Cumalot and Boy Wonder Omsin wove a masterful trail of treachery and deceit in the hills and vales around the Canal Rd footy field.
I was feeling pumped and ready to really push myself, HIIT sessions in the bank and guilt from last night’s Yummy pizza extravaganza.
We were on small white strips, marked A1. Paper generally faced runners, circle checks were in clear sight and perfectly situated, it was time to challenge ChackWao and the rest!
At an early check I took the unlikely option away from the hills and ChackWao mentioned as such, although he added it has been used before. After 100m, a cleverly positioned strip revealed itself and I was on! The next few km were a carbon copy, as I nailed perhaps 5 out of 8 and managed to get a few hundred metres ahead of the pack. Making the most of my fortune, I pushed hard and managed to chose correctly second time around on the checks I got wrong.
We went up into the forest, three choices and I took the middle up. Right again and into deeper, more dense bush. I couldn’t hear the pack now. Trail went down into a dry stream bed then up a thick spur on narrow ill defined animal paths. Parts were runnable and parts that weren’t I bashed on as fast as I could.
A beastly check at a saddle after 30 mins had me take the brave option and head higher and steeper. I heard Chack yell OnOn and descended at a lick. To my surprise, he was still making his way up to the check so I chose one of the two main options and again that lovely little white strip with A1 popped out after a scampered 100m through the woods.
Here the trail became very narrow and often just bush bashed. Paper was harder to see and the hillside was dodgy with Poo sticks and rocks underfoot. I slid a few times but stayed upright. Apparently HRA crashed a couple of times and his posterior needed TLC tonight.
I was still ahead but it was hard work facing checks alone and just trying not to get caught. I crashed into a barb wire fence that was papered but only for us to run along. Chacky was closing and we came down off the hills towards some roofs below.
At the next junction he overtook me probably 600m from home! flew down the wide path then slowed and yelled Looking! I seized my chance and ducked right into a clearing. There was paper, a weir and thick, tall grass to wade through. I was passed yet again after a minute and the lanky Antipodean had glory flaring in his nostrils. Paper clearly marked trail ahead all the way to the road. There was one last chance the hares had some final magic up their sleeves with a False Trail where Chacky was headed….I turned left hoping against hope to find hidden paper and hear a forlorn False Trail call. My hopes were dashed as On In rent the air – I’d never catch the larrikin now.
Taking a chance I beetled down my path through the trees, parallel to the road, and Chacky’s calls. A sharp right and I was also out on the road but 30m back alas, and thus followed the seasoned Sandgroper over the finish line just shy of 45 mins I think.
A superb set with lowland trail, fields, forest, hills and a dry creek bed, oh and some barb wire. The hares were astute in their route and variety of twists and turns; I felt very pleased I’d risen to challenge them. Kudos to ChackWao for hunting me down. HRA, Sex Pistol, Sheep Shagger and Blows Herself steamed home in short order, ABB, Does Nothing, TipToe and finally long time returnee Baldrick stumbled in on a twisted ankle and a tale of lost trail.
Circle was light and fun, especially Shagless splashing DGI for knicker malfunction at Butter is Better, then the revenge splash had a Police citation complete with colour picture and 500 THB fine for carrying his helmet while driving his motorbike. Touche!