So Cuckold was the mystery co-hare! Remembering his history at Maejo, I was tempted to turn around and run, but had faith that ABB would keep him under control… We set off and the paper was a bit on the environmentally friendly side – not always straightforward to spot the next bit, and promptly running out at a junction. I peeled off to the right and finally the young eyes of None of Your Business spotted a circle check hidden behind leaves on the back of a tree (so I’m told, I didn’t see it!) I nearly gave up checking to the right, and when I turned back there was a flash of whitish paper on the back of a tree… I was ON!
There is a fork in the road, and no obvious paper, so I carried on the main road to the right. 50m or so later I spotted paper up the hill to the left on the other bit of the fork. I found a way to climb up and called as CW and the pack were catching up. We looped up the hill a bit, before descending through a little village – no checks, just a few dogs and kids to throw rocks at. A circle check gave some options. It was possible that it was a back check, but I thought we’d gone too far through the little village (whenever ABB is hare, I’m looking out for backchecks!). It couldn’t be right, so I turned left. Nada, which left the straight option, which would have been straight off the cliff, headed towards the saddle. I headed in that direction, and sure enough paper – good luck to whoever had to lay paper straight off the cliff from that check!
I had told myself to take it steady today, as I want to do a longer run tomorrow, so I idled my way over the saddle. Paper was in places good, but then in others there could be 20m+ between strips. I got to a bit where I couldn’t find any paper, so eventually assumed there was a check hidden away somewhere. NOYB showed up and I headed down to the little dried up dyke and mud road. NOYB found paper just as I found a circle, and he lead a few other runners down the hill towards me. Turned right on the road, and after 100m or so spotted paper on the trail the other side of the dyke. Found a place to hop over, and carried on with Sheep Shagger kicking the circle out behind me.
Another junction, and paper leading straight on past it – Sorry ABB, I’m not falling for that! Sure enough I could call On as CW got to the corner behind me. Again – paper to the right, no chance! I think I nailed 3-4 back checks in a row, and perhaps that split the pack as CW and I didn’t hear anyone else again. Trail was tough to figure out in places, and one stretch through the nursery it had clearly been taken down – fortunately we had a good idea where we were headed and picked up trail leaving the main entrance. Again trail tough to follow through shiggy, but it had to be headed towards the mainer trail by the other shelter. Having seen paper on the drive in, we had to be headed towards it, so a 50/50 circle. I was wrong, CW was right, but I caught him up at another back check.
We crossed over the road into the main Tiger’s Head forest, and I was sure we’d be headed parallel with the road back, as surely this was already going to be a long run. A circle here took some solving with CW and I checking several options each. Finally he called it and I headed towards his call, not entirely sure where the check was now. I rejoined trail and caught him up at another check. Damn we were headed deep into the forest – this was going to be a long, long run! That next check screwed me up, as it wasn’t a back check, but I went up 2 possible trails that were wrong trying to make my way towards CW’s call. One of them had yellow paper neatly marking the way, but sadly it was old paper.
The trail was leading inevitably towards the hill – you had a choice hares, you could have gone around it! I was on my own, CW somewhere ahead, the pack should have been behind. Keep going, keep going. On the ridge, I jogged along, and finally found CW coming back from checking the wrong way. WTF? It had to be left! Surely? We were at the 5 trail junction, and the obvious way back was down into the gully and out… It wasn’t and again, very good job to the hares – several times, even late into a run you outfoxed me with checks. CW called it, and I trailed him back home. As I ran in, I was expecting to tell the hares that they might have to wait a long time for the rest of the pack to get there – instead, I found most of the pack sat down tucking into a beer! WTF? Everyone else had given up and short cut back?!? Shame on you!!! The 2nd half of the run was marked much more clearly, and the whole thing was a great set – a very tough 8.8km – I guess I don’t need to do a long run tomorrow!
Lonely Fly By