With a new venue this year, our routes are slightly tweaked. The routes are predominantly unchanged, on the old railway track cutting through the forest. There is new 500m road section in each direction, with a small rise at either end, making this still a great route for recording a fast time.
The new start/finish point does put us further away from the tunnel entrance. The 6km, 10km and Half Marathon all go through the tunnel. The 6km has a different start location to allow runners to get through the tunnel. All races share the finish line.
6km - The route starts along the Wye Valley Greenway, about 1.3km away from the main start/finish area. 6km runners will walk out together with a member of the Relish Team to their start line. There is a section of ~500m on a quite country lane, before joining the main rout and old railway line route and the Floral Mile, a stretch of the route planted with beautiful wild flowers in the run up to the mouth of the tunnel. The route is then out and back through the Tidenham Tunnel, where the turn around point it set. Runners then retrace their steps back to the finish line at Wyedean School, the same locations as the 10km and Half Marathon races..
10km - The opening 1.1km section is a mix of cycle path and running on a quiet country road. After a little rise to bring you up the height of the old railway path and the start of the Floral Mile. Soon you will reach Tidenham Tunnel after covering 3km of your run, the tunnel itself adds a further 1km to your total distance covered. Along the newly laid forest path, you will pass old sleepers and rails, reminding you of the history of the route. At the 5km turn point you will also find the drinks station. You then retrace your steps, back to Wyedean School to collect your medal and goodies.
Half Marathon and Marathon - The Half Marathon is a 1 lap course and the Marathon is a 2 lap course. This route also starts with a mix of cycle path and a portion on a quiet lane. After 3/4 mile you will be joining the line of the old railway path, picking up the beautiful Floral Mile, where wild flowers have been freshly planted along the route. After 3km you will be entering Tidenham Tunnel which is just over 1km in length. There is approximately 1.5km of running to do along beautiful forest track, past the abandoned rails and sleepers, which will take you to the 10km turn point and beyond. All turn points are clearly signed and marshalled.
The route now follows the banks of the river Wye and you will see a glimpse of Tintern Abbey from between the trees. The route follows the river around and crosses over at the village of Brockweir and brings you around to Tintern Old Station where you will find your second Feast Station stop of the day, by the side of the signal box, with runners going along the track bed and refreshments being served from the platform.
This looped section of the course then rejoins the main out and back line heading back towards the tunnel, with the third drinks station being on the approach to the tunnel. Half Marathon runners will head straight for the finish line in Wyedean School, where the marathon runners will have the opportunity for another feast station stop, before heading out for lap 2. There is a 3hr cut off time to start Lap 2.