|16 Apr 2017||Maurice||Keith & Ainslie|
A running review
We assembled on a bright but chilly Spring day beside the pub, and Maurice appeared a couple of minutes before 11am. There was a great turnout today (Mike counted over 30!) and I counted 8 canine friends who had brought their owners along for walkies. As there were only 6 runners, we were now outnumbered by our canine friends. This may be the first occasion that it has happened but if it becomes a trend, we may have to re-name ourselves “The Kennet Valley Hash Hound Harriers”.
I do not know whether dogs have ticklish feet, and decided to find out by tickling the back paws of the pooch being held next to me; no reaction, so I guess that means they don’t. More testing needed.
Ainslie was asked to be Official Photographer for the day and given a camera for the purpose. She took to the role enthusiastically, assembling us all for a group photo before we set off.
Maurice gave his briefing which told us of various long-short and medium divides , and distances up to 6.2 miles for the “longest long”. Well, I can say that the “longest long” lived up to its name as it took Sue, Caroline and I, 1 hour 45 minutes to get round it (Colin ran ahead of us and, being very fit, was back well before ). We had been promised a pretty route with bluebells, and great views from the hilltops, and that is what we had, along with the sound of woodpeckers. It was also a route around the village we have never taken before on our many visits here.
It was a varied trail, quite hilly, and took us up to the Ridgeway with wonderful views in all directions. Maurice told me he had run it six times as he enjoyed it so much, and I could see why. We mostly kept on trail, but towards the end, when we were all tired, eager to be back and enjoying a
drink in the sunshine, we got a bit lost, probably adding a quarter mile to the route before finding the flour once more.
We were so late getting back (12.45) that some of the walkers attempted to leave before the “thank-yous” and had to be ‘kettled’ whilst our hare was thanked warmly for getting up early on Easter Sunday to lay such a beautiful trail.
The bright red shorts were produced by Di, (didn’t see Di wear them – did anyone?) and duly presented to husband Paul, for having committed the sin of laughing when they had been given to Di on the previous hash. A Lesson for us all there.
Thanks Maurice for a memorable, beautiful and testing trail.
A walking review
The turnout for this Easter Sunday hash was huge. I started to make a list of names but abandoned it when I’d got to 25 and still not finished. I think that everyone had read Keith’s email with Maurice’s promise of Easter Eggs. Lovely to see friends who hadn’t been hashing for a while and so many families. Keith counted 8 dogs, which may just have outnumbered the runners.
Maurice gave a pre-hash talk and said he’d heard a woodpecker while laying the trail in the bluebell woods. The sky was clear and blue and we set off looking forward to the lovely views from the top of the Ridgeway.
Soon we were on a pleasant track, climbing up to the Ridgeway. The ground was thankfully dry underfoot. In fact it was so dry, there were no puddles for the dogs to splash in and have a drink.
The views up there were glorious and blessed with a clear sky, we could see for miles around. John and Margaret weren’t hanging around and were soon out of sight of the rest of the walkers. This photo of Annie shows her admiring some tiny violets.
Maurice had laid plenty of flour and we followed some arrows and a kicked out circle and later, the short/medium divide. On on…….…
It was busy up on the Ridgeway – we met horse riders, many cyclists and a couple in a funny horse and carriage with their dog. What goes up must come down again, and in due course the track started to descend quite steeply.
The going was dry and dusty with many loose flints and stones to navigate. It was difficult not to slip, which was exactly what happened to Brian. Luckily Di was on hand with her First Aid bag (see photo) and Brian was able to dust himself off and continue on the adventure, hopefully none the worse. Seriously though, we must thank Di for bringing along her own First Aid kit on every hash.
After a while, it dawned on the rest of the walkers that we were nearly back at the pub, but hadn’t come across the bluebell wood ..… or the Easter Eggs. Meanwhile, Maurice was in the woods handing out chocolate to the runners. Mobile phone contact was made with him who gallantly decided to walk the walkers’ route in reverse direction and round up any stragglers. John and Margaret arrived in time to help him to collect up the eggs as it was clear by then that the walkers weren’t going to make it to the woods.
Most walkers got back to the pub well before the runners. By now the temperature was pleasantly warm and we thoroughly enjoyed the après-hash on the patio. Maurice returned and all ended happily with drinks and the chocolate eggs. Everyone agreed that this was a lovely hash to do again next blubell season.
Di kept the red shorts in the family by awarding them to Paul, and promised they’d be washed before the next hash.
Keith thanked Maurice for a great hash and confirmed that Sue will lay the trail for the next hash on 30 April from The Grove in Swindon.