Clearly there is divided opinion on this year’s Ball Breaker. I preceded my write up with the suggestion that I might be too negative, but I stand by my comments. Nonetheless, several hashers have expressed to me how much they enjoyed the ball breaker. While several other hashers have expressed the opposite. Nonetheless – you can’t please all the hashers all of the time, and it is probably not fair to leave my negative write up as the legacy of this year’s ball breaker. This website is not intended to express the views of one hasher and welcomes all opinions.
I confess I have had a few beers and can’t remember word for word the comment, but Scooby Doo very much enjoyed the run, and the write up from Alice posted below also provides balance to the BMY report. The run’s rating is testament to other hasher’s enjoyment.
The Ball Breaker. The highlight of Chiang Mai’s hashing calendar! People travel around the globe to take part in the BB, people talk about it for weeks in advance, and I for one planned my trip around getting back in time for it. I’d been looking forward to this for a long time, surely the hares would have found something special for us?!
I have been on occasion accused of being acerbic, and negative about some of my run write ups, so to try to avoid that, I’ll start with the positive parts of today’s run…
…ok, that’s dealt with. WTF? Seriously with people travelling from Korea, Bahrain, Australia & UK, that was the best you could come up with?
* Checks – where were they? The purpose of checks is to help keep the pack together – if you don’t use checks, the pack just separates and you turn a hash into a normal run. Some might like that, but the point of hashing is to run together as a group.
* Trail – where was it? Trail is the part of the jungle that people travel (people like to travel). You can generally see a defined line with less vegetation and easier footing. Simple tip – if your feet keep hitting rocks / vines / branches, then you probably aren’t on trail, if you can walk or run smoothly without tripping over constantly, then you might well be on trail. We like running / walking on trail.
* Hills & Views – good combination… Generally hashers won’t complain so much about climbing hills if there is something worth seeing at the top. To climb a hill simply to traverse a pile of rocks and come back down is not so much fun.
We set off down a nice little trail along the side of the river. I let the FRBs go while I tried to coax some movement out of my knee – how long would it hold up? There may have been a check, but if there was it was just straight on until we hit a road, and confusion. The trail ran out, and there was nothing. Finally None Of Your Business found the remains of a check and some paper thrown under a tree – the trail had been tampered with. I went up the road with Brownie and spotted paper in the trees on the left. No trail, just a complete hack up through bushes. For once nobody wanted to overtake. Why bother? The leader had to hack their way through. I knew the decent trail was up there somewhere and finally we hit it. From there is was 2-3km straight up along a straight trail. Every 3-400m or so there were trails going off each way, but NO FUCKING CHECK. We just trudged our way up. We hit the trail after 1.4km of the run, finally there was a V check at 4km, even though there had been plenty of opportunity to slow the front runners down.
When we did get to checks they defied all logic. The hare brief said V checks would be on clear defined trails (as Poo pointed out they were just circle checks that were harder for the pack to mark). Most of the V checks I saw were NOT on clearly defined trails – the true trail was hidden in much the way a circle check might work. The other was where trail was marked in both directions with the more obvious trail leading straight to a precipitous waterfall – ooh ha ha ha, I’m sure you must have laughed when setting that one.
Back to the trail, and I was trundling along with Sloppy and Able Seaman discussing whether his gloves would make him a chick magnet. Abruptly we had to climb a steep, steep hill and a check at the top took us to the first beer stop. Around 6km so far – a normal hash run… and I think about 3 checks. The pack was scattered. No chance of bringing them back together. The hare asked why we didn’t wait for everyone to catch up?!??! WTF? And only 2 beers!!! We shared one as we carried along the road.
Another dodgy V check and somehow I was leading the way up a steep, steep hill. Yes, we’d got to the end of the valley, and as though the hares hadn’t bothered scouting at all, we set off cross country straight up the end of the valley. Even Brownie was stopping to gasp for air. Terrible terrain, a couple of scrambles up, and a bit of a slide back down. When would this end? It looked like there was a saddle on the hill to the left, and thankfully the paper led us to the saddle. This was the big moment… Were we breaking left or right? The ideal place for a check… Dear readers… what do you think? was there a check? Of course not… the hares gave the game away and took us straight up the fucking hill to the top to scramble over rocks before picking our way back down again.
I picked my way gingerly, protecting my knee, and was passed by hasher after hasher until silence fell in the jungle. Finally I tripped and scrambled my way down to a decent trail and immediately saw FRBs coming back towards me 10m to my right. Huh? Finally I could run and it was in the wrong direction. HRA encouraged me to keep going, but that wasn’t going to happen. I joined them on a narrow dyke next to a hillside aqueduct (fuck the spelling). Somehow I was leading, but stepped aside and let Brownie lead us down to the 2nd beer stop. I know I missed a little bit, but surely there were more than 2 checks in that section????
I was already ready to head back. Disappointed. Somehow I found motivation to try to figure out what the hares had planned… Perhaps all that was just a prequel to an unforgettable finale? Don’t get your hopes up dear reader. Our diligence at following trail was only rewarded by dropping us down to scramble over rocks in a waterfall, followed by another hack through unmarked vegetation on a pointlessly random hillside, before dropping us back down into the waterfall – yeah that great check – oooh hahaha, lets run them off the waterfall like lemmings, that would be funny right??? And then of course the final brain fart, lets mix up the trail and have them run a long stretch of the out trail again, hoping they figure out they are supposed to be doing that, and while they do that…. get this… hehehe… this would be funny right…. lets send the normal runners off on the same trail!!!! HAHAHA!!! That will get them right?!?
Perhaps someone else should do the write up, I am not feeling very tactful!
Ah yes… to the good part… Excellent circle by Frozen Dick & Mr. Poo – the kind of disorganised Mayhem that just absolutely worked. Just when I was thinking it had gone on too long, it took another twist for the better. To the GMs great work! To the hares….
This was my third BB. Skid and Holeplugger in 08, Dr Byte and Shagless last year and now Turkish and Pigshit. A man never forgets his torturers!
In truth it was tough son of a bitch 17 km: sometimes scenic, sometimes slippery and tricky, sometimes a bit scary, often steep, lots of clambering, challenging stream crossings and re-crossings, mostly in forest, some bamboo groves for Humpers specially, some open tracks usually not flat, a longish run along a dyke wall holding in a hillside irrigation stream, pipe crossings, a rope descent, this run had it all but perhaps not in the proportion some desired.
The first drink and refuel stop after about 7.5 was most welcome. Piggie doled out goodies and choc n crisps! After the harrowing climb and descent in the middle section Turkish was there after another 4 ish hard km to give succour. I think PS also turned up as he told TD forcefully not to just leave all our junk there. Quite right too.
The last section involved a climb and then dropping down some steep banks, one involving a long red rope, to this stream babbling away over huge slippy boulders. If we crossed it once, we did it half a dozen times in the next few km. I got wet feet at some points and slipping on the rocks was a real fear. Able Semen fell over a vine just after the red rope and it looked bad. Can you move your feet? said Semen Sores. Well get up and keep going because an ambulance can’t come in here anyway!
At this point, Poo, Semen team and Humps receded as Alice pushed on and one check on a plateau after a climb gave cause for concern as the sun was low and linking paper very scarce and tough to find. Apart from that, the FRBs did a good job.
The third al fresco water stop had most supplies but little water and Pigshit said it was 2.5 full run or 1 km short cut back. Alice was aching but took the long; Knockout and MYOB were waiting for Poo in the last bit of forest – bad move! As Alice exited the green and hit the tarmac, Humpers popped out infront of him, Alice thinks he knows how!
Luckily Shagless, Cumalot, Cougar and Anything knew which way to turn on the road as the hares had neglected to mark the On on trail. Turkish said I ran too fast and he didn’t have time. BS!
It was good to get back and shower. With Taste My Buns! Browny had a swim and the rest of the BB pack and CSH straggled in.
Decent circle overseen by on form GM Frozen Dick and average lukewarm food to fill empty tummies followed. Superman’s 1112 and Swallow’s 200 CSH were recognised. Overall, the run was in a real test for Alice and well marked along it’s length. Well done hares and qudos for the youthful K girl who found us on the net, turned up alone, ran like a trooper and dealt with the circle in good english to boot. So Yung indeed!
Aching Alice3rd January - CH3 - Turkish Delight - Ball Breaker,