Hash 592 – Volunteer Inn @ Great Somerford

Date Hare Scribe
11 Oct 2020 Des Ainslie

This was our second hash with staggered start times, and a great turn out for Des’s hash – 20 people booked and 18 turned up. 

Having missed the September hashes, I was struck by how the times are a changing – now no longer an 11am start for everyone, instead, groups set off at 10 minute intervals. An early start for Group 1 (long walkers) at 10.20am, leading up to group 5 (fast runners) at 11am.  Staggered start times mean staggered arrival times so mingling together at the start is now out of the question, and we thereby have to forgo the traditional and much loved group photo.

If this sounds complicated, it’s not really, as GOM, Keith had emailed to explain details to those of us lucky enough to have secured a place on the hash. We all knew our start times, who was in our group and had clicked on and read the Covid-19 Risk Assessment. No more looking out of the window on a Sunday morning to decide if we fancy hashing that day!     

GOM’s email had also warned of a bull and a field of cows and to be careful if you have a dog with you.

Des, the Hare, gave each group a short briefing    Walking groups 1 and 2 had set off , then after our briefing from Des, I set off  at 10.40 in group 3 running with Keith, Sue and Caroline. Sue was looking cool in her sunglasses but despite wearing gloves her hands were already feeling cold, so she shot off with Caroline and were it not for the fact that they missed the first arrow, we’d not have seen them again until the end.

Keith and I caught up with Soma and Hilary, and working together, we managed to lose the trail, then followed it along a picturesque stretch of the River Avon (see photo) then headed across a field towards the railway bridge which marked the long/short divide.  This was perfect Autumn weather for hashing – dry and a clear, sunny sky.

All was going well until we came upon the field of cows, clearly unsettled by 8 hashers and 2 dogs disturbing the peace of their Sunday morning, and who came trotting along to investigate the new comers.  Keith and I waited for Soma and Hilary – strength in numbers.  The cows set up a solid defence across the railway tunnel (see photo).   After some discussion and a call to Des, we agreed  that we wouldn’t risk being chased into the tunnel, so took the short instead.   I am in awe of the 6 runners who left after us, and all braved the cows and lived to tell the tale back at the pub – and when I say ‘braved’ I really mean it.

Those of us who’d walked or ran the short were safely back soon after 12, followed by Julie, Kevin and dog Lily, who had walked the long in typical double quick time. We were all enjoying a very pleasant and socially distanced apres in the sunny beer garden when the first of the long runners (Kathy and Fiona from Shin splints, Caroline and Sue) arrived, having clocked up 5.8 miles in 1 hr 50 mins.

 Then John & Viv’s running group, who’d followed their own  long trail of 6.2 miles, arrived back round 1pm.  Des’s friends Sean and Nicky,  who’d set off at 10.20am to walk the long with their dog had not returned by the time I had to leave. I heard later that they ‘got lost over the jumps’ but thankfully made it back in time for a drink.  

Thank you Des for a very enjoyable hash trail. I would love to walk the long another time when there are no cows around.

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