|17 Nov 2013||Jeremy||Mike|
I looked out of my bedroom window on this gloomy, grey and sodden November morning and thought “Hello – winter hashing is about to start – what a bit of luck that I belong to a group of people who positively enjoy running through slimy mud in the pouring rain”.
Nevertheless, driving to Wroughton with the windscreen wipers going, the heater on, and the old saw “It never rains on a KVH3 hash” running through my mind, I remained hopeful that the weather would improve a bit. And so it was – the rain reduced to a fine mizzle and the temperature rose by a couple of degrees and twelve hardy hashers chatted happily in the car park, eager for the adventure.
And it was an adventure. The last time we ran from the Check Inn we ran across open fields – today we ran through a new town, landscaped with canals and lakes and vast areas of mud levelled ready for more houses to go up. The history is quite interesting – we were running in what is (or was) known as Swindon’s Front Garden, an area bounded by the old railway line around Old Town in the North and the M4 and Wroughton to the South. It was known to flood every winter and there was considerable opposition to any building at all on it for practical as well as aesthetic reasons. Government imperatives prevailed however, our population has grown to 70 million and people have to live somewhere. It is now a busy thriving place with small but attractive houses in a landscape of green spaces and waterways and it really was fascinating to run through.
“What happened on the hash then?” you ask. Well, if you are sitting comfortably ……….
Jeremy, our hare spent a considerable time explaining the trail markings which included a check-back (aaarghhhh) and he said the long was five and a bit miles and the short was three and a bit – more of which later. Walkers were Caroline and Liz and Di and Kathy and Robin and two small girls who walked the whole way without being carried. There were six runners: Viv and John, Margaret and Paul and Brian and me and we stayed in that pairing throughout the run. We all kept together well at the beginning with John finding the check-back and Brian and I as tail-end-charlies suddenly finding ourselves in the lead; but it didn’t last. Jeremy kept on popping up and manipulating things. At one point when we were running down the old railway line, Brian and I were back at the back and Jeremy, with a nod and a wink suggested that we took a short cut. Naturally we were anxious to catch up with our colleagues and so we did. However, we never did catch up with anyone and in fact didn’t see another soul until we arrived back at the pub. We learned later that Jeremy had said something similar to Margaret and Paul and they got back before us. It was only Viv and John who ran the whole trail and they were as baffled as we as to how everybody else got back before them. Somebody muttered that the trail was a bit long, as nobody, runners or walkers, got back in under an hour and a half and so Jeremy checked on his satellite navigation system and published the actual distances we all had covered which were as follows: Walkers 3.22 miles. Margaret and Paul 4.59 miles. Brian and Mike 5.44 miles and Viv and John 6.03. I felt as if I had run a bit more than that but, ca ne fait rein, it was a great trail laid by a master and I enjoyed every minute.
The Check Inn is a good pub with an excellent range of real ales and we took over a corner for the après which got quite lively when Brian asked for ideas for the Boxing Day hash fancy dress. Paul kept making daft suggestions which were laughingly shouted down and I am still not sure if we reached a decision or not. Two pairs of bags were presented – one was to me for some contrived reason (shortcutting?) which I of course accepted with stoical good grace, the other was presented to Viv who was incensed at the injustice of it all and said so. What a good hash – many thanks Jeremy.