Everything you need to know about the Lewes Moyleman marathon 2019

Helen Sida, race director Duncan Rawson and Lewis Sida at last year's marathon. Photograph: Barry Collins
Helen Sida, race director Duncan Rawson and Lewis Sida at last year's marathon. Photograph: Barry Collins

Hundreds of keen long-distance runners are due to take part in the fifth Lewes marathon later this month.

The 26.2-mile off-road fixture, named the Moyleman, is known for its tough course with around 3,000ft of climb.

Lewis Sida pulls away from Mike Ellicock on the way to Firle Beacon in last year's marathon. Photograph: James McCauley

Lewis Sida pulls away from Mike Ellicock on the way to Firle Beacon in last year's marathon. Photograph: James McCauley

Here are the details you need to know.

When will the Moyleman take place?
The 26.2-miler will take place on March 17 – St Patrick’s Day – starting at Landport Bottom.

What time will it start?
Entrants taking on the full course will begin at 10am. There is also a relay option for two, with those running the first 13.1-mile leg set to start at 10.15am.

What route does the race take?
From Landport Bottom, runners will follow a course via Black Cap, Castle Hill, Firle Beacon, Mount Caburn and some of the South Downs Way. The finish is the entrance to Harvey’s Brewery Yard, where, as per tradition, runners will be rewarded with a celebratory pint.

Andrew Pumphrey, number 058, gets into his stride down Housedean Farm at last year's marathon. Photograph: James McCauley

Andrew Pumphrey, number 058, gets into his stride down Housedean Farm at last year's marathon. Photograph: James McCauley

Are there still places available?
Race entry is full. Places went on sale in October and sold out in record time, according to the organisers.

When was the marathon first held and who founded it?
Ashley Head, Duncan Rawson and Rob Read started discussing the idea of a Lewes marathon over a pint in 2013, shortly after Rawson, who is now race director, had finished a 28-mile cycle over the hills.

The marathon was trialled in 2014 with 12 runners starting behind Lewes prison and finishing at the John Harvey Tavern, on Cliffe High Street. In 2015 the inaugural event drew close to 100 competitors and due to growing demand the number of competitor places available has steadily increased.

Why is it called the Moyleman?
The marathon is named in memory of keen long-distance runner Chris Moyle who died in 2009 of stomach cancer, aged 42. Surplus money raised from the event goes to charity, including those supported by Moyle’s family. In 2017 the marathon team donated £5,000 to the Martlets Hospice.

Where are the best spectator spots?
South Downs YHA, Itford Farm, Beddingham, is the half-way point where those running the second leg of the relay marathon will begin. There will also be a good atmosphere at Cliffe High Street, in Lewes, which is near the finish. Firle Beacon car park, about 16 miles into the course, is also an easily accessible spot.

Who won last year?
Lewis Sida crossed the line first in 3 hours, 13 minutes and 44 seconds. He was followed by Mike Ellicock in 3 hours, 22 minutes and 49 seconds. Joe Kimmelman came third in 3 hours, 31 minutes and 19 seconds.

It was a husband and wife sweep for the top spots. Helen Sida was the first woman home in 3 hours, 52 minutes and 33 seconds. Following her was Emma Shepherd in 4 hours, 4 minutes and 46 seconds and Claire Townsend in 4 hours, 24 minutes and 2 seconds.

John Dryden and Will Monnington topped the field of the relay race, registering a combined time of 3 hours, 16 minutes and 30 seconds. Not far behind them was Teo Van Well and Jim Watson in 3 hours, 18 minutes and 4 seconds and third was Andrew McLennan and Mike Green in 3 hours, 24 minutes and 13 seconds.

Who are the course record holders?
Mike Ellicock’s time in 2015 of 2 hours, 59 minutes and 46 seconds, is the course record to beat. Helen Sida set the women’s top time of 3 hours, 42 minutes and 44 seconds in 2016. Mark Halls and Zared Hales hold the relay race record for their 2015 time of 3 hours and 11 seconds.

The women’s relay record time of 3 hours, 44 minutes and 35 seconds was set last year by Sally Norris and Emma Rollings and Lewis and Helen Sida’s time of 3 hours, 11 minutes and 47 seconds in 2017 is the top time for the mixed relay.

More information
For more details, visit themoyleman.com or @The_Moyleman