Our new event format has been approved by Public Health England the Safety Advisory Group for Events. We have very detailed plans to ensure social distancing measures are in place through out your race day, along with additional hygiene measures in place through out the venue.
It is very important you familiarise yourself with our updated event plan, check out our safety plan and measures, so you can not what we will be asking of you on race day, and what you can expect from us. You can see all this info on our Safe Race page.
Whichever distance you are taking part in, you will see some of the most beautiful and remarkable landscapes of any run in the country. The 10km, Half Marathon and Marathon all include breath taking running along the gorge cliff top path (many metres from the actual edge so don't worry) which has the most incredible views across the Somerset levels and the Bristol Channel.
Since 2017 we have moved the start in land, rather than at the gorge edge, which means you are already on the high ground to the top of the gorge height and it is the ground that fall away which gives the gorge its height. Of course, there is one really good hill along the way, but it is nowhere near as tough as its old reputation might suggest. A good all round off road show would be choice of the day as the course has a mix of open fields, rocky terrain and woodland trails.
The Cheddar Gorge Omnium see runners take on 4 events over an afternoon (Bronze or Silver) or 5 events over 2 days (Gold or Platinum) with a final ranking based on the finish positions across each event. Runners collect a multi piece medal for the Omnium races. The Omnium is a fun, multi event challenge with a friendly and inclusive atmosphere. Runners will complete a 1km run, a Hill Climb and a 100m sprint on the Saturday afternoon. The final event of Saturday is either a 6km (Bronze) or 10km (Silver, Gold, Platinum), which see runners also joined by runners taking part in the stand alone 6km and 10km races. Gold Omnium racers return on the Sunday to run the Half Marathon, their fifth and final event. Platinum Omnium races return on the Sunday to run the Marathon, their fifth and final event.
After the race runners can take in the amazing setting, complete with live music, a beer and cider tent and huge array of food offerings.
Finish positions of the stand alone event runners with NOT show in Omnium results, so you are 10th runner across the line in the 10km but the second Omnium runner across the line then you will be awarded two points.
The Omnium is not a UK Athletics affiliated event which enables us to have slightly younger minimum age requirements on the Saturday compared to the Sunday. 6km has a min age of 12, 10km has a min age of 14.
The 1km and 3km events are held on a course which loops the festival site. It is a flat route, with a bit of uneven terrain, a great first time event. The 6km and 10km head our from the festival site and long the trails around Cheddar Gorge. The 10km runs right along the cliff edge oath (a good 20m from the actual edge...you won't fall off!) for spectacular views. Both routes converge and run along Velvet Bottom, an historic landscape of the Mendip Hills which have been minded since Roman times, before a little climb leading back towards the festival arena.
The half marathon and marathon share the same opening trails as the 10km, running along the cliff edge path with wonderful views. They then branch off and head over to Beacon Batch, the highest point on the Mendip Hills with incredible 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside. The race has been been updated in recent years (since 2017), removing the out and back sections and replacing them with more fresh trails. The races comes into the festival site where the half marathon runners finish and the marathon runners head out for their second lap. There is a 3hr cut off for the marathon runners to start their second lap.
The Top of the Gorge festival is a celebration of everything outdoors with trail races, mountain bike and road bike sportives, camping, live music, guest speakers, food foraging, axe throwing and many other activities taking place across the weekend. Runners are eligible for a 25% discount on festival camping/campervan stays with a discount code that is emailed to you once have registered. The discount code does not apply to glamping, day ticket or festival tickets.
This year there is going to be a Spectator Ticket which gives access to the main festival area (music and food) as well as the race start and finish. The ticket can either by in the form of a £5 ticket, or £5 worth of raffle tickets which has a first prize of £10,000!! There is no donation required for children under 5, though the more tickets you get, the greater the chances are of winning. The Spectator Ticket includes admission to the festival site, the race village (start/finish areas) and access to all the caterers and main music stage. It does not include any of the free activities which are included in the festival Day Ticket, such as the free talks by inspirational speakers, free climbing wall, free camp fire talks etc. If you wish to partake in any of these activities then you an Pay As You Go at each activity, or return to the entrance and upgrade your Spectator Ticket for a Day Ticket and then this is all included in your wristband.
Please note there is a cut off of 3hrs for the marathon runners to complete the first lap (13.1 miles). After this time runners will have to complete the half marathon course, they can still collect a half marathon medal but unfortunately we won't be able to provide a finish time. There are no cut offs for other distances.
This event is not suitable for canicross or buggies.
There are no hidden booking or processing fees. Please note prices are £2 extra for on the day registrations for individual events, £5 extra for the Omnium races on the day. There are great group discount rates for groups of 10 or more, the runners can cover any range of distances on race day. 10-19 runner save 15%, 20-49 runners save 20%, 50+ runners save 25%. All bookings must be made in advance of race to qualify for the discounted rate. We ask that all groups are registered at least 4 weeks before race day so we have the opportunity to top up our medal order if necessary.
At present all our starts are individual, at 15-30 second intervals. Runners are generally seeded fastest to slowest to help spread people out across the course. The only exception is that a pair from the same household may run together on the basis that you run the whole event together and that you run in single file, not side by side.
All runners need to provide a predicted finish time to help us organise the start lists. This doesn't need to be too exact so don't worry if you think it might have changed come race day. If you wish to run as a household pair, or in the same wave of 30 when that is permitted, please select the same slightly obscure predicted finish time. Rather then selecting 50mins 0secs, select 50mins 1 sec for example.
We hope to shortly be able to offer waves of 30 runners starting every 10-15mins. These will be mixed ability waves. In time we hope to be able to get back to our usual wave size which is ~100 runners.
Please see the Race Day page for a provisional schedule, noting we aim to condense the start times as restrictions permit.
All runners will take home the devil medal complete with a custom ribbon specific to their event.
To collect the small attachment medals you will need to complete one of the Omnium races races over the weekend each with a different set of mini medals;either the Bronze (1km + Hill Climb + Sprint + 6km), Silver (1km + Hill Climb + Sprint +10km) or Gold (1km + Hill Climb + Sprint + 10km + Half Marathon)
2019 medal shown below. 2020 medal revealed soon.
This medal is for the 6km, 10km, Half Marathon and Marathon runners with a distance specific ribbon for each race. There are no attachment medals for these races.
This is the Omnium medal. Each runner collect the devil + 100m + 1km + Hill Climb medals. Plus 6km, 10km, 10km + Half Marathon attachment medals as appropriate.
All our finishers receive a top of the range custom medal as well as a buffet of fresh fruit and other tasty treats. We also recognise a few of the speedy runners on the following basis.
The final number of prizes awarded is determined by the number of finishers for each gender in a given race distance. If there are more than 100 finishers then the full range range of awards are made as shown above. If there are less than 50-100 finishers then the top 3 finishers overall will be awarded a prize. If there are less than 50 then only the winner will be awarded a prize. We do not have any winner's prizes for any of the children's events as would like to keep this participation focused.
There is no on the day prize giving because of the multi wave, multi start time format of the events. Prize winners will be contacted mid week via email.
Whilst it feels like life is returning to normal, and we sincerely hope it is, there is the potential for further disruption which could come into play at any time. In this event we will still owe payment to our suppliers; medical cover, portaloos etc which we will honour. This means we will have to pay for these facilities twice, in full again on the rearranged date which will put a big hole in the funds. This does mean we won't be in a position to offer a refund.
In the event of a cancellation (local or national restrictions, bad weather etc) everyone will automatically roll over to our contingency date/race OR you can have a free transfer to a friend (within 7 days of the event postponement notice) OR you can email us within 7 days of the event postponement notice to let us know you can't make the back up date and you will be able to choose any other event in the following 15 months.
As this event was not held in 2020, some runners may miss out for a second year in a row, so the automatic transfer would be to the Bath Running Festival on 25th July 2021. These routes have very similar elevation and great views. If you don't want to run this event you can opt out as indicated above and have your choice of event in the following 15 months.
We have approval from the Safety Advisory Group for Events (SAGE) for this new event format, which is hugely exciting, and we feel is a real testament to the seriousness that we approach our events. This SAGE is local version of the national team that advises the government on safety. On the board are Public Health England, police, ambulance service and all council departments within Bath and North East Somerset Council. This is the highest level of approval an event can receive, it serves as the strongest signal that an event can have that we are doing things right. Whilst you read the event plan below, some of the format will be new, some things have changed, but this is absolutely the only way an event can be held right now.
To keep inline with government guidance and our SAGE review, we have some easy to follow rules which I am sure you are all used to by now. Best summarised as; be socially distanced, apply hand wash/hand sanitiser and wear a face covering (not during your run), respect other users on the route. In more detail;
- Please do not attend the event if you have displayed any covid symptoms in the 14 days in the run up to the event.
- Please download the Track and Trace App to your phone...you know you will end up doing it eventually so lets do it now!
- If arriving by foot or bike, please aim to arrive with 30mins to spare before your start time. Please make your way from the race site 30mins after you finish your race.
- We are practising a 2m+ social distance policy, we have the luxury of space so we are going to make good use of it. One way systems will be in play with socially distanced markers on the floor where you might need to queue.
- If you see some hand sanitiser, please apply it.
- Gatherings of 6 may only take place away from the main race areas; please don't meet up by the start line, or the finish area. We have use of a large site :-)
- Spectators...confirmed spectators are not permitted. Sorry. In light of the recent announcements we felt this was the most appropriate course of action.
- We are not performing temperature checks pre race. If you do not feel well in any way, do not attend the event. Covid tests are not available on site.
- The course is largely on private land, with a few very quiet parts which are shared with to the public. As always, our definition of a successful event is one that our runners enjoy and one that the wider community enjoys. More so than ever, it is vital you respect the space of other users, there are far more significant matters at play here than chasing a new PB. Please give way to other users if you can not pass safely.
- The Relish staff will be wearing PPE; masks, gloves/hand sanitiser, visors or screens will be used when we need to work more closely with you and each other.