Mini Ball Breaker time. Sloppy and CW had scouted the shit out of this run, I had high expectations heading out to the runsite, this would be engineered to the highest level! The signs led us well past Baan Pong resort, which confused Sheep Shagger & Big Top, but finally we all got there ready for a slightly late start. The hare brief was thorough.
We set off, and although we were deep into the hills, the trails were immediately familiar – I felt like I was on a Belly Dancer run… Yikes! Familiar trails, so some familiar checks – I nailed the first few, even though the checks were cleverly placed, so the out trails weren’t obvious – memories help! We headed over to the rocket launcher lake and trail went the long way around a field before a circle check. My first instinct was to follow the main trails towards where the BB had gone, but after a quick survey, I picked across the dam. The trail had arced nicely around so that the route across the dam wasn’t obviously visible. Nice work hares – I thought I had them and headed to the dam… Nothing up on the dam, and nothing to be seen in the distance. Surely I was over 100m from the check? Damnit, I went back and headed down the obvious trail and TMB called out from the bushes that there was nothing there. I was flummoxed. Finally HRA called from over near the dam – the MOFO bastard hares had gone over the dam, but disguised their approach, and I must have been within inches of finding their paper on my first guess.
Over the dam we went, and then a Wimp Rambo split. From here the checks were less frequent – less opportunities to put checks as we entered a valley. I tried to keep pace, but also tried to save energy for the anticipated 13km. 3km in and I was feeling shaky. I was dripping with sweat. So much that anyone behind me on trail would have been slipping on the wet trails like a thunderstorm had been through. The trail turned upwards, and I hated it. I thought I was mentally ready for a 13km ball breaker, but at the first real challenge, I was broken. Climbing hills I try to keep the philosophy of keeping going, but today I am disappointed in myself. I broke. I paused and leaned on a tree, with sweat pouring off me like a thunderstorm. The pack passed. Some cursing, some screaming (ONON), most cursing to be honest… I stopped several times on the climb. It was steep – I think I have been there just once before – 20th May 2013 (does anyone have the GPS of Belly’s AGFU run???).
Finally we summited and Knock Out was there waiting for me, or probably Poo who was just behind me. We descended the other side, and I could hear people ahead, but the trail down (for me) was treacherous… I certainly didn’t feel comfortable at more than a walk, and mostly I was picking my footing to avoid falling over, or falling off. I was shaky, and hopefully wasn’t holding up the group of Poo, KO and ABB. The was a check ahead, and as I descended slowly towards it, it seemed there was a huge group of hashers just stood there, until eventually Cumalot called from further down the hill – why hadn’t the FRBs found it already? Was I back in it? Meh, the trail was still the kind of trail that I inched along and before long there was silence ahead.
Finally we levelled out and I started striding forwards, only to immediately turn my left ankle in a hidden hole. DAMNIT!!!!! I should just resign to this not being my weekend. As we came out into an orchard, KO said that it looked like where we set the run a few months back. Impossible, but my mind raced, and suddenly I knew where we were again. And as we turned left I was happy to know we were heading towards a really nice cut through back to the main big lake. Poo took off, leaving us behind, and I mixed walking and jogging to get through to the beer stop. Water stop? No water? WTF? No hares? From Strava the FRBs had set off just ahead of us, but when we got there, there was just an ice bucket of beers… It took less than a nanosecond for me to make a decision, and I made the true hashers decision to grab a beer. And a while later, Poo and I walked back to the A… Not what I had planned, and from looking at the maps, the end parts of the run look really interesting… Thanks hares!
The final moments of the run was Taste My Buns running in a couple of hundred metres ahead of Graven and Brownie – who weren’t holding hands, at least they weren’t when they saw us watching…