|14 May 2017||Mike||John|
After weeks of no rain in sight, it rained all through Saturday night and we were thinking that Mike would have a wet task laying the trail! But the sun shone most of the morning and no one got wet at all!
Mike stated that the only hazards were flying golf balls, and having to negotiate traffic on the busy main road. He told us the distance of the long trail was precisely 5.17 miles and the short trail 2.74 miles – and we had to complete the trail within the previous time set a few years ago for the same hash of 1 hour 8mins. We obviously had a master at work for this trail!!
Mike’s trail took us into the Highworth golf course but, instead of taking us round the perimeter, the route, turned right, leading us through the cemetery and across the fields to Hannington.
In Hannington, I was surprised again, as Mike’s route, instead of going on the pathway by the side of the Manor House down the hill, unexpectedly crossed the road and left through a wooded track which eventually led down to the Freke Arms at Swanborough.
From here we crossed the busy road and ran for half a mile down the B4019 to a small gateway, across early wheat fields and finally back again to Highworth golf club. Mike’s trail was very clearly marked, but for some reason both Sue and I missed a crucial arrow near the 9th Tee, which demoted us from leaders to followers.
I must comment about Mike’s flour markings: they were a consistently round two-inch blob of flour – not like the mis-shaped marks I usually put down. Also, Mike’s signs always seemed to be in the right place, which gives you a good sense of confidence as you follow his trail. Well done Mike.
It was good to see Paul has decided to return to running – obviously he has had enough of being with the walkers! He’d originally announced he would run the short, but when he arrived for decision time at the short / long divide, he must have been overheard by a local man working in his garden. Paul was saying to Viv “Shall I do the short or long trail”. From over the fence came the reply “Oh, go on you can do the long trail”, so Paul followed this good advice and ended up running the full five miles.
We arrived back at the Rose & Crown well below the previous time set for the route (1 hours 4mins for the runners) so we’re obviously much fitter compared with a few years ago. Most of the walkers did the short trail, but several competed the long route, which took them nearly two hours for some inexplicable reason. The sun was still shining and we were able to enjoy sitting outside in the garden with a relaxing pint or two of the pub’s excellent selection of beers. Keith did the usual thanks to the Hare, and Paul awarded the penalty shorts to himself, to make sure he would run again next time – this could be a first in the history of Hashing.
PS – Mike was slightly inaccurate because my Garmin measured the long route as 4.97 miles, including false trails.