot up here, the registrants all came through the kitchen.  Kate was in a little baby chair sitting on the counter by the sink.  That would have been February of 1985.

Bryan organized this race for years, we held it here in Wentworth, and did some at the top of Wentworth ski hill.  We kept bees until the mid-1990’s and sold them to a friend in Debert.  He still gives me a case of honey every year.

The Honeypot loppet is currently being held in Victoria Park, Truro.  Now the money we raise we split between the team and the Bryan Scallion Memorial Fund, which is used to support athletes.

Sincere thank-you to the Dianne Powell and Kate Scallion for sharing the story of the Honeypot.


– A conversation with Dianne Powell (2019).  Dianne skied on the Nova Scotia cross-country ski team, competed at the Canada Winter Games, and also served as team manager following her years as an athlete.  Bryan Scallion, her husband, also skied on the provincial team, the national espoir Canadian cross-country ski team, the Canadian biathlon team, competed at the 1979 World Biathlon Championships, named to the 1980 Olympic Biathlon team, and coached the Nova Scotia provincial team for many years.  Bryan was an accomplished Nova Scotia endurance athlete, who dedicated much of his life to achieving in sport and developing young athletes. 

Archives

1984 Honeypot Loppet poster. “We had gotten big and that year we were sponsored by Carlsberg beer,” advised Dianne Powell. Aerobics First also sponsored the event. Poster provided by Dianne Powell.


2008 Honeypot Loppet at Ski Wentworth

Photos received from Pierre Roy. Click to view full size.


2013 Honeypot Loppet at Collingwood, Cobequid pass area

Photos received from Pierre Roy. Click to view full size.


Photos

View additional Honeypot Loppet photos per event year.

>2008

>2013

Bryan Scallion

Historic photos from the coaching album of Bryan Scallion (click to expand). Bryan skied on the provincial team, the National Espoir Canadian Cross-Country Ski Team, the Canadian National Biathlon Team, competed at the 1979 World Biathlon Championships, named to the 1980 Olympic Biathlon Team, and coached the Nova Scotia provincial team for many years.  Bryan was an accomplished Nova Scotia endurance athlete, who dedicated much of his life to achieving in sport and developing young athletes. 


Carrying on the Tradition

Arctic Fox Cross-Country Ski Club proudly carries on the tradition of the Honeypot Loppet. It takes place annually in Victoria Park, Truro. Hand-crafted wooden medals are awarded to participants… along with a pot of honey.

Hand-crafted wooden medals along with a pot of honey are awarded to all Honeypot Loppet participants. If you note the detail of the bear matches the one drawn on the 1984 promotional poster.


The Honeypot Loppet tradition continues at Victoria Park in Truro. (Photo – Town of Truro)

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