Today I forwent the usual Saturday hash to join the Lanna Bush Hash for their 2nd run – billed as being longer and tougher than usual hashes, for real men! When I got up, I wasn’t feeling particularly good, still feeling the effects of the previous weekend and Thursday evening, but I’d already paid my money and as the time grew closer I dragged myself out to head to the earlier than usual start time. It was supposed to be a bus only run – for ‘camaraderie’ – but after sitting in traffic for nearly an hour trying to get to the pick up in town I turned back – the roads were a nightmare from flooded Bangkokians to Loi Krathong holidayers. Fortunately I got the heads up on the run location, and got there in 17 minutes from home arriving before the buses! – I’ll take convenience over camaraderie any day!
The hare brief included a photo op, but we were off by 2:30 and set off along a familiar trail at the back of Doi Kham. After a few hundred metres the running stopped and the trail headed up. I’ve been ‘running’ there a few times, so it took a while to dial into what the hares had in store, but quickly I picked up that at every option the choice was ‘up’ – that shouldn’t have been a surprise when combining Square Rooter and Belly Dancer! Square Rooter had let it slip that he and Toe Sucker had walked the trail in the morning (not laying trail) and it had taken them 4:30 hours walking! Jungle Chim and I realised that we were only able to walk too, so would it take us 4:30? Was Belly going to lose us in the dark again? Was this the Lanna Bush Hiking Club? As a hike, it would have been great, but there were scarce side trails, and so few chances for checks to bring us back together, and if I wanted to go hiking, I’d join a hiking club!
The sounds of the FRBs grew fainter as we found more and more hill to climb. I’m not fond of uphill and by the time things leveled off my legs were already aching and in no shape for a descent. Perhaps the hares knew this, so they found yet more hill to go up and the pain continued. I was carrying water, but we’d been promised a water stop at 5km – 5km is a lot shorter if you don’t include the ascent. I slipped into the dreaded no-mans land – FRBs scrambling on ahead and walkers somewhere behind and the hills grew quiet. I just don’t enjoy this kind of ‘run’ at all.
Eventually we turned left, and that answered the one nagging question – were we going to arc over to the Ag. Center or back down towards the cars – it was to the left and we’d end up somewhere near where we started from. Finally the drinks stop appeared and we started descending. No way I could run, it was too steep and my legs were too tired. Humperdick and Mahol walked passed me as I limped along feeling every small stone as a stab to my blisters. What would Superman do? We’d been warned of certain death if we tried to short cut, but I knew the lay of these hills a bit, and took a gamble – it paid off – rather than climbing yet another hill, I took a trail down that leveled out around the hill and met up with Jungle Chim as he came off the last sick summit.
My first short cut! It paid off a bit, but even then I couldn’t keep pace with the FRBs, but at least I could hear them again growing fainter in the distance. It seemed like they did an extra loop and came back to the waterfall I was descending and I stumbled upon Nam Ron after paddling through the water – and I think I missed Square Rooter at this point as he was already out looking for survivors. Nam Ron and I walked along the trail for a bit, but I was just looking for the shortest route off the mountain, so I left him to follow trail and took the short cut down. Fortunately I walked into my car and the other vehicles that had been moved from the A site to the circle location – unlike Graven Image who ended up hiking miles further to town after following his GPS to the original A site.
Knackered! Lanna runs are double a normal hash run (in Chiang Mai) and unfortunately this was double the kind of run I don’t enjoy – there wasn’t much opportunity to run until my legs were too tired to take advantage. From the grumblings I heard on trail, I don’t think I was alone in that assessment, but finally we were back and beers were flowing. A long circle, but as it got colder the hares cunningly gave us more t-shirts to warm up with! Princess Tinkerbell talked about something for quite a while (2 PhiPhi island visits!) and then there was a meeting, before some fireworks were lit and eventually we headed back to town.
Excellent food at Euro Diner, and then yet another circle in the carpark behind. The 2nd circle was too much for several who bailed out and headed home. Finally I’m home, tired! Of course I appreciate the efforts (and logistics!) that go into making a (special) run like that happen, but my body wasn’t in shape to enjoy it, and dam it – I hate hills like that! I’ll have to see if the next Lanna Hike / Run is set on a flat open plain…12th November - LBH3 - Square Rooter & Belly Dancer,