Tough weather conditions did not stop dozens of runners competing in the fourth Moyleman marathon.
Despite below zero temperatures, strong winds and a light snowfall, a field of more than 250 took to the hills of Lewes for the off-road event on Sunday (March 18).
Even with good weather the course is tough – it has 3,000ft of climb and takes in high points of the South Downs such as Black Cap, Kingston Ridge, Firle Beacon and Mount Caburn.
Race organisers had kept a wary eye on the conditions prior to the event, with an update as to if it would go ahead given on Sunday morning.
Lewes AC runners Lewis Sida and Mike Ellicock led the 26.2-miler from its start at Landport Bottom.
First to cross the finish line at Harvey’s Brewery yard was Sida in 3.13.44.
Ellicock, who set the course record of 2.59.46 in 2015 and who won last year’s race, came second in 3.22.49. Joe Kimmelman took third place in 3.31.19.
It was a husband and wife double for the top spots this year: Helen Sida was the first woman home in 3.52.33. The Lewes AC runner set the women’s course record of 3.42.44 in 2016.
Emma Shepherd was the second woman home in 4.04.46 and Claire Townsend was third in 4.24.02.
Duncan Rawson, who took up the role of race director this year from Ashley Head, greeted each runner as they crossed the line. He said: “This was the most amazing day.
“The race today was brutal. But every runner that crossed the line told me how good it was. And more importantly, every runner that crossed the line told me how amazing our marshals were.”
As well as a full marathon course, the Moyleman has a popular relay option for two, with the half-way point at Southease YHA.
John Dryden and Will Monnington topped the field, registering a combined time of 3.16.30. Not far behind them was Teo Van Well and Jim Watson in 3.18.04 and third was Andrew McLennan and Mike Green in 3.24.13.
Another notable run on the day came from Jonathan Richardson who chose the Moyleman for his 200th marathon. He ran the course wearing the number 200 and crossed the line in 4.50.54.
The marathon is named the Moyleman in memory of keen runner Chris Moyle, who died in 2009 aged 42, and any surplus money raised goes to cancer charities supported by his family. It was trialled in 2014 with a handful of runners before the first official race took place in 2015, and it has grown year on year.
Race organisers say that plans are already in place for next year’s event.