I’d pretty much decided not to go today, but when I picked the kids up from school, they were excited to go to a HRA run! Can’t knock back their enthusiasm for exercise, so we headed down with high expectations. Familiar runsite, not far from the football field on canal road, and a familiar on out, across the wasteland. Attacked by dogs but no check as we headed along the trail at the bottom of the hill. The first check had us all foxed. Everyone wanted to head towards the hills, but the hare had turned left down past the quarry to the road. I was taking it steady early on, letting others do the checking. We crossed the road, and so rarely run closer to canal road. Another check, and Sex Pistol went right – I figured that was the best guess, and also that she hadn’t quite gone far enough. Sure enough I went past her and found rail dropping down into a gully? Not sure what to call it – a drainage ditch? a shitfest? I nailed a few checks from here, including getting back from being nailed at a false trail. Still taking it steady, and the pack was all together when we got back to the road.
The checks were thick and fast, just the way I love hashing! Over the road, I went right and left, but finally got one wrong. This one took us a lot of time as Sheep Shagger found trail to the left, but didn’t let us know until calling false trail from a V check. Turkish in disguise? I carried on checking further to the right until eventually we were called on properly. The delay had given Alice enough time to short cut to trail further on, and get going on the walker trail. Finally we were back on trail, but if I was taking it steady before, now I was really taking it easy. A check-rich trail like this would give plenty of time later on.
I caught up with a group at another false trail, which had already been kicked out as Chuckie was somewhere up ahead. The false trail had been marked, but the next circle not, which suggested it was the most obvious way, and sure enough I caught CW up at the top of the hill. He claimed he’d already checked the obvious trail down to the right, and he headed up to the left. I loitered. If it wasn’t down to the right, where could it be? Sex Pistol went down to the right and within moments was calling us ON – is CW going blind? The downhill charge started, finally we were headed towards home. We went past a trail that is somewhat hidden to the right – I had a gut feeling that HRA knew about it, and would have put a check there, but there was no check – I so nearly went right, but instead followed Sex Pistol and Obscene to the false trail. DAMNIT!
Now I was just behind CW again, and surely we were getting close. Another circle, and I didn’t even consider going right, just followed CW down to the left. Nada… WTF?! Back up the hill and around to the right. Very nice hare, very nice. Damn these checks were devilishly good! SP back at the front as we came down a slightly different ridge to rejoin the walker trail and spot Tiptoe and Cabbage Patch wandering around aimlessly. I got another one right, and the trails were coming together in my head. A final circle, and when I climbed up a bank I could see the paper, but CW and SP were in between me and the paper. CW picked it up and was off. SP and I caught Superman up (Yes… Superman… you read that right), and then jogged in together. Really fine trail, some really excellent checks that kept the pack close together. Great job HRA!
Out of the Mouths of Babes.
Dr Byte’s gremlins were put on the spot in the circle. On ice on the spot. Why, it was demanded, did they chose to hash today? Because daddy told us it was an HRA run. And why do you think HRA lays good trails? Because he’s a good runner!
Well, those pesky kids were on to something and H duly obliged with a well crafted, cunning set that had the pack twisting this way and that.
Set on white strips with the X marks the spot insignia, the trail led south from the A and the first check was a corker. Eventually Ben Dover did the bizo looking through the trees and there was paper not 20m off the main path!
From here we wound down to the road to Grand Canyon and against expectations went lower towards Canal Rd on flat trails through and between orchards, properties, copses and a long recessed gully. Checks had the pack together and the FRBs changing over repeatedly.
As we came back to the road, the run took a turn towards the bizarre. Byte, Chacky and Sheep Shagger were all spread out checking and Sheep Shagger returned from the left side, Byte from the right. I was sure the hare must take us up towards the forest from here and ducked into an overgrown field by my self. I heard a False Trail call from my left and happily spied paper in the quarry out back of my field. I scooched through the wire and was alone in the quarry in paper. On on! I followed clear paper back out to the left and by happy chance guessed 3 checks on the bounce. Terrain was thick, overgrown in parts but HRA had found some trails and hidden cut throughs of little ravines and gullies.
Eventually I came out into the open and recognized where I was. Paper led left up a main forest path but H had used that for a False Trail previously. I sauntered on, 20 secs jogging, ten walking, the odd faint call behind me. I saw paper going left up the next main trail but also yellow walkers’ paper to the right. I bowed to good sense as I’ve been a bit sick for a few days and decided mellow yellow was better than white supremacy. The grass was high but the route well marked and I bashed back towards the A. Suddenly movement ahead. Superman appeared and was checking. He went down on an easier path, I took a deeply leaf-filled trench into the forest and turned right. Climbing up a rise, X paper gleamed beautifully in the late afternoon rays. On on again!
I kept going by 20/10 method and suddenly On In and an arrow appeared in flour on the deck!
Back at the A HRA looked aghast as I staggered home in 47 minutes. You can’t be back now! he ejaculated in best Victor Meldew fashion. He was happy I’d taken the yellow shirt cut route and we chatted amicably until the real He Men returned, Chacky, Byte and Sheep Shagger too.
Great run, clearly marked, don’t miss out when HRA or Cumalot are hare!