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.