Registration opens for fourth Lewes marathon

The first three across the finish line in this year's Moyleman. From left: Paul Sargent (3rd), Mike Ellicock (1st) and Mark Innocenti (2nd). Photograph by James McCauley
The first three across the finish line in this year's Moyleman. From left: Paul Sargent (3rd), Mike Ellicock (1st) and Mark Innocenti (2nd). Photograph by James McCauley

Keen runners can now sign up for next year’s Lewes marathon.

Registration for the 2018 Moyleman, which will take place on March 18, opened on Friday (November 3).

Mike Ellicock leading the way up to Firle Beacon in this year's Moyleman. Photograph by James McCauley

Mike Ellicock leading the way up to Firle Beacon in this year's Moyleman. Photograph by James McCauley

More runners than before will be able to take part in the fixture as the number of individual competitor places has been increased from 200 to 250. The amount of slots available for relay teams of two will remain at 50 – the same as this year.

The race, which was trialled in 2014 with a handful of runners, is named in memory of runner Chris Moyle, who died aged 41 in 2009. Any surplus money raised goes to charities supported by Chris’s family and in July the marathon team donated £5,000 to the Martlets Hospice.

Duncan Rawson, who has taken on the role of race director from Ashley Head, said: “We are proud that in just a few years the Moyleman has become a fixture in the running calendar, with people keen to run it and take on the challenge that the course represents. This really is an event for runners and by runners.

“For us the reward is shown in the faces of the people completing the course, either individually or as a relay pair. It is also a great showcase for the beauty of the Downs surrounding Lewes – our setting means you can see the whole course ranged on the hills around you as you run, a unique experience.”

Kelly Jarvis, who was the first woman home in this year's race, heading towards Housedean Farm, 5 miles into the run. Photograph by James McCauley

Kelly Jarvis, who was the first woman home in this year's race, heading towards Housedean Farm, 5 miles into the run. Photograph by James McCauley

The route will begin from Landport Bottom and go over Black Cap, Castle Hill, Firle Beacon, Mount Caburn and follow some of the South Downs Way. As per tradition, the finish line will be the entrance of Harvey’s Brewery, where runners will be rewarded with a celebratory pint.

The idea for the marathon came about in 2013 when Mr Rawson, Mr Head and Rob Read started discussing it over a pint shortly after Mr Rawson had finished a 28-mile cycle across the hills. The first official marathon, in 2015, saw about 100 runners take part.

First home this year was Lewes AC runner Mike Ellicock, coming across the line in just over three hours. He set the course record in 2015 at 2:59:46.

Race organisers are asking for runners who expect to finish the course in around five and a half hours or under to sign up.

Entry costs £35 for the full course, or £50 for a relay team of two. For more details, see www.themoyleman.com