News

30/07/2021

2021 Shirt Design

2021 Shirt Design

The Sodbury Slog race t-shirts have always been incredibly popular and are often seen being sported by runners across the south west. With a different design each year, the high-quality technical running shirts have become collectors items and are always worn with pride. While we may have introduced a few changes this year, we are sticking with tradition and offering the same great shirts, still made from recycled material, still offered in male and female styles, and with a fresh new design for 2021.

However, listening to a growing community voice around reducing waste, this year we have decided to make t-shirts an optional extra. This means those who feel they have enough race t-shirts or do not want to contribute to a growing collection of unwanted race shirts, can opt out, and reduce the number of shirts produced. Those who would like a shirt will be able to order one from our online store from Monday 2nd August. In recognition of this change we have this year reduced the entry fee of the race to only £15 for affiliated runners and £17 for unaffilliated. This fee covers the same great race, with the same support from volunteers and sponsors, and for the first time – a new Sodbury Slog medal to boot.

As well as t-shirts we will also be selling other Sodbury Slog merchandise, namely hoodies, beanies, and buffs, all branded with the event logo. All items ordered will be collated and produced for delivery direct to the customer prior to the event in November. Please check back to our website after the store has opened to see the products on offer, to place your order, and help support us and our charity partners.

29/07/2021

2021 Charity Partnerships

Charity partnerships announced for 2020

The Sodbury Slog has always had charity at its heart and over the years has raised tens of thousands of pounds for a whole range of incredible charities and fantastic causes. From the 2019 race alone over £5500 was directly donated by the event, and over £6000 was also raised for our charity partners. This year is no exception, and we are very pleased to be continuing to support Jessie May, and excited to be able to announce that this year we will also be supporting Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Both are incredible causes and we are pleased to be partnering with them this year. Both of our charity partners have a number of guaranteed entries for the 2021 race, which you can register your interest for right now.

Jessie May

Jessie May is a charity that provides hospice at home care for terminally ill children in Bristol and the surrounding area. The charity was set up by the parents of Jessica May Purrington, a little girl who died at home aged 4 months, surrounded by her family and her nurses. Jessie May has a team of dedicated nurses who provide care to children and families during a child’s life and after their death.

To apply for a guaranteed entry for the 2021 Sodbury Slog and run for Jessie May simply drop them an email on [email protected] or give them a call on 0117 9582174.

Web: https://www.jessiemay.org.uk

Cystic Fibrosis Trust

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust is fighting for a life unlimited for everyone affected by cystic fibrosis. Our mission is to create a world where being born with CF no longer means a lifelong burden of care and an early death, when everyone living with the condition will be able to look forward to a long, healthy life.

To apply for a guaranteed entry for the 2021 Sodbury Slog and run for Cystic Fibrosis Trust simply drop them an email on [email protected] or give them a call on 020 3795 2176.

Web: https://www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk

28/07/2021

We’re Back Baby!

We're Back Baby!

Oh yeah baby, it’s true – we are back! The mud is back, the flapjacks are back, even the bugler is back. We. Are. Back.

After much planning, some crying, and even more hair-pulling, we have decided that we are finally good to go for 2021. While life is not yet fully back to normal, there is nothing currently stopping us from holding this year’s event as close to normal as possible. So, brace yourself for a firehose of information.

Because we are already much later in the year than we would normally be we do have to do things slightly differently, and we also have a reduced window of time to work within. We know you all understand that, but if we want a race (and we all do) this is how we have to do it.

This is the core information that you need to know right now:

  • The race will be on Sunday 14th November.
  • Entries will be via a ballot system, that will open on Monday 2nd August at 08:00.
  • The ballot system will only be open for registrations for one week.
  • If you are randomly selected you will only get seven days to take up the offer of the place.
  • T-shirts are optional this year and will need to be ordered separately from our online store that will also open on Monday 2nd August (details to follow)
  • We have guaranteed entries through our charity partners, Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Jessie May (details to follow).

More specific details on the ballot entry system can be found on our Ballot Entry Details page. Please read it very carefully.

We will release more information over the coming days, but right now get your keyboards ready to go, call up your friends, shout at your family (in a nice excited kind of way), and holler from the rooftops. Sodbury Slog Entries are opening – VERY SOON

28/07/2021

Ballot Entry Details 2021

Ballot Entry Details 2021

Following the continual rise of interest in the Sodbury Slog and the speed with which race entries have sold out over recent years, we have decided – after much deliberation – to move to a ballot entry system. Whenever demand for entries outstrips the capacity of an event there are always winners and losers no matter how you manage it, but we believe that moving to a ballot system is the only fair way to ensure everyone gets an equal chance of being able to run the Sodbury Slog.

The 2021 ballot will open on Monday 2nd August at 08:00 for just ONE week to allow interested runners to register for a place. No payment will be taken at this point. The ballot will close at midnight on Sunday 8th August. No further entries will be taken after this point.

On Monday 9th August we will randomly select and contact 1000 entrants (via email only) who will be invited to complete their registration and pay the entry fee. This invitation will only remain valid until midnight on Sunday 15th August. After this time their invitation will expire and the entrant will lose their right to a place.

If all places are not taken up in the first tranche of selections, any remaining places will then be offered to a further randomly selected list of remaining entrants. This second tranche will then be contacted (via email only) on Monday 16th August and invited to complete their registration and pay the entry fee. This invitation will only remain valid until midnight on Sunday 22nd August. After this time their invitation will expire and the entrant will lose their right to a place.

Any remaining places from the first and second tranches will then form a third randomly selected list from remaining entrants who will also be offered a place. This final tranche will then be contacted (via email only) on Monday 23rd August and invited to complete their registration and pay the entry fee. This invitation will only remain valid until midnight on Sunday 29th August. After this time their invitation will expire and the entrant will lose their right to a place.

As in previous years the race capacity will remain at 1300 runners. Basic maths will tell you that 300 places are therefore allocated outside of this ballot system. These places are allocated to our charity partners, our sponsors, and a number of local clubs. Both our charity partners, Jessie May and Cystic Fibrosis Trust, have a number of guaranteed entries for this year. For details on running for one of these great causes, please check out our charity entry place information.

As in previous years race number transfers will be available online up until four weeks before the event. Runners should only register once for the ballot and any suspected duplicate entries will be removed. Mass abuse of the ballot will result in elimination from the ballot. As per our terms and conditions, no refunds will be given.

27/06/2021

2021 Entry Update (June)

2021 Entry Update (June)

We would just like to update you further on our current thinking around opening entries for this year’s event.

As mentioned in our update last month, we are continuing to monitor all COVID-related restrictions and guidelines to help us make a decision on when we can open entries with confidence to hold the event this year. But as we all know, the June 21st date of easing restrictions was pushed back until at least July 19th, making the situation around holding an event such as the Sodbury Slog in November unclear.

As runners you will no doubt be aware of many events that are going ahead both right now, and throughout the rest of the year, and currently these will be taking place under government guidelines for COVID secure events. However, following both internal conversations and discussions with South Gloucestershire Council around these guidelines, it is clear that due to the route and the nature of the event, it is not possible to hold the Sodbury Slog under such restrictions.

This leaves us with no option but to continue to wait for clear notification of the removal of all restrictions before we open entries for this year’s event.

Once again all we can say is that we will continue to monitor the ongoing situation, particularly around the planned lockdown restrictions lifting on 19th July, and make a further statement regarding entries around the end of July.

24/05/2021

2021 Entry Update

2021 Entry UpdateFollowing on from our previous announcement proclaiming the return of the mud for 2021, we would just like to update you further on our current thinking around opening entries for this year’s event.

Despite the easing of the national lockdown on 17th May and the continued success of the vaccine rollout, after reviewing the situation further we have concluded it is still too early to open entries on 1st June as previously mentioned.

While the current trends of improvement are promising, there are still too many uncertainties for us to feel comfortable with taking entrant’s money at this time. This however is not bad news, as thanks to our planning earlier in the year and changes we have already implemented we now have a longer window of time to allow us to make this decision and still enable us to open entries in time for the event as usual.

We will continue to monitor the ongoing situation, particularly around the planned lockdown restrictions lifting totally on 21st June, and make a further statement regarding entries at the end of June.

13/03/2021

The Return of the Mud

The Return of the Mud

While we may have been silent over the last few months regarding the return of the Sodbury Slog, much like a duck’s feet beneath the surface of the water, we have still been working feverishly out of sight preparing for the hopeful return of the autumnal mudfest we all know and love.

With government plans to gradually ease the national lockdown now in place and a promise of a return to normality by late summer we have been optimistically planning for a 2021 Sodbury Slog, on Sunday 14th November, and are now ready to share our plans and thinking with you.

It is no understatement to say the past year has been difficult for everyone in one way or another. The global COVID-19 pandemic that has fundamentally changed all our lives, has re-shaped everything we thought we knew, we needed, and was important to us, and that naturally extends to events like the Slog.

The Sodbury Slog has always held supporting community and charity as core principles, and unlike many other large running events is not run as a commercial entity. The event is entirely run by fantastic volunteers, generously supported by local businesses, and with much of the profit generated being donated to charities and community causes. This all means that while the event is extremely popular and always oversubscribed, we do not have deep pockets full of cash to support ourselves in times of need or uncertainty. So, to allow us to plan for 2021 – while still not having 100% certainty of being able to hold an event – we are making a few necessary changes.

The biggest change is that we will be reducing the entry fee, and revising the mementoes given by default. There are several reasons behind this, but it allows us to reduce the cost of running the event for those for who have had a tough year financially. We recognise that a lot of people have lost their livelihood over the last year, and many others have had their income cut by furlough or reduced hours, and we hope this reduction will go some small way to helping those people.

The entry fee for 2021 will be £15 for affiliated runners, and £17 for those unaffiliated. For that you receive the same level of organisation, the same great muddy route, and the same pre- and post-race reception with fruit, water, and baked goodies from Hobbs House Bakery. Every runner will also receive a high-quality Sodbury Slog medal, made from recyclable metal and with a ribbon also made from recycled material. On top of all of that we will also be supporting The Forest of Avon Trust to plant approximately one tree for every ten entrants, somewhere in the local South Gloucestershire region.

To facilitate this reduction in price and listening to a growing community voice around reducing waste, we have also decided to make t-shirts an optional extra. This means those who feel they have enough race t-shirts or do not want to contribute to a growing collection of unwanted race shirts, can opt out, and reduce the number of shirts produced. The same high-quality sublimation-printed recycled polyester shirts will still be available for anyone who wants one and will be able to be ordered online when entering at a cost of £15. All orders will be made in a new online store, where we will also be selling other Sodbury Slog merchandise, namely hoodies, beanies, and buffs. All items ordered will be produced and delivered direct prior to the event in November.

Entries this year will be fulfilled by a ballot entry system, as we had planned to do in 2020. More details on this will follow shortly. A number of guaranteed entries will also be available via our supported charities, Jessie May, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and The Forest of Avon Trust.

We are currently monitoring the ongoing situation and will keep a close eye on how restrictions are being lifted, and what they mean for us come the autumn. If all government restrictions are lifted as planned, then we are planning to open entries on Tuesday 1st June. This is later than normal for us but does allow us more time to gain confidence in being able to host the event in November and welcome you all back to the mud.

08/11/2020

A Race Day Like No Other

A Race Day Like No Other

For as many years as I can remember I’ve found myself stood in the car park of Chipping Sodbury Sports Centre on Remembrance Sunday as the clock struck 11. I’ve always found the silence of one-thousand plus people bowing their heads in remembrance to be deafening, beautiful, and incredibly moving. This Remembrance Sunday that same car park will be silent once again, but it’s a different kind of silence this year, because none of us are there.

Back in the spring, as the coronavirus pandemic that has shaped so much of our lives this year seemed like just another virus that would pass, we deliberated hard on how best to plan for this year to ensure we didn’t take anyone’s money without knowing we could hold the event, or be able to return it if we couldn’t. Every angle and timeline we laid out in front of us was a difficult choice, with the ultimate choice being to not hold an event at all. Eventually that was the decision we took, and while at the time it was a hard call to make, it’s clear to see this morning that it was the right one.

Not since the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak of 2001 have the streets and muddy fields of Chipping Sodbury been so quiet on this special day. It would have been a very wet and muddy one this year for sure. With all the rain we’ve had over the autumn and even the rain today, there would be plenty of mud to go around. But that mud isn’t going anywhere, and it’ll all still be waiting next year, when we hope we will be ready to fill the car park with silence once again.

As we move into 2021 we will start to plan for the next race, the next time we will see each other in the mud of South Gloucestershire, and the next time we can smile as we dance with Terry the Tornado. Until then, stay safe.

When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today.

Ira Rainey
Race Director
30/06/2020

2020 Event Cancellation

The Sodbury Slog 2020 – Event Cancellation
30th June 2020

After closely monitoring the ongoing situation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and the guidance issued by the Government, we have today taken the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Sodbury Slog.

Despite the reduction in the rate of infections and easing of the national lockdown, it is still not clear when restrictions on mass gatherings of people for sporting events will be lifted, enabling running events such as ours to take place. Because of this uncertainty we have decided, with only four months until the event, it is simply not possible for us to confidently push forward with the race this year.

With around 1100 runners taking part and over 100 volunteers enabling them to do so, we consider the safety of all our competitors, supporters, partners, and volunteers paramount. Without the clarity of being able to host an event safely we will not put them at risk.

Organised by Bitton Road Runners, the Sodbury Slog is an extremely popular and long-standing event in the South West running calendar. With 2020 being our 30th anniversary year, we have worked hard on plans to celebrate this, so we appreciate how disappointing this will be for a great many runners, but we are also sure everyone will understand why this decision has been made.

As much as a great muddy trawl through the South Gloucestershire countryside, the Sodbury Slog has always had the local community and charity at heart and has raised tens of thousands of pounds for good causes over the years. It is a heritage we fully intend to continue when we return, hopefully in November 2021.

Ira Rainey
Race Director
26/05/2020

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 UpdateAs we continue to move through the year and the circumstances around COVID-19 restrictions slowly begin to change, we are continuing to monitor both government guidance and the unfolding situation with other running events scheduled to take place towards the end of the year.

While some of our freedoms are starting to return, it is important to understand that there is a big difference between meeting family and friends for outdoor exercise with social distancing in place, and gathering over 1000 people together for a race, even if it is through the wide-open space of the South Gloucestershire countryside.

At this point in time there has still been no clear statement, or proposed plan published, that covers safely resuming mass gatherings of people, such as we would need to enable the Sodbury Slog to take place. Because of this we are still not in a position to confidently open entries for this year’s event.
 
As the weeks pass we move ever closer to the reality that we may not actually get the required clarity within the timeframe we need to effectively organise a safe event for everyone. This takes us to the point that we may need to take the hard decision that we have no choice but to cancel the Sodbury Slog for this year. But we are not there yet.
 
As an organising committee we are still talking often, and are planning to meet again at the end of June to reassess the situation, with all information we have available to us at that point, when we will make a final decision whether we will be able to host the event this year. So please keep watching our usual channels for more information, and please continue to stay safe.
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