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Online entry form for 2005 Now Available 

Simon Hill of Bitton making his way through one of the water features of the course.  
Comprising a distance of 8 heart stopping, lung busting and back breaking "country" miles this year's suffering will start at 11am on Sunday 13th November 2005 from Chipping Sodbury School, Chipping Sodbury, near Bristol.

 This year's course won't be for the faint hearted. The mud will be thicker, the hills steeper, the water sections murkier & the roads fewer & farther between.

We have made a DVD of this years race for details follow the link



2004 Results Photo's
  2003 Results Photo's  

The Slog – a first-timer’s perspective.

Julie-Anne Ryan 

I thought I knew mud. I thought I knew hills. And I thought I’d choose the Sodbury Slog as my first race just to be big and clever. Seemed a great idea until just 15 minutes in, when I sat down rather inelegantly in a morass of cow poo and lost my shoe. 

I’d been hearing about the Slog for a year, since I first began running. Several friends had done it and crowed about the fun they’d had despite the ferocious hills and soul-sapping mud. As most of them were townies I didn’t take them THAT seriously; I live in the Chilterns and it’s hard to find two flat dry miles! So, buoyed up by a steady improvement in my running – and remember that everything’s relative; I’d “improved” from 16-minute miles to 10-minute miles (flat out, downhill with a following wind) – I quietly sent in my entry and turned up with a group of about ten wonderful, supportive mates. None of whom could believe I’d been daft enough to choose the Slog as my first race. 

First, I hid myself in the starting crowds. I didn’t want anyone to feel they had to stay with me. As hundreds of Sloggers surged past me down the High Street I soon found myself one of the back markers – I refused to be depressed. At this stage, anyway. As we turned off road, already one or two were regretting the excitement of their starting speed and were looking in dismay at that first long steady rise. I allowed myself a quiet chuckle and gradually began to pick them off; my legs and hip flexors were saying “we know this bit!”. 


I don’t train on fields. Uneven, tussocky grass is very different to wooded trails, and my ankles began to complain quite quickly. Then that first turn through knee-deep cow poo took my shoe and my dignity and made me realise that the next couple of hours were going to be just a little tougher than my average Sunday run. There was a welcome bottleneck after the first couple of miles, which meant many of us caught our breath and got to know each others’ life stories before plunging thigh-deep into a long, long channel of slurry. It was then that I declared war on the Sodbury Slog. My shoes were full of water, mud and gravel and weighed about a ton; my legs were soaked up to the .. um.. top; my arms coated with mud up to the elbow. So I wobbled across the next field and surprised myself with the richness and variety of my vocabulary as I – yes, slogged – up the never-ending hills that followed.  

Hill followed field, followed descent, followed lake, followed mud, followed hill. The ground was never flat and hard enough for me to say that tick followed tock, but I DID, perversely, start to enjoy it once I’d passed what I believed to be halfway. Largely because I kept going, and I was pretty proud of myself for doing that all on my own, in unknown territory, with absolutely no idea of what was around the next corner. Usually more mud, and another hill, of course – but there was variety even in that dread. And my lovely friend Clare, injured so not running, who kept popping up on her bike to encourage me and give me news of the others.  

When it wasn’t Clare, it was the marshals who kept me going. Without exception they cheered and clapped and smiled and told me I was doing brilliantly (there IS a time for lies, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their cheerful deception).

The “last half mile or so” through the housing estate seemed to be at least three miles, and the steps up from the underpass were an evil conclusion. Even entering the school grounds I couldn’t see the finish line – in fact I heard it before I saw it, as a very special bunch of warm, dry people who had hung around for me cheered and clapped and the man with the microphone said my name and it was all rather emotional really.  

Did I enjoy it?   Well – I enjoyed having finished it.  I enjoyed being part of such a well-organised, cheerful event, and I’m enjoying the surprised respect I’m still getting when people hear that it was my first race. Next year, of course, I shall enjoy it much more because I will have trained specifically for the conditions. Next year? Yes, next year. 

James Wade's note – Julie Anne is a runner who I persuaded to write this – she can be seen on the photo taken at the lake where she attempted to stay on her feet.