|22 Jul 2012||Brian||Maurice|
The last time we visited Inkpen Common was in 2002 so this was my first visit. What a wonderful area and on a beautiful day, no less. Our spirits were uplifted from the start as the weather was glorious – especially after a summer that has certainly been the worst in my memory. We have to come back!
I think the change in the weather affected a few of the runners as they dusted off the mould in their brains. I was first!
I took a false trail on the second circle and ran quite a bit before hearing the “On! On!” off in the distance. I ran back and two women were standing at the circle when I got there. The younger woman looked a bit of a cracker and I was looking at her instead of where I was running when I tripped over a root and went head over heels. It was quite dramatic and I ended up at her feet. She didn’t look as good up close and personal, or it may have been the angle looking up. I had one of those moments when I thought philosophically that I should share this observation when writing the mag, and another moment when I thought I should extricate myself from this embarrassment. A brief exchange and I ran on!
Then I met Viv running back with a dog’s lead held out and the lead for the head hanging loose without the dog. She said she had lost the dog. How can you lose a fat mutt? She tried to explain later that she had been talking to Keith at a circle when she noticed the dog was missing but then, why was she running back when we now know she lost it well before that? She must have run half a mile with a dog lead dangling behind here! The walkers took over ownership of the dog out of pity. The rest of the runners shared ownership in minding Viv. I don’t think she ever got over the knock to her head in that swallow-dive in Great Bedwyn.
The route was wonderful. Most of it was through woodland where runners feel they are running faster than usual, ducking and leaning into bends while trees flit past. It reminds me of that railway haiku of “train going north and the stations going south.” There were long runs across open fields and it was hot – the sun above and the reflected heat below from the golden wheat and barley and the mown hay.
John was on a roll. He was in front as a result and chose the correct routes at every circle while Jack ended up on most of the incorrect ones. We worked out later that he ran an extra half mile as a result. David and I were a bit behind them at first after taking wrong decisions on early circles. We put a good sprint on and the four of us were together which is always marvelous as we have different conversations as the group continually breaks into couples.
We got back to the pub and a very attentive landlord and had a pint each in the garden. Viv came along later and tried to explain what happened to the dog but it got a bit confusing and we persuaded her to sit down and relax. The sun had got to her. The walkers were very late in coming in and we decided they were probably looking for the mutt which addled Viv even further.
It was a wonderful hash, well set by GOM in beautiful territory and on a wonderful day!