18th Nov – CH4 – Graven & Angry

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Dear Reader,

It’s been a while since I’ve penned some words here… For so many reasons I haven’t been hashing for years, but for some reason I showed up today. I’m not sure if anyone reads this anyway, or whether to dwell on why I haven’t seen so many friends for so long. As I drove back today, I did feel the friendships, connections, and all in all good vibes – ultimately I felt regret that I didn’t stay for the circle. I felt very welcomed back into a great community, but somehow I am still not 100% comfortable – but I think that is my problem to deal with and I’ll appologise to anyone I didn’t engage with enough.

I am out of shape, lazy and demotivated. I’ve hardly done any exercise for months, except a stupidly unprepared half marathon in the middle. Maybe not in the best frame of mind, but as it is between semesters and Graven was setting in Maejo, I figured I’d force myself to get some exercise.

A good turn out, the hares briefed us and we set off in the opposite direction to where you’d expect – away from the hills – this I like! (I’ve done hardly any elevation this year so flat would be nice…) Kwazi took up the early pace, and blimey he must be in great shape as he was still up with the pack well into the run – great to see! There was a gentle downhill so I started running, knowing I was running comfortably, but knowing it wouldn’t last long – hopefully I could use checks and local knowledge to my advantage. I also know that Graven doesn’t like early checks, but seriously over 1km before the first check?!?! Scooby and Emmaroyde caught and overtook me commenting on there being something missing on the run so far…

As Scooby passed I stalled into the 100m tactic – let them get 100m (or so) ahead, and try to keep up around 100m behind the FRBs. Let them do the work and you reap the reward. Sure enough I got to the first check just as Scooby called it… The 2nd was a FT where Scooby hit the FT just as I hit the true trail junction. Keep it steady – while it was a tight narrow trail block them from overtaking, but then let them go ahead for the 100m lead. Sure enough I snagged another FT that way – but the impressive Kwazi was right behind – while his running seems good his hearing perhaps isn’t – we yelled “OnOn” and for some reason he still seemed confused.

At this point the whole trail was mapped. No offense hares – I’m sure many might be tricked by your checks, but I could have sat down and drawn the map – particularly as you’d said 8k in the hare brief. If I was in shape I would have loved it, but I’m not. We clearly couldn’t be turning right, so the only option was to go up to the main trail and head left – to get 8k out of it, it means going up to the top. I dragged my sorry ass up the hill with Titty Smoker slowly gaining and then passing, followed by Alice – it was single file with Scooby and Emma ahead. Semen Soars was there, but I didn’t take the chance to talk to him, but it was Able Semen (I think) that was next to pass.

I knew I was spent and I knew where I was. I had no intention of going up that last incline, so at the circle I turned left, and would you believe it? I found the yellow paper they’d set on Tuesday! Apparently they’d set a run on Tuesday, it then rained so they went to set a different run today. In the hare brief Graven waved around white and yellow paper, so without listening to him, I was legit following paper the hares had laid! This seemed like a much more preferable way to get back to the car, so I took it. I probably needed to hide in the forest another 10 minutes or so to convince Graven I hadn’t short cut, but he seemed happy enough that I was there.

I won’t be joining the CH4 for the next 4 months or so – I have work commitments. It is a great club though, and probably my favourite in Chiang Mai, but sadly it is focused now on retirees and vacationers – the decision last year to move the run start even earlier still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Will I join other hashes? I’m not sure… The Saturday hash would be ideal, but it is polluted by the Sups family. I think I may try to join the CGH3 for the exercise…