Cheddar Gorge 6km & 10km Trail Races
The race starts at Black Rock with views of the route ahead along the Cheddar Gorge stretching out into the distance.
A great variety of terrain makes this an all round challenge with a mix of open meadows, rocky outcrops, a few steps and cliff edge running.
Starting from the event village, the first 1.5km is nice and flat and long range views through Cheddar Gorge open up as you run along. There is a little descent to bring you past the first drinks station, hopefully you don’t need a drink 1 mile in! The drinks station is positioned for you on the return leg, around 7.5km in.
2-2.5km is a gentle downhill, leading into some more technical sections with little rises through woodlands. After 2.5km there is a split, the 6km runners branch off and make a right turn and start their climb up the valley. 10km runners process straight ahead, through a kissing gate and then on to start the climb of the infamous Hell Steps. Not one, but two rather large flights of steps which will bring you to the most amazing view.
Once off the cliff top path the route meanders through some woodland for the big reveal at 3.5km, a great view of the gorge mouth with views across the Somerset levels
From here there is a gradual descent to the 4km marker with more wonderful views, and to take you even closer, we even hop over the perimeter wall for a brief moment. You are not actually as close as it may appear as you approach the wall ;-) Just before the 5km marker runners will make their way to the first drinks station. Just a reminder we are now expecting runners to be self sufficient; for covid reasons and environmental reasons, so whilst you are always welcome at a drinks station, please carry your own water too.
After the 5km point there is another little rise where you can take in the views again over your right shoulder. After some open fields, there is a short, steep and stoney descent - take care here. You will also see runners from the 6km race joining you at the point. Both routes converge and carry on up the other side of the dip.
After a descent you will reach the first drinks station again, there is another drinks station (FS1). 6km and 10km runners need to go straight ahead, as shortly after the drinks station the Half Marathon runners will branch off left (Sunday races). The area ahead is steeped in history; the whole area has been extensively mined from the Roman times through to Victorian. This area is generally flat, though runners will have to clamber over 10ft high walls which form the old mineral settling pools from the lead mines.
Shortly after the 9km point runners will turn right and climb out of this little valley which is called Velvet Bottom. The final km is a lap around the event area to get you up to the full distances.
There is approximately 120m height change on the 6km and 235m height change on the 10km.