The Lewes 10 mile and 5 mile Downland Trail Runs take place on the first Sunday in October each year. Starting out from Landport Bottom Meadow to the North of the historic town of Lewes, the races take in some of the picturesque trails around Black Cap on the South Downs, and cover a variety of off-road terrain with chalk tracks, grassland, and woodland paths.
The races are UK Athletics licensed and the 10 mile race is part of the Sussex Grand Prix. Entrants for the 10 mile race must be 17 years old or older on the day of the race. Entrants for the 5 mile race must be 15 years old or older on the day of the race.
Online entries each year are through the RunBritain website. A postal entry form is available to download from the foot of this page, and entries by cash or cheque will be available on the day. When entering online you should get an acknowledgement from RunBritain.
IMPORTANT – there is a 2 hour 45 minute cut-off for the 10 mile race. If you are still on the course at 13:30 we cannot guarantee support from marshals or first aid staff, and your finishing time will not be recorded and included in the Sussex Grand Prix. If you are unsure whether you can make the cut-off we recommend that you enter the 5 mile race this year to see how you get on.
The route starts at Landport Bottom and heads up to Black Cap, with stunning views across Sussex & the Weald. The 5 mile route then takes a loop back to the start with a bit of undulation along the way over the historic Mount Harry while the 10 mile route heads out to some of the quieter, less travelled parts of the Sussex Downs. The race course returns through the wooded valley of Ashcombe Bottom that runners have described variously as a little challenging or fun! The route is all off-road, including grass, chalk and flint track, and woodland trails. For the last few years we have been lucky with the weather and so the route has been dry. Even with rain, the Downland tends to drain quite quickly. Ordinary running shoes are usually fine as long as you go carefully on any slippery bits, but if you have trail shoes then do use them, especially if it’s been raining. Not really suitable for spikes due to some hard packed chalk paths.
On the day
10 mile race starts at 10.45 am.
5 mile race starts at 10.30 am
The race HQ is at Wallands Primary School (See location map here). Note that the car entrance for the race is from the A275 Nevill Road, please do not use the local estate roads. Directions are at the bottom of the page
In the school HQ you will find the following facilities;
- Prepaid number pick up
- Male/female changing areas
- A place to leave your bag (note that race organisers are in the main hall throughout the race but we do not have a dedicated team watching bags so please do not bring valuables)
- Refreshment stall serving hot/cold drinks and a variety of sandwiches, rolls & cakes.
- Results and post race award giving
Prizes and mementos
For the 10 mile race there are trophies to winning teams and to the first three individual male and female winners. There are also awards in 5 year age categories up to and including 70+. For the 5 mile race there are trophies for the male and female individual winners. The 10 mile race is part of the Sussex Grand Prix, and so contributes to your points if you are targeting that race series
We will try to capture photos of all runners, which are available to download free and can be used to create your own personalised memento. The photos are not done by professional photographers (hence free) so we might not capture everyone, and we can’t guarantee the quality of the shots.
Last year’s results are available for download at the bottom of the page.
The Lewes 10 Trail Race and the Moyleman Marathon
If you like trail running then the Lewes Downland 10 mile trail race is for you as it is the older brother of the Moyleman Marathon having started in 1984. It presents a great opportunity to try out some of Downland terrain around Lewes. It also provides a taster and a warm up if you are aiming to enter the Moyleman Marathon in March 2020.
The two Lewes AC trail races, that have been put on by the club for 35 years have the same start in the Landport Bottom meadow and the same race HQ in Wallands School as the Moyleman. The races are run over a chunk of the Moyleman course. However there is a difference as both the Lewes Downland 10 and the 5 mile support race finish back in Landport Bottom and not in the middle of Lewes.
The Lewes Athletic Club has set a challenge to all potential Moyleman runners to knock the Lewes club off its winning streak in the marathon. Since the Moyleman Marathon has been in existence the men and women’s races have been won by Lewes AC members as has the relay.
Also all the Moyleman course records are held by Lewes AC members. Can you knock the club off its perch. Clearly running on the Downs and the Lewes 10 mile trail race is a great way to have a successful run in the Moyleman.
The club has also challenged runners this year to have a go at beating the record times for the Lewes Downland 10. Currently the men’s record of 57.20 is held by Nigel Gates from the Brighton & Hove club who ran his time in 2002. The women’s record is held by Mel Frazier from the Gravesend club who ran 66.54 in 2014.
Waste and environment
We live, and run, in the South Downs all year round and this year we have focused on reducing at the race the creation of waste in general, and plastic in particular. We are doing a number of things to cut down on unnecessary waste;
- We are doing are very best to avoid using plastic cups at the drinks stations but will have to use up existing supplies as either way they will end up as waste. In the future we will seek to use bio-degradable cups. We are currently looking to find the best cups to use. We may not be fully plastic free this year.
- Even bio-degradable cups take energy to make – why not leave your own bottle at the finish line to be filled up? You will walk past the finish when you are walking to the start line. Make sure you can recognise it though – maybe put a label on!
- All hot drinks from the refreshments table in the school will be served in paper cups. Please put these in the appropriate bin for recycling (but please bring your own reusable cup if possible)
- If you use plastic drinks bottles please put the empties in the appropriate bin for recycling
- Don’t chuck your gel / sweet wrappers on the Downs, bring them back for disposal
PLEASE HELP US TO REDUCE WASTE
How to get there
Lewes is on the mainline to London Victoria towards the North, Brighton to the South and Eastbourne, Hastings and Ashford to the East. Western locations can be reached via Brighton. The race headquarters is a perfect warmup distance from the station, passing through the 11th century Lewes Castle (See route map here). There are sometimes bus replacement services on Sunday, so check National Rail before you set out.
Lewes is served by the 28/29 service between Brighton and Tunbridge Wells (Map and Timetable here). Get off at the Prison bus stop and just walk or jog up the road (See route map here)
The main cycle paths into Lewes run along the A27. If coming from the West, turn left at the Prison lights. If coming from the East, the nicest route is probably via Pells (See route map here). There are reasonably quiet routes into Lewes from North and South – see here for details
The simplest way into Lewes is via the junction of the A27 and A277. Follow the A277 to the Prison and turn left at the lights. The race car park is on the right hand side at the top of the road – there will be signposts.
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