We are delighted to have been chosen as the ‘charity of choice’ for The Three Molehills challenge in November. The event is run each year by Events to Live, which is owned by husband and wife team, Alan Burrows and Nicky Donbavand.
Nicky has been running since her Mum convinced her Dad it would be a good idea to take the kids running with him. It was in the same vein that she learned how to play golf, pool, darts and take care of the garden. She completed her first 10k (The Wimbledon Jim Braben Memorial 10k) in 2003 and then took part in her first marathon (London) in 2005. Since then she has gone on to complete 18 marathons, two ultras and Ironman Switzerland.
Alan started running as a junior. He hated it and his philosophy was to run quickly to get it over with, but then kept getting picked for the school cross country team. He eventually transferred his skill to football. Some 20 years later he returned to running. After a few 10ks he turned his sights to longer events, completing 22 marathons, two ultras, Ironman Switzerland, Ironman Regensburg and the Outlaw Long Course Triathlon.
Alan and Nicky opened their running shop, ‘www.runtolive.co.uk’, in 2008.
A core motivation for opening the shop was to be part of the local community and for us this included making plans to organise a local half-marathon (Surrey Badger). We wanted to give back to the community, while at the same time raise money for a local charity (initially it was the local arm of The Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity).
The Surrey Badger was a huge success and gained rave reviews from Runners World who came along to see what it was like. It was great to see the events side of the business start to grow, which we attribute to our love of running and the desire to share our beautiful training routes.
As the portfolio of events grew, we realised that it was taking time away from the shop and therefore decided to split the business. We created Events to Live and offered shares to friends who were willing to take on some of the workload. One race led to another and now we run seven days of events each year.
We always felt that there was an opportunity for a relay event in our local area and based The Three Molehills (the third race in our portfolio) on the Three Peaks Challenge. We used the three main ‘hills’ in the Mole Valley (Box Hill, Norbury Hill and Ranmore Common) as our three peaks. The relay part of the race proved to be very popular (and fun), but we also received lots of enquiries from people who wanted to do the whole race on their own. So we opened up entries to individuals too.
The first hill in The Three Molehills is a challenging ascent of the steps on either side of Box Hill. It is a relatively short hill and there are many teammates who get back to the HQ much quicker than expected. Certainly before the next runner has left the warmth of Denbies Restaurant, which happened to a team that we submitted one year. Our first runner ran the first hill quicker than expected and was left looking for the next member of the team in the restaurant! We’ll see what happens this year.
After supporting the Queen Elizabeth Foundation as the ‘charity of choice’ for the Three Molehills between 2011 and 2013, we looked into supporting another charity. The Royal Star & Garter Homes came to our attention via a friend and colleague who had previously served in the Royal Navy. We met with the Charity’s Events Team and instantly connected with them, we enjoyed seeing their passion and enthusiasm for the Charity and decided to choose them as the ‘charity of choice’ for the next three years of the race.
We are looking forward to working with The Royal Star & Garter Homes.
This year, the Three Molehills will be held on Sunday 23 November and will start at Denbies Restaurant. You can find out more about the event via: