I sit at home coughing gunk out of my dry throat wondering why I would consider going running outside in the pollution… I did, and now I’m paying the price! I don’t recall using that runsite before, but of course we’ve run all around there, and it was a good spot, so no doubt we will use it again. I scanned the area trying to pinpoint exactly where we were, and when we set off I had my bearings. First check, I got a bit of an advantage and broke into a bit of a jog. 2nd check was tucked around the corner, but was it a double or triple cross? Cunning hares defeated me on that one, and I followed the pack up hill and around the corner to the left. A junction – lots of trails, but no check… Interesting, I slowed down and waited for a false trail, it didn’t come, at least not soon enough, but I guessed we’d be looping around the other side of the orchard, and maybe the hares were scared trails would be too close?
NOYB started nailing a few checks at the front with TMB until we got to the edge of the jungle, and they checked left and right, leaving the straight on trail for me. Another check and I was following KO and LJO along a nice little trail through the trees. A circle lead to an abrupt right turn, and down to a false trail. We scattered as KO and I were still cutting cross country towards the calls – it’s nice now it isn’t so overgrown anymore! I saw NOYB leading the pack up a gully one side of the hill, and knowing it had to break left, I edged up a slightly different angle, and promptly found paper, and Cumalot checking for trail.
We were back to the other side of the orchard as I expected, and I led the way along the edge to another circle. Straight would take us back too soon, so I went left, and sure enough found paper, and another check. The trail forked, it was left or right, but I figured I had enough time to cut across if I was wrong. I went right, but I was wrong, but also right as I cut over to the left and then was right. KO hot on my trail with Graven and Chuckie. The pace started speeding up.
A V-check and my trail headed off to a False Trail. A FT, not a CB, so TMB quickly sped past and led GI off to the right. Another check, and when TMB chose to go up to the right, GI, CW and I didn’t pause for a moment, and charged straight on and inevitably found paper. I sprinted past GI to get first pick at the next check, but when I turned right, GI yelled “Following”. CW hung back, trying to do the right thing, but knowing we were likely on. We were, and I was feeling strong. I breezed through another V check, and then out to the main trail with a circle. Right took me home, so I skipped around the corner. I’d gone about 50m, when I realised I had probably smurfed it, as the more likely way would be the otherside of the quarry to avoid the out trail. I did the 100+20m, no paper, so ran back to the circle. To my shock, the pack was passing by! I thought we were way ahead, but here was NOYB ahead of me?! Damnit!
CW called us ON, and sure enough we were going around the quarry, and surely now I had blown it? I rounded the corner, and saw CW looking confused up ahead, with a stream of hashers following behind him. He called the false trail just as I passed an opening to the right, leading towards the A site. I overtook NOYB but had to go 80m or so before I found the paper. Glancing over my shoulder when I called, there was Graven leading a gaggle of hashers to chase me down. Not today! Not today! One last circle, and there were 3 options, 20% / 60% / 20%, the odds raced through my head, and I picked the middle option. Sure enough there was paper, and I rounded the final corner with GI & CW right on my heels. There was the OnIn, and there were the cars, and the beers! Great run, a lot of fun… I just wish I hadn’t gone so fast and breathed in so much smokey air.1st April - CSH3 - HRA & Brownfinger,