News

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.
29/04/2020

COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 UpdateAs the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold and as yet with no clarity around either lifting of the lockdown or the staging of sporting events involving mass gatherings of people, we wanted to update you on what we are doing behind the scenes for this year’s Sodbury Slog.

As we have said previously, while we want nothing more than to give you all something to look forward to in November, we absolutely don’t want to take any money from you without certainty that the event will go ahead this year. To do that we need clear guidance from the UK government, Sodbury Council, and the ARC (our affiliated governing body) that the race will actually be able to take place safely in November. Right now that information simply isn’t available, which is why we are holding off on making any further decisions regarding this year’s event.

It is fair to say that at this point any event that does take place this year will very likely be different to the event we had planned, and that we have already talked about. But we’re sure you’ll agree that any Slog will be better than no Slog. Which is why we are still considering all possibilities and remain committed to getting you back knee-deep in the South Gloucestershire mud as soon as we can.

As an organising committee we are still talking often, continuing to read all news and guidance around sporting events, and meeting regularly to discuss the situation and the options available to us as time moves on. So please keep watching our usual channels for more information, and please stay home and stay safe.

17/03/2020

Entry Ballot Update

Entry Ballot UpdateAs you will no doubt have read in the earlier article on our ballot entry system, we were planning on opening the ballot for Sodbury Slog entries on Wednesday 1st April and close it again on Wednesday 15th April.

With the uncertainty of the coming months due to Coronavirus Covid-19, we have taken the decision to delay opening the ballot until the ongoing situation becomes clearer.

Just like any sizeable event, as we move towards the actual date we become more financially committed and it makes it impossible for us to be able to refund entry fees without losing money. The Sodbury Slog is not a large scale commercial event, and most of our profit is donated to local charities. This is why our terms and conditions state that we do not offer refunds. Put simply, we want to ensure that before we take any of your hard-earned cash, we are as confident as we can be that we will be able to safely host the event you pay to enter. 

To be clear, there are currently no plans for postponing or cancelling this year’s event. We hope that by November we will all be in a very different place, but we are acutely aware that this unprecedented disruption, to even our day-to-day lives, means that everybody is (quite rightly) focusing on the short term.

Rest assured that a huge amount of planning has already gone into the event for this year and work will continue behind the scenes ready for our 30th anniversary and the usual Remembrance Day mudfest.

Please keep an eye on this website and our social media channels for further updates in coming weeks as we know more about how things are unfolding. Stay safe, keep positive, and look out for each other.

06/03/2020

Bring on the ballot

*** Please note the ballot entry has been delayed ***

More information here: http://www.sodburyslog.co.uk/entry-ballot-update/

Bring on the ballot

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 this year – after much deliberation – to move to a ballot entry system.

Whenever demand for entries outstrips the capacity of an event there will always be winners and losers no matter how you manage them, 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 ballot will open on Wednesday 1st April for a period of two weeks to allow interested runners to register for a place. No payment will be taken at this point. The ballot will close at midnight on Wednesday 15th April.

1000 entrants will then be randomly selected and contacted (via email only) on Friday 1st May and invited to complete their registration and pay the entry fee. This invitation will only remain valid for seven days. After this time the invitation will expire and the entrant will lose their right to a place. The place will then be offered to the next randomly selected entrant. This process will continue until all places are taken up. There will be no separate waiting list.

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.

04/03/2020

All hail the bling

All hail the blingEverybody likes a bit of bling. Which is why this year – for the first time ever – to celebrate our 30th anniversary we are going to be handing out amazing Sodbury Slog medals to all finishers.

But this isn’t going to be instead of a t-shirt, it’s as well as. Wait what? What’s the catch I hear you say? No catch, and more importantly, there will be no price increase from last year.

That’s right, for the same low fee of £23 for affiliated runners, and £25 for those unaffiliated, not only will you get to run undoubtedly the best multi-terrain race in the South West, but also swagger home with a shiny special edition Slog medal big enough to fill the palm of your hand, and an even more special long-sleeve technical t-shirt with a retro-inspired design

If you’re lucky you will also get to take home a couple of sock-fulls of South Gloucestershire mud. You can never say we don’t give you value for money.

02/03/2020

Planting for the future

Planting for the future One of the things that makes the Sodbury Slog such a great event is the opportunity for 1300 runners to take in some of the most glorious countryside in and around Chipping Sodbury, as the route runs across farmland, over commons, and through woodland. Inspired by this wonderful rural landscape,  in this our 30th anniversary year, we have decided to give something back to the local area, help offset our environmental footprint, and also create a lasting legacy for the event.

We are very excited to announce that with proceeds from the 2020 event, Bitton Road Runners and the Sodbury Slog will be supporting and working with local woodland charity The Forest of Avon Trust, and planting 300 trees – 10 for each year of the race – in the South Gloucestershire area.

Planting for the futureThe trust is an independent local charity passionate about the benefits of trees and woodlands, and is committed to delivering these to people across Bristol and Avon. Funded solely by sponsorship, donations, and grants, they organise projects and activities bringing the benefits of trees to people and deliver a more sustainable future.

Please do check out out more about the trust and the range of great work they do by visiting their website and social media channels.

Website: https://forestofavontrust.org/

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