The Lewes 10 mile and 5 mile Downland Runs take place on the first Sunday in October each year. Starting out from a 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.
EARLY BIRD ENTRY TO 31st JULY:
- 10 mile £10 affiliated / £ 15 unaffiliated
- 5 mile – £5 / £8
PRICES FROM 1st AUGUST:
- 10 mile – £15 affiliated/ £20 unaffiliated
- 5 mile – £8 / £11
Online entries are available on the RunBritain website (10 mile entry and 5 mile entry). A postal entry form is available to download at the foot of this page, and entries by cash or cheque will be available on the day, provided the race limit is not reached.
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 while the 10 mile route heads out to some of the quieter, less travelled parts of the downs before returning via a hill at Ashcombe Bottom that entrants would describe variously as a bit lumpy, challenging, hellish, 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 suitable for spikes due to 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
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 & cake.
Bring your own hot drinks cup and we’ll give up 10p off
Prizes and mementos
For the 10 mile race there are trophies to winning teams and individual male and female winners in 5 year age categories. For the 5 mile race there are trophies for the 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
All runners will get a reusable Downland Races water bottle at the end. We also 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 photos are available here.
Last year’s results are available for download at the bottom of the page.
Waste and environment
We live, and run, in the South Downs all year round and this year we have focused on reducing the creation of waste in general, and plastic in particular, at the race. We are doing a number of things to cut down on unnecessary waste;
- All participants will get a reusable drinks bottle at the finish – there will no plastic cups at this station (although the intermediate water station will continue to use cups as there is no alternative – the water station will aim to clean and reuse cups at a later date so if possible please don’t crush your cup)
- If you bring your own hot drinks cup we will give you a 10p discount on your drink
- All hot drinks will be served in paper cups. Please put these in the appropriate bin for recycling
- 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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