TMB teamed up with Foxy at the arse end of the universe 11+km south on canal road. Ack… even driving from the university was tedious. Finally I got there, and got ready for whatever was in store. After the harebrief we ran around 50m to the first check… and while I say ran, really I mean walk. There wasn’t much effort going on… and at the check there wasn’t much effort either. Brownie went left, and then right… I went through the barbed wire but didn’t put much effort in. KO picked the correct trail, but hadn’t worked out what pink paper looked like, so it was a long time before Brownie found it and we were finally off.
Second check, another circle, and Brownie immediately thought it was back to the left – he’s scouted the shit out of the area, so I’ll take the hint. I went down the trail 100m or so, and it looked promising, but no sign of pink paper. I stopped and started scanning the forest to my right, trying to see anything pink, but nothing, and no call from anywhere else… Where could it be? I stood there 2-3 minutes, before turning around and realising I was stood next to the paper. ONON and we were off again, and I promptly got the next V check wrong, so the pack was back together. Onto the decent running trails, gently undulating, and the pace was reasonable. I pushed along until I hit a False Trail…. Huh? No word about them in the harebrief??? This was a tough one… Around 150m or so back to the main trail, and then 100m along the trail before anyone found it. I was already back at the false trail double checking I hadn’t made a mistake when the call was made.
Another false trail, and the pack was being kept together on tight trails. Graven and I hopped over a ridge while the pack checked a circle check 100m to our left. The gamble paid off and we joined ABB who found the paper heading straight on. Another check, and trails all over the place, with Angry picking a nice looking trail up to the right. Graven called it quickly and we had taken a left turn. I was convinced this trail was turning right…. And I couldn’t be more wrong. There was no check as the trail headed into a gully to the right. But then a circle in the gully. We had to be turning right somewhere, but it was kinda steep to the right. Graven, Angry and I carried on, none of us willing to look at the trail up to the left. In the end I went back to the circle and tried going back on trail to find a way to penetrate the hill on the right. I couldn’t believe it when the OnCall came from up to the left… WTF? Am I seriously this disoriented?
I had heard the hares say how they could avoid the hill, and this was clearly “the” hill, so I figured going straight down the gully, led you to an easier way around to the right, and I very nearly took it, and had I done so would never have been seen again! Instead I pushed up the hill, and was shocked when people were checking to the left. The devious hares had taken us into a gully, up a steep hill, only to come back down it just metres from where the trail had gone into the gully. Seriously? Was there ever a good reason to climb a fooking hill??? Do we look like we need the extra exercise on hill repeats? From here there were no checks for a LONG long way… Somehow I was chasing Angry Inch with Brownie and Graven on my ass, which meant a solid sprint until I had to let them pass. So we could get to utter confusion. Trail ran out, was there a check? What was going on? Even after seeing the maps and talking about it to everyone I have no idea. I didn’t see a check, and it took a while to get back on paper.
Finally I recognised the trails again, and had an idea where we were going, but by now Brownie had a nose for home, and he was taking everyone with him. I got to a circle check about 8th, but everyone ahead had gone the same way. This descended into a farce where I was just about the only one bothering to check another direction. Piggy gave up his “no running” philosophy and charged off with Brownie. Graven did his best to keep up, but had to check the wrong way at a V, and then I got the last circle wrong at the end – a circle that surely would have already been kicked out given the calibre of the athletes ahead of me?
A long circle, and not enough beer – the hares went to a great effort to set a really good run – a long run, >8km including checking, with some really clever, tough checks…. and then we run out of beer?24th November - CH4 - Taste My Buns,