|24 Nov 2019||Mike||John|
This is the first visit the Kennet Valley Hash group has made from The Tavern, but apparently Mike in a previous life when part of the rival Churn Valley hash group, back in the 1880’s, used to live nearby, and consequently knows the area well. The route he’d planned for today had to be reorganised as the Thames had flooded the pathway, so instead of the original planned 4½ miles, the distance was just over 4 miles for the runners and 2½ miles for the walkers. We were told to expect lots of mud, but to the disappointment of some, no actual floods to wade through.
The start of the route entered the station platform (much to the astonishment of the passengers awaiting the next train to Swindon) over the connecting bridge to the other side of the line and along the second platform following the Riverwalk signpost.
The well-marked easy to follow route took us over soggy fields running parallel to the riverside. In fact, most of the route followed the river from the source all the way back to Kemble. Most of the runners diverted to a muddy puddle which, with some authority, Colin claimed was the Source of the River Thames, and according to David’s account, added at least two or three miles to the Hash total distance. From this point the remaining runners, led by Debjit, continued. They were supported for the first time by his mother, Soma who ran the long route – until she reverted to joining the walkers when she realised the conversation was more interesting!
The first runners to arrive back at the pub were questioned closely by Mike – did we do the full route, did we see the short and long divide and how come while he waited for the runners to come through, he had seen no one? I assume the runners were so fast they just outpaced him.
Returning to the pub we found that the friendly landlord had organised a separate room in the bar so that we could remain in a group to enjoy a drink and David’s generous helpings of chips.
Margaret stood in for our absent GOM, and asked us to join her in thanking Mike for a well laid trail and a super Hash. The absence and whereabouts of the horn was discussed, without conclusion. Mike took the opportunity of noting that Colin (contrary to Navy Orders) diverted from the planned route and therefore awarded him the dreaded blue shorts.
Overall a splendid Hash, well done Mike.