In short: Events to Live (and thanks Denbies!) have built a true classic hilly Relay (or 15-miler if you are up for it!!) In full: I've had a great first experience with Events to Live - initially with my 5 yr old on a fun run while my brother chased down 5th position in the Denbies 10m .... He told me about the 3 Molehills which was next on the calendar. It sounded loads tougher than anything I'd done running-wise before, so I started training a bit harder... but by the day of the race I think my feet (and various advice including from Alan of ETL, and my brother) were telling me that it's not worth getting injured over a run if you can tell there might be trouble...so I stepped down a gear but still managed to feel I made the effort by completing the "Ranmore Hill" leg and really enjoyed the experience (honestly!) I was working my way up beside the high vineyard when I spotted my brother as he bombed past in the other direction on his way to another 5th place overall! Great effort!
Basically, this is a true classic hilly Relay or 15-miler if you are up for it - beautifully scenic and well structured route-wise. I would like to be back next year to complete the full circuit. [Probably only 1 thing to change - maybe marshall the footbridge as well as the stepping stones, to give people both options, if they don't want to wait at the stones?].
Marshalls deserve praise - helpful and stoic in the fairly wintery conditions. Nicky and Alan (ETL) both extremely helpful too, and great organising. The guys from Fine Fettle also deserve a good mention - I got some helpful advice from Jonno and Rachel, and will likely be visiting them in Bookham shortly.
In short: Great atmosphere & lots of fun (for most!) In full: Really enjoyed my first Molehills and will def do it again. Very friendly and well organised. Water stations were excellent. Only 2 changes to consider: bridge rather than steps and something useful or tasty rather than a medal - but that's just personal preference. Date of review: November 25, 2013
In short: LOVED IT In full: Yes it was tough even more so by doing all 3 legs but i loved it ! lovely atmosphere, fantastic courses and amazing organisation. Will be back again next year for sure, well done to all those involved in making this race happen. Date of review: November 25, 2013
In short: Brilliant stuff again from Events to Live In full: This is a fantastic run. Challenging distance, beautiful scenery, enthusiastic marshalls, happy runners, jelly babies and a start/finish located in the beautiful Denbies vineyard. What more could you ask for? As for the run itself, I took it slowly and there were many parts after the first leg where I couldn't see anyone in front of me or behind! Not exactly a large field but this just added to the appeal. There was a queue at the stepping stones at the start which added to the friendly atmosphere as you got chatting to the runners around you. I ran in road shoes which were fine even for the muddy bog at the top of Ranmore. Superb atmosphere. I want to do it again already!
In short: 2nd year in a row... will be back next year too! In full: A South East classic! Great course - scenic enough to make it not feel roady, but, not muddy enough be truly off road; hilly enough to be challenging, but, not steep enough to be slow. Its basically a tough course but one that you can clock up a decent time on - especially with the two mile sprint descent to the finish line! ETL events are always brilliantly run. Love it!
In short: Another triumph for the ETL Team In full: After initially suggesting to some club friends we team up for the relay someone piped up and said we should all do the whole thing, only after signing up did they bail so two of us were left with the scary prospect of doing all 14 and a bit miles!
The race wasn't actually as suicidal as I was expected, not to say it wasn't damn tough though! The beautiful scenery, ample very encouraging marshals with lots of very well stocked water/fuel stations made this a joy to take part in. Like every ETL event I have done in the past the organisation was faultless and has a real feeling of being organised by runners, for runners. Date of review: November 24, 2013
In short: Stunning views, atmosphere and mind-deceiving legs make you forget the challenge of 15 miles In full: First time individual entrant, I did the 3 legs and 15 miles and loved every minute of it. Well, ok, the last leg hurt in many places on the way up but it was so worth the vertigo-inducing descend to the finish line. The DJ set us off to Frankie Goes to Hollywood "Two Tribes" - oh yeah, and kept pumping some fighting tunes at every pass. On the 1st leg, we crossed the stream via stepping stones and walked up the steps (I'll be honest with you). I'm glad I looked back half way up the steps, as the view, oh my - the view behind us! By this point I was already sold and decided I would definitely be doing this again next year! There is a lovely downhill and road section back to base and that was the 1st leg over. On the 2nd leg we climbed up slow and dragging inclines, surrounded by colourful foliage and running on some beautiful bridle paths. The water stations and regular supply of gels and Jelly Babies helped the aches at bay and the scenery kept the mind fresh and distracted by things other than the miles covered/miles to go. The 3rd leg - my toughest one, took us up a rather slow and steeper incline, the sort which requires you to flex your "determination muscle" and switch off the mind. The support of descending runners really helped, thank you all. There was the boggiest, slidiest bit through the woodland, which was only about 200 metres but felt like an endurance course, but lead to the last drinks station and a turning point "home". The downhill home was epic and euphoric - my legs flew down the hill. The section through vineyard was too steep for me and I found myself breaking uncomfortably, but then there was the finish line within 200 metres, many cheers and calls of "well done"! I even got a hug from the race organiser! I cannot put into words just how much I enjoyed this race, especially as only the night before we had a team of three doing the relay version of The Molehills and due to injury, the two of us opted for doing the whole thing as individual entrants. I am so glad to have had this experience and I am definitely coming back next year! And dragging any willing friends/victims along with me! Thank you ETL! Beautiful, chunky medal but could I have wine next year rather than beer though? Date of review: November 24, 2013
In short: stunning run around the hills of the Mole Valley In full: Run as a team of 3 or on your own up and down some great hills with superb views across the North Downs. Brilliantly organised as usual, and a really friendly race. Can't recommend it highly enough. Date of review: November 24, 2013