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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…

CGH3 – 9th May – Emma Royde

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A new runsite with a great shelter! Wow – I’ve been all over that area and never found that shelter! Emma clearly had little time to prepare to set the run, so looked back on his old tracks, notably a run I set some months back – luckily it was a great run then, and just as good in reverse today!

We set off and, I started jogging – it is a hilly area, so better to make use of the flat & downhill while it lasts. Nobody kept me company so I pressed on. The first check got me thinking straight away – there wasn’t really any options, but we’d just past a possible check point, so I was pretty sure where the ONIN would be.

There was silence behind me as I ran on – should I be walking? Another check and I decided to check off to the right – it was wrong. I was reluctant to go down the hill on the nice little trail I used before, but hey, it was that way, and I was back on trail. Shit – is he really just setting my run in reverse? He actually found a nicer connect for the next bit, and hell the next check screwed me over. There was a nice trail to the right, but no paper… a nice trail to the left, but no paper… perhaps straight up the hill the way I did, but no paper… Then Piggy was back with me, along with a pack and someone found paper 40m from the circle…

That was actually a really neat connect – I missed it when I’d scouted there, so it did make the run better than what I’d set! From here, it was clear what was coming… We had a hill to climb, and I would much prefer to be running down that hill! But, it was a nice work out, and I pressed on. Scooby and Bus Bitch were closing in on me for a while, but then suddenly there was silence behind. I know I got the checks right, but I was surprised that Scooby wasn’t right behind.

There was a great circle check – except that I knew where I was and where the trails went. Silence from behind, so I was away again. Not long after trail continued, but Ha! It would be a FT, so I turned right and sure enough found paper. Another circle and it had to be down to the right, sure enough I was on paper and figured from here I would be alone. There was another FT towards the end, which I salute, but didn’t get fooled. As I headed up the hill at the finish there was a fruity banana present, which I donated to HRA who sat out the run with the hare. Afterall, last time HRA did that run he seriously hurt himself!

30th April – CSH3 – Sloppy Rod & Mr. ???

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It’s been a while! I finally decided to head out to run with the CSH3 – the AGFU with a new incoming committee. I joined in the run, and then headed off. Gigalo Joe was straight into running, so I figured I’d follow suit. Poor bugger got screwed at the first check, and I was on my own ahead, well at least until the next check when I spotted Frozen stood a bit up the hill, and begrudgingly admitted he was on. Another check nailed.

The next check was a bit trickier – or rather it shouldn’t have been. Frozen just ignored it, while I spotted it down the hill a bit and tried following Frozen to no paper. I should have just gone to the check and followed the obvious trail next to it. That’s what Cool Balls did, and shortly after I was scampering along behind him. Gigalo Joe caught up again after the wimp rambo split and the trail took us up hill – a nice trail, just climbing and it was Foooking hot!

At the saddle, I sidestepped GJ and picked the trail heading more to the right, while he wanted the one to the left. Both were heading down the otherside of the hill, and honestly it was 50/50, but I just had a gut feeling about where the run was headed, and luckily my gut was correct! From there I nailed check after check, (to be fair they weren’t too hard to pick), and the voices faded behind as I ran along pleasant trails in the valley behind. All the time I was looking at the hill to my right that either we would have to go back over, or around the end – I was just hoping it was around the end.

At one point the trail was elaborately marked over some barbed wire, down a bit and into some dodgy ass little hut that who can imagine what horrors took place in. Today it was just a circle check, and I was happy to retreat back out and continue along the main trail.

A bit further along I finally got a check a bit wrong – knowing we needed to turn right at some point, this looked a bit more promising, but no joy. I was still ahead, but this time when I called ONON, I could just hear faint sounds of people behind. Man it was hot. The next check was a bastard – well over 100m. I got it right, but aborted and traversed to the left before I got to the paper. That was a deadend, so I was just making my way back when Just Cuming called the ONON – along with some expletives about it being a long check. I fortunately cut in ahead of him and continued.

The pack were on my tail though and the heat was having an effect. We hit the road, and the easiest option would be to just run back down the road to the car and safety of air con. I tried to accelerate, but then a circle. I wanted to keep going down the road, but I knew Sloppy wouldn’t do that, so it had to be off the road, so a little bit of scramble/shiggy over to some guys elaborate tomb. Now Turkey was breathing down my neck, and passing me, with Piggy & Just Cumming.

OK, I was hot, and tired. A couple of months off running and I’ve lost some speed and stamina. Another check, straight on again, but now Turkey was crushing it. Another check, and I thought we’d just passed a trail, but behind me was Willy Walls and Skiddy, so I just idled for a while waiting for someone to call it. Nobody did, and apparently nobody had checked the trail we’d just passed, so I went back and sure enough found some paper.

I’d got nearly 7k at this point, so surely just one last push and it would be over? One check I went straight to paper, so back over the road and another check. A 50/50 – right or left? I went left, and checked to around 120m (there had been a long check before). No sounds from anywhere else, but I suspect people were still regrouping after the back check. I spotted some white paper a bit ahead, so carried on to investigate. A kicked out circle… Definitely too far away to be trail, and why was it kicked out? It had to be the wimp trail, damnit! Then I spotted hashers to the right, ok whatever – I’ll rejoin them by the OnIn.

Good run, but someone should turn down the thermostat. I guess that is the job for the new GM! Good luck!

29th November – CGH3 – Softballs

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Softballs and Emma Royde teamed up by one of the lakes (or rather 2 of the lakes) between Maejo and Doi Saket. We’d been near here a few weeks back with ABB & Pussy Whisperer, but this time we were a little further East, so presumably doing something involving the other lake?

A decent turn out and we were set off – unexpectedly back towards the lake we’d been around a few weeks back. Hmmmm… Surely we’d be turning right soon? The paper was tree to tree scrambling along the side of the hill – no trail, no chance of running, but heading straight towards the wrong lake. I know that hill is high, so I guessed perhaps we would climb up the saddle and drop back down to the other lake, or perhaps we’d turn sharp left and drop down into the village. Neither was right, and I was playing catch up as we headed back around the lake.

Before we get to that, I just wonder why it took 10 guys so long to find paper off the first check when they all went the right way? Anyway, at the back corner of the lake most were headed towards the hill, but knowing where that goes, I was locked in on us doing the same as ABB’s run, but in reverse and sure enough I broke away as we went around the back of the lake. I was coasting along, way ahead and stretching my legs.

Descended steeply off the dam, and found a circle by a little hut. DAMN! I went this way, I went that way, I went all over the place. It surely couldn’t be too far left as we’d be close to the out trail, but as the pack caught up, I had exhausted all the other options, and finally found paper heading straight back to the out trail. ON FUCKING ON!

Mary Poppins was close behind as we hit good runnable trail again and we took off for quite a stretch without a check. We passed close to the cars, but kept going back along ABB’s old trail, but at the next check we turned left, rather than right. I wasn’t quite right, but caught Mary and we continued down into the village where it seemed the paper had been cleared up for a bit. I went the long way around a square before reconnecting with MP as we came out to the dirt road along the canal. A sharp left and with Titty Smoker and Strangely Anal just behind surely this was just a case of running back in and there would be an On-In any moment.

Nope – there was a check and when I didn’t find paper, I figured the hares had taken us up to go over the dam for a more scenic run in. Sure enough there was paper up the hill, but when we got to the lake, rather than having paper heading back to the cars, it was going around the lake?!? WTF?!? I was 7k in already, and the paper was going in the wrong direction around the lake!!! I guess I need the exercise, and its a nice enough trail around the back.

All the way around the lake, and I was on my own enjoying the view and the jog, until I caught up with the hare as he hastily stuck down an ON-IN. A solid 9km run!

15th November – CGH3 – Titty Smoker

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Maybe I overdid it at the weekend, but for whatever reason I wasn’t on form today! I struggled to make it there at all, but showed up spot on 4pm, only to find out they had already set off. It took me a few minutes to change and set off late. I should have been able to catch up, but as I tried to get running, my legs just felt heavy.

I soon saw Frozen & Sheepshagger, and figured I’d be back with the pack shortly – I think I even heard a call from up front. Then I saw Mary Poppins looking confused in a creekbed. Paper had been kicked out in that general direction, but he couldn’t see it and we lost quite a bit of time rechecking the check. Mary took off up the hill ahead of me – it seemed a slog uphill for a long time. I tried to bide my time saving energy for when there had to be some downhill later on.

The trails were good, but I just wasn’t feeling it – it was hot, I was sweating. After half an hour I started picking up the pack, one by one and then eventually just before the end I heard HRA calling up ahead and realised they can’t be too far ahead. Past the OnIn and back to the cars much to the surprise of everyone.

I was halfway home with the aircon blasting at me before I started feeling human.

8th November – CGH3 – Emma Royde

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I’ll tell you one thing – it’s a darnsite harder when you don’t have a map!

The pack was a bit smaller today with a variety of excuses coming in, nonetheless there was still a decent crowd to assist with checking. We were way out San Kampaeng way at a shelter I’d not been to for years – the site of the infamous tunnel paddle. I know Emma has been scouting quite a bit out here, and my memories of the area were fading – aside from the big paddy field the other side of the ridge.

We set off towards the tunnel and there was a circle check right by it – no way was I diving in to check in there! Sadly I’d run past the circle without spotting it, so ended up not being able to check the lovely obvious trail over the hill – my first failed check! Titty Smoker was leading us over the hill, but I had first choice at the next check down by the canal – I went down the canal in completely the opposite direction to where paper was – another fail!

Catching up again when Titty couldn’t spot the paper, we made our way along the trail at the bottom of a hill. I was cruising, enough to run straight into an FT. Back again, and Titty and Piggy followed me onto the trail cutting across the rice field. I was back in front as we got to a herd of buffalo, and a carefully placed check in the middle of them. Checking quietly, I yet again went wrong. Damnit!!!

Piggy did a good job of making sure we were all on the right track as we navigated our way around the buffalo, and then Piggy was coasting along. I slowed for a while and paused while my fish burger made its way back out – man I was overheating! This 4 o’clock start is still a bit hot! Piggy was ahead as we went back along the side of the canal and got to the walkers rejoining after their “Long” option. I was there just in time to get another check wrong again – and once again wrong in completely the wrong direction.

Finally I jogged back into the mix and caught up as ABB found the paper, but only after I’d pointed to it from someway off. I was back, and we had a longish section that was fairly tricky to get any pace up through the rocky ground. Another check, and finally I got one right – heading sharply up to the left!

Another circle and I was quite disoriented by now, with a rough idea of where were headed that was in reality completely wrong. I wasn’t far off when ABB called from up the hill to my left, and I intercepted him at the next check giving my the first choice, and again I was correct. This time I could jog along a bit as we started descending to a V-Check. Could you believe it? Wrong again. I got back in time for Piggy to pull of the paper and then we pretty much ran in together. A really nice set in a great area that we really should run more often!

1st November – CGH3 – ABB & PW

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Remember me? Remember hashing? We are back – vaxed, waxed, relaxed and ready to run. ABB & PW teamed up for the first run back and set it in Sansai – not far from the Tiger Head, but far enough that it was new for pretty much everyone – it’s been years since we’ve run there and there are some great trails that people should choose more often.

There was only 1 minor, tiny little mistake from the hares today… A couple of weeks ago they went scouting, and it seems that not everyone knows how to make their strava trails private. For the gentleman’s hash you probably want to make your trails private and definitely switch your gps off when you meander back into town ;). One way or another, I had seen a map of the route before we started, which really does make the checks much easier!

Not wanting to spoil the day, when we were set off, I ran off ahead and put in a decent pace ahead of the pack while they walked to warm up. When I got to the first back check after half a KM, I was already legitimately out of earshot, so I did a fairly quiet call and kept going – I didn’t really hear much else from the pack. The 3rd check would have been a brutal backcheck that took them a long time to solve – much quicker for me. The trails were great to run even without the mental challenge of figuring out the checks – today it was a memory test instead – and I did so well until nearly at the end when I did get a check wrong. I scampered back desperate to make sure it didn’t cost me too much. At the final check the markings were… well probably gone.

Sometime after I’d showered, changed and had a beer the rest of the pack came in to join us for a great circle. Emmaroyde didn’t realise he’d put on a few pounds over Covid and epically destroyed Titty Smoker’s Esky. Great to be back hashing!

5th July – CGH3 – ABB & Softballs

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Back to Maejo for installment #2 of the Maejo Ballsup! This time we set off from the Tigers Head – a spot we had run through last Thursday. How would the hares mix it up? Would they mix it up? Would it at least be in reverse? Nope…

Scum charged away at the start as the trail headed over the small hill to join the main trail that heads up to the 5 point junction. A couple of checks, but we were heading back to that junction. The hares had mixed it up a bit, so I guessed we might turn right, head up the ridge a little and then drop down to the left. But Scum was coming back from there when I got there, so I checked the same way I did on Thursday, and sure enough I was back on paper heading down the hill, breezing through checks and feeling good!

Until… the same god damn, mother fooking, check that thwarted me on Thursday. Only this time it was worse. I swear the rest of the pack must have slipped silently by without a call as I went this way and that way, eventually getting back to the check to find myself behind. Not long after I got to a beerstop that was nearly deserted with the hares just packing up.

The peace of a solo trail runner – except this runner was gradually slowing down. I caught up with Bendover first – quick chat and then on to Cartoon who seems to still be struggling. There just weren’t enough checks to keep anyone together, particularly as people knew where they were. A minor variation from Thursday, but it wasn’t enough to let me catch up. I saw HRA, Mary Poppins ahead, but they were gone by the time I got to the road back to the Tigers Head. To punish myself for my stupidity, I did an extra loop up to enjoy the scenery along the dam – I can’t complain running out around Maejo!

1st July – CH4 – Softballs & ABB

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Hashing in Chiang Mai is resuming, and the Happy Hash met out in Maejo and the small mosquito infested shelter on the way to the Tiger’s Head. Softballs was the hare, but he had taken ABB out the week before to have a look around – ABB happened to use his GPS, and was a little slow hiding his track – slow enough that one hasher may just have had a peek at what was in store… 😉

I took Terrabyte along for the exercise, but went home before the circle. On the way, the lad clearly had racist tendencies – chip off the old block? Anyway, we set off and it was over the weir, but on the other side there was no check… Huh? Surely we would be turning left like ABB did last week? Along to the right and a circle – damnit – typical ABB… But I was committed now, I had to keep going and head up the hill a little, until eventually the inevitable call from way back in the opposite direction. I think Emma Royde got it right, so CW and I took off in pursuit debating whether we would see Emma again after such a long check.

The next check was already solved and we were chasing down Emma, until he appeared behind us having been fooled by “not a check”. Somehow I was leading, with CW close behind asking me why his smart TV wasn’t very smart any more… My brain can continue conversations while I’m running, but I struggle to answer, so concentrated on keeping plugging away. As I passed a small trail to the left, I pointed and told CW it was probably that way, and sure enough another 50m or so I hit another check. Despite telling people that it was probably back again, EVERYBODY followed me like sheep… I couldn’t just go back to the previous junction, so I looped around to the main trail and of course found paper where I expected heading towards the Tiger’s Head.

The pace was pretty decent, but I’d stolen a yard or two and managed to extend a little lead after going past the buildings and up the hill. Another “not a check”, with a check some way past it, and surely another back check – but once again as leader I had no choice but to continue and once again looped around to join Emma back at the front. Another check, and Emma was wrong, and I once again gained an advantage, but promptly misjudged where I was and got a check badly wrong. As I came back there was a long stream of hashers passing by, including Terrabyte who wasn’t going to get it that easily. It was a pleasant descent and once again the pace kept ticking over. A couple of confusing checks that ended up being just straight on had me back in pole, but with CW and Piggy right behind along with HRA and the boy. We past several trails off to the left, and it had to be one of them. A bad time to be leading as it was for sure another back check. Damnit! You are only as good as your last check, and I was thwarted at the death – great trail though and good to be back!

CGH3 – 28th June – Sheep Shagger

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It’s been a while… First the bad air kicked in, then the heat and the pandemic, but finally I got out on a hash trail again with the Gentlemen’s hash off and running again. Sheepy set from a familiar spot near the quarries off Sameong Road. A decent turn out to see what he had in store.

Scum was quick out of the blocks across a farmers field with Cartoon in hot pursuit. At the first check I found myself with Shrek and Emma Royde chasing after Scum who seemed to be getting lucky. He breezed through a few checks leaving us just enough time to go the wrong way – but he was breezing through them so fast that he simply skipped a false trail and a big loop that rejoined the main trail as we went up by the side of the wall formerly known as the rubber wall.

Of course it had to turn left at some point, and the hare teased us with the turn a few times. We went into the back of the resort (Strawberry?) and another check had most of the pack checking right. I went left around the resort and didn’t hear anything called. The resort is a loop inside, so I figured I would rejoin them around the top of the resort, but as I went up the hill I spotted paper off to the left and headed over. It seems I had somehow got onto a wimp short cut and was now well ahead – despite being confused with paper going in 3 directions as the trails merged.

Whatever, I continued on, unsure if I was ahead or behind. I was ahead but already at the bottom of the hill as I heard them calling at the top. A few easy checks and the pack wasn’t closing on me. Trail looped around the quarry and another check near the back of the temple – they have cleared that area out a bit and there is a new temple hall in construction. I got it wrong, but then was back on trail through the temple with a few friendly dogs to keep me company. As I went around the small lake, I heard the pack approaching the temple, but kept quiet as the trail was clearly looping back to the road just past the check. There was the On-In – a quiet grin to myself and then the last push back to the cars. A pleasant reintroduction.