Posted: 27.04.21 at 10:43 by Tim Lethaby
The 2021 Glastonbury Road Run will be held this weekend with 900 runners taking part, but will be along a different route to make sure the race follows coronavirus regulations.
The 39th Glastonbury Road Run will take place on Sunday May 2, and will be based at Strode College Sports Centre, about a mile from the usual 10K race start, and the venue for the Street Parkrun.
Entry has now closed and more than 900 runners have signed up for the 10K run, which will be the only distance being completed this year due to Covid-19 rules.
A spokesperson for the event said: "Due to the severe restrictions put in place over the last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been forced to make a number of very significant changes in order to be able to hold our event in a safe manner.
"The primary restriction is to avoid any large gatherings, and to maintain hygiene and social distancing at all times.
"In order for this to happen we have needed to find an outdoor venue large enough for everyone to maintain their distance.
"We are also having to avoid any crowds of runners at the race start, which means runners will be allocated to small groups that will arrive at Race HQ and start at intervals throughout the morning of race day. We are also stipulating that spectators will not be allowed at the event, nor on the course.
"We have agreed with the town council to avoid Glastonbury Town Centre and also to avoid the West Mendip Hospital which is involved with the vaccination role-out.
"We will therefore be based at Strode College Sports Centre, about a mile from the usual 10K start. The course we will be using avoids any built-up areas, and is both flat and very fast.
"Regrettably, we felt it was impractical to offer our usual collection of supporting races, but are confident that many of our usual 5K entrants will be able to manage the new 10K route without any problems."
The race will head out along Street Drove, crossing over Cow Bridge Road at the crossroads into Watchwell Drove, where the runners will continue on beyond the junction with Cedar Walk before turning around and heading back the same way.
The first runners will start their 10K event at 10am, with successive waves of between 20 and 25 runners starting at two-minute intervals.
The Glastonbury Road Run, with its main Round the Tor 10K event, takes place on the Sunday prior to the early May bank holiday each year, on traffic-free roads.
The original Glastonbury Road Run was held over a 5.69-mile course around Glastonbury Tor in 1981 and races have been held every year since, with the exception of 2001 when the event was cancelled due to the foot and mouth outbreak, and 2020 when the event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Road Run remains the largest road running event in Somerset, and its main race is county's largest 10K.
It is normally held on a mainly rural course that undulates around the ancient and mysterious Isle of Avalon mostly following the original 1981 route, starting and finishing within a stone's throw of the alleged burial place of King Arthur within the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey.
Confidence in taking part in outdoor events continues to grow. Research commissioned by Parkrun was published last week, putting the risks of transmission at "close to zero" - a 0.015 per cent chance of acquiring a Covid-19 infection at a Parkrun.