Welcome to the organiser’s pages for the Cotswold Way Relay 2024
On these pages you will find all the information required to get a team in place for the event. Information will be increased and updated towards race day.
The Cotswold Way Relay is now in its 32th year. It works as 10 back-to-back races, with each stage having a mass start at the expected arrival time of the 1st runner from the previous stage.
The relay is over 90% off-road. Starting from Chipping Campden in the early morning, using the way-marked route of the Cotswold Way through to Bath in the early evening. It takes in many hills, woodlands, fields and tracks, all offering spectacular views of the countryside. The trail is split into 10 stages, varying in ascent and length, to offer a differing flavour for each runner in the team. Apart from a few busy road crossings there are no marshals, or additional markers, so route finding is all part of the spirit of the event. In recent years the Cotswold Way Authority has considerably improved the signage, as part of its upgrade to National Trail status. The race route follows the National Trail except for a couple of well indicated changes made for safety reasons
Timing, athlete identification and route finding
Each stage will be hand timed by a team of timing marshalls. Your race number needs to be clearly visible on the front of your body as you finish the race. This enables both you and your team to be correctly identified. Take care not to obscure the number with a hydration vest and please do not pin it to your back or the side of your body. We recommend that runners do a recce of their stage before the event. Maps of all the stages are on this website (here link)Doing a recce is very enjoyable as well as ensuring you will not take a wrong turn on race day.
To limit crowding and traffic at changeover points we are again limiting the event to 100 teams. Please try to car share as much as possible. It is the volume of cars (100-125) parking at changeovers that limits the size of this race. We welcome teams both from established clubs and formed just for the event. Experienced Team captains know that team logistics before and during the race are as important as speedy runners in experiencing a pleasant and successful event. The Aims this year are:
This year we are well aware of major road works on stage 4 near the Air Balloon roundabout. The race day route will be whatever diversion is in place provided there is a safe one. The Changeover between leg 4 and 5 is also likely to move further south to Painswick Hill to give more access. We will keep you updated.
In 2019 temperatures reached 30 degrees during the race and there were several runners who collapsed and two were hospitalised. In spite of strong advice there were still some runners, particularly at the front of the race, who ran without water. It will again be mandatory to carry a race water bottle or bladder. There will be water stations at halfway and the end of each leg, which will dispense from large containers. There will be no disposable bottles handed out there or at the end.
A runner who is witnessed by two members of the event team to finish without a water container and no persuasive excuse will be awarded a cut off time penalty as per rule 23
Strengthen our volunteer participation.
We ask every team entered to provide one volunteer. There are individual roles such as marshalling, or for clubs with three teams, group roles such as a water station or a road crossing. One individual volunteer role will be Tail Runner who each will get a finishers print and be credited with a cut off finish time towards King or Queen of the Cotswolds Plaque
Some people value a race memento particularly if it is a useful item. Others simply throw away things like medals and get irritated if they receive an item of an unusable size or quality. Race directors and runners are increasingly bothered by waste. We will not be handing out T shirts, medals or water bottles
There are excellent and sustainable prizes: see prize menu above
The shop has a link to a wide range or Cotswold Way association gifts maps prints and other souvenirs. All proceeds to the trail charity. Good value please support them.