Well, that was an adventure! The runsite is rarely used, because while it isn’t far from town, navigating to it isn’t straight forward. The hare wasn’t sure what the best way of directing people was, and I among others ignored the hash signs, and just made my way to the lake – one of the ones between Maejo and Doi Saket. It took just 20 minutes to get there (closer than Mae Hia!) It took others much longer to get there, and Chuckie was notably late, arriving as we set off.
Thankfully the runstart will move back next week, as it is getting a tad warm when we set off. Brownie virtually sprinted out of the blocks, only to remember he was carrying his bike key and turn back. I had jogged off after him, so I kept jogging from the start. A nice trail looping around the mountain, with the lake on our left. After some way we got our first circle – placed down a drop off in a quarry area to the left. Having scouted around here before, it was a split – either we’d turn left and head up the hill or head out to the lower ground… I’ve been around the lake and up the hill before, and it isn’t a great run, so I headed out the gully. Sure enough I spotted powder beneath me, so carried on parallel as Tasty made the call.
Another check, and this time I got it wrong, thinking the hare wouldn’t turn straight back towards the A. I wasn’t far behind a pack lead by Strangely Anal, but it soon became clear the hare intended to let the runners run, and not let them be distracted by things like checks! Geez! Overall it was a great running route, but it needed more checks to keep the pack together!
We got to a Cross Check, but with Brownie coming back from straight, and Strangely Anal off to the right, nobody bothered with left. I kicked it out and set off after the FRB pack. The pace was fast for the hash (5km in 34mins!). We past so many good check opportunities, with trail just carrying on. There would be no way of bringing this pack back together.
I caught up at a check by a canal, and nobody had checked the option back to the left. That seemed most likely to me, as right took us back towards the A. I was looking for powder on the right of the road and nearly gave up, until I spotted something on the left. I may have missed the first blobs, but suddenly I was ahead. Chuckie, Brownie and Graven were all in pursuit, so I just kept pressing on – we were on a trail I set around 7-8 years back (one of my first ever solo haring sets), but I was guessing most of the pack would have been disoriented by now. Again, we were lacking checks – it was just a runners run.
Chuckie was keeping close watch behind me, but another cross check slowed Brownie and Graven. Suddenly Graven appeared on the road to our left – very intrigued to know how he suddenly appeared there – Strava doesn’t lie! I don’t think he could have short cut, as he was very close to the trail at the end of the run. The pace was too much for me, but I was pushed on by the steps behind me. Finally a check, but it was put just after a junction, so when we turned back, GI and CW were slight ahead, and both charged off down the most obvious trail (well, GI did, and CW loitered). I picked a smaller trail that looked to head more in the direction I was expecting, and sure enough there was paper again.
I was leading again, but very soon CW and Brownie closed me down. I was overheating, struggling to focus on keeping moving forwards, while CW and Brownie were just having a chat behind me about who was who’s hero. I can barely breathe, but these guys are acting as though we were sat around a table. I made it to the check ahead of them and turned hard right. CW headed up the hill, while Brownie followed me. Nothing… Nada… And then a call from CW up to my left. I had a choice, and I made it. Brownie turned back, I carried on, paralleling as I could see CW up to my left. Sure enough I soon ran into a Check Back.
I hiked my way up the side of the dam – knowing it was the wrong dam, and we still had someways to go. I suspect quite a few thought they might have been home when they saw that dam! I nearly collapsed before reaching the top, and paused for a while wretching. When I got to the road along the dam wall, with the sun beating down, I staggered along walking. As Chuckie and Brownie caught me they commented on my honour for waiting for them – I wasn’t waiting, I was close to passing out…
When I got the next check wrong, it was game over. I was out of water and on my own, paying the price for the early pace. When I finally crawled my way into the A bucket, I wasn’t feeling good… It took some time before I could face a beer. It isn’t even hot season yet!
A shortish circle full of braindeadedness, before the attempt to escape the runsite. I lead a convoy of vehicles out by the most direct, but difficult to navigate route. I stuck at around 40-50kmph, with hazard lights flashing, and constantly a stream of headlights behind. It didn’t work, and somewhere along the way we lost half the convoy, with Burritto Butt leading them first towards Maejo, then back to the runsite, and finally out to Doi Saket!!!
Somehow they still managed to get their food before I did, so that is another restaurant that I will not go back to!