Mostly not bad!
Ok, so an epic kind of run like that deserves a bit more of a write up! Mr. Poo suggested that “Mostly Epic” would have been more appropriate! Anyway, I was struggling to shake off my hangover as we drove out to the runsite, at Baan Pong Resort, despite my best intentions to get an early night, somehow I managed to get incredibly drunk which wasn’t the best preparation.
We all knew what to expect as the hares had done a good job of briefing everyone in advance, but amazingly there was still around 20 odd people to squeeze into the Songthaew and a couple of cars. We ominously went around the back of a mountain – past a tempting golf course – to the A site where the hare did his best to talk us out of it before setting us loose. We started with a short loop around a lake and back to the Songthaew, with Graven Image & Suckit not bothering and waiting for us to run back to where we’d already seen some paper on the road.
I hit a couple of checks right until getting the first set off skiddy sticks which I carried back and dutifully placed obviously on the trail for those behind. Around another corner and my watch signaled we were a mile in. My stomach signaled that McDonalds wasn’t the best idea for lunch, and duly forced me to deposit it on the trail. Things weren’t looking good as one by one hashers passed by. Finally the wave passed and I started feeling better and could start moving again. We were running along some lovely trails that I’d not hashed before, until the unmistakable stench of a pigfarm arrived. The sick hares had put a ‘sex check’, meaning we had to wait next to the pigpens with flies buzzing around the stinking piles of pigshit for Big Top to arrive. Ugh! The hares weren’t punished nearly enough for that…
Off running again and Semen Soars and I found trail until we looped around so we could get a good view of the mountains ahead. With a white pagoda visible on top of one of the highest peaks, I thought to myself – I bet it’s that one, but hoped it wouldn’t be… Around the corner the songthaew was waiting for some drinks and refueling. Unplugged, Itchy Bitchy and Knockout came riding up with some men on bikes.
After a short photo op, we set off again with the trail mercilessly climbing into the mountains. Fortunately the trail was good and we could keep on going with sure footing. Suckit was not far behind me and each time he turned a corner I could hear yet another expletive. What checks there were were easy to pick as it was just on up the trail. Gorf leading the way with Lickamick just ahead of me – the pack stretching out back down the hill. I caught up at the ‘sex check’ halfway up the hill. After a discussion we didn’t want our legs to seize up, so we carried on with Suckit and then Graven Image joining us. The climb was relentless – 500m+ elevation gain, although I’m still waiting to get the GPS track off the watch. So this is what we had been warned about – it actually wasn’t so bad – rewarding views at every turn and a good enough trail.
Finally near the top we found the trail going back down, and Mr. Poo presently joined us in time for the ‘ladders’. We’ve hashed on worse descents that that, but adding a ladder for us was a nice touch. The way down was steeper than the way up, and probably more treacherous, picking our way one step at a time. There were stairs in places, but few opportunities to run. Finally we got to a flatter section and there was Greasy waiting with more drinks. We’d survived the mountain – just a few more km back to the resort…
I didn’t want to cramp up so kept going, hitting a few checks right before finding Gorf in front of me. He had a nasty habit of taking the paper with him from the checks and dropping it when he found trail, so it didn’t help anyone following behind and there was nothing left for me to mark the trail with. Soon he stopped calling and disappeared into the distance as Ho came up behind me. HRA was with him – I’d not seen him since before the hill, along with Graven, Lickamick and Suckit. We settled into a pleasant pace where we could keep moving and bitch about the FRB at the same time.
Finally we came to the lake, worked our way around it to find Belly Dancer waiting at the last drinks stop. One more to go and the resort was just there, just down the dam. He sent us off across the dam to an arrow pointing back along the otherside of the lake. That didn’t seem like a good idea, and we were further confused by a switch to pink strips marking the trail. Thanks for mentioning that in the harebrief! We made our way along the lake until the trail climbed up into the hills, where a single skiddy stick was found… WTF??? Where were the other two? Where the f*ck was Gorf? Back down to the lake and another 100m around the lake finally Suckit found the paper and the other two skiddy sticks. WTF? We were ready to kill someone – I can kind of get what Red Carpet and Dick Tracy complain about skiddy sticks if the FRBs don’t play the game. What on earth had he been thinking to place them there
We eventually went into the hills – it was unavoidable. While the first mountain was long and high, at least it was on trail – this part had ‘Anything’ written all over it, as we just scrambled across rocks on steep mountain sides. This bit was much worse than the first hill, with tired legs struggling to get a grip I’m surprised someone didn’t seriously hurt themselves. Determination just drove us onwards – it must be over soon. Finally we got onto the trail in the gully the other side, and we were back on familiar ground.
I jogged along and Ho joined me. The trail took a sharp left turn which was a bit of a surprise – after another 150m or so we found a single skiddy stick behind a tree which by now wasn’t a surprise at all. Back to the junction and there was Gorf carrying the other 2. Rather than maiming him with the last remaining stick, we ran off… We didn’t really find trail, but we found a few bits of paper that had come of the skiddy sticks while Gorf was looking, so I followed that in the direction of the resort and safety.
Everyone survived, with quite a few taking the shorter route back on the last leg. We sat freezing in the circle taking turns to limp towards the ice when called in. Maybe because we were tired, or probably because it did, but the circle seemed to go on forever and ever… We were hungry, cold and exhausted. It wasn’t that it was a bad circle – just a long one – there were plenty of funny moments dispersed throughout, but we could all feel the food waiting for us up just one more flight of stairs (another sick twist by the hares to choose an upstairs restaurant!)
Overall verdict, ‘mostly not bad’! Actually 3 great legs, with one final ‘Fuck You’ from the hares at the end.