The route consists of three different loops from Stanton Drew Village Hall. The links below are to marked-up 1:25,000 PDF maps of each loop and GPX files (on a PC right-click and click Save link as or Save target as). The GPX files are stored in a public Dropbox folder and ViewRanger users should be able to save directly to Dropbox from the file links.
Even if you want to follow a GPX file on your watch /phone, we strongly recommend having the maps to hand, “just-in-case” you stray off route, there is a last-minute diversion, or your batteries go flat. A map also gives a you a “feel” for the scenery you are running through.
Navigation, Checkpoints and Marshalling
The event is classed as self-navigation. On the day critical navigation points will be marked or marshalled.
There are manned checkpoints approximately half-way through each loop, plus extra marshal points at major road crossings or critical navigation points. Competitors are required to check-in at the three remote checkpoints and at the Hall at the end of each loop. A sweeper / last runner will follow the runners. The GPX files are saved as both routes and tracks (which may be easier to import). If you have problems importing the data into your personal navigation device, try running the files through GPS Babel (free download), which allows creation of routes, tracks and waypoint lists and can convert to many different file formats. If all else fails, use a map – no batteries required!
Loop 1 (10.6 miles) visits the Stanton Drew Stone Circle, before heading out east along the River Chew, under the historic Pensford railway viaduct, and on to the checkpoint at Compton Dando before returning via Tuckingmill, Lord’s Wood and Pensford. This loop is unchanged from 2015 and 2016.
The Stone Circles are in a privately-owned field. If you want to run around the stones, please put £1 in the honesty box, or avoid the field using the public footpaths.
Shooting may take place in Lord’s Wood at any time until 01-Feb, but there will be no shooting on race day. The owner is very supportive of the race, so please respect the guns.
Loop 2 (6.6 miles) heads north out of the village, crossing the B3130 at the historic Toll House before climbing steeply through Norton Hawkfield and North Wick to the top of the Dundry ridge, which offers superb views to Bristol and beyond. From the checkpoint, the route swings south past the Maes Knoll fort down to Byemills and back to the village hall.
RECCE NOTES: The B3130 at Belluton narrows (just west of the A37 junction on Pensford Hill) is scheduled to be closed until 17-Mar-2017, so drivers travelling from south Bristol will need to use Norton Lane through Norton Malreward to join the B3130 just east of Stanton Drew Toll House, or travel over Dundry and through Chew Magna. The lane between Pensford bridge and Upper Stanton Drew is single-track with very few passing places and is not recommended (even the locals don’t use it). On the positive side, there will be far less traffic at the road crossing on race day.
Loop 3 (10.0 miles) heads south-east to Stanton Wick, then climbs up to Honey Gaston before crossing the Folly Farm Nature Reserve to the rarely-visited Round Hill viewpoint, with views of the Chew Valley and lake. It then follows the ridge to the second checkpoint at Stowey crossroads before returning via Knowle Hill and Moorledge.
RECCE NOTES: The Folly Farm site is a nature reserve, and dogs are not allowed on Folly Farm, apart from the public footpath between Honey Gaston and Stowey.
At the request of Avon Wildlife Trust, the final route across Folly Farm will not be confirmed until a few days before the event. To minimise wear and tear on this sensitive site, please do not run on the main Folly Farm site before the event, but use the public footpath along the ridge between Honey Gaston and Stowey. On race day, special matting will be positioned at critical locations. The race route passes through private driveways at Stowey Mead – please stay on the (busy and narrow) road to the crossroads during recces.