Hash 616 – Who’d a Thought It @ Lockeridge

6 Feb 2022ColinMaurice

Colin cracked it! How do you get runners to stay on the hash route and not run after a tall fellow whose head is so much in the clouds he can’t see the flour? How do you get walkers to look out for arrows when they are standing on said arrow? That was the dilemma from the last hash in Chiseldon, a disaster, where everyone was back at the pub within ten minutes of leaving it. Nobody could believe it, especially the hare on that hash.

Colin wasn’t having any of it. If runners were going to get lost it wouldn’t be on his hash. The solution? Simple for Colin really, just run with the runners and chuckle as they go astray, then send Maisie to round them up.

Colin turned up with a minute to spare, looking very floury and wearing a vest for goodness sake. The man has no shame, no consideration for winter weather, no understanding that we were cold waiting and now, looking at him half-naked, really feeling the bitter wind. He was in jocular mood, remembered that the last time we were in Lockeridge Olly had helped me setting the hash and he had been covered in blood. He gave distances and David wondered if we would be visiting Hampshire en route. That was very funny! Good old David.

Colin became serious then and gave a detailed presentation on the hash signs – arrows, single blob, double blob, tee, circles, how to kick out a circle with your right foot facing the correct route. I’m putting all this down here as I concur with Colin’s observation from the last hash that everyone needed to up their game, or at least their memory.

I’m being mischievous. Colin was reminding us of course, but also briefing a new runner, the lovely Janet of Chiseldon. Janet is no slouch like the rest of us. She trained with Colin, even told us that she had introduced Colin to running many years ago. Respect right there!

Colin pointed to the start and showed a circle on the other side of the road. I was away first with Rocky who couldn’t wait to pull me across the road. I went right because that’s the way we always went when running from this pub. After two hundred metres I found a Tee and turned back. The first double blob was about ten metres to the left of the circle so even the walkers were ahead of me.

I caught up at the next circle. Runners were running everywhere except into the yard of a house in front of the circle. The runners assumed it couldn’t be that way. I noticed a bridle-way sign because I spent a whole five seconds thinking it through. On, On then!

I ran with Colin and we caught up on all the things we had missed in several weeks. I love that about the hash. We are like a gushing stream, bubbles of runners, the continuous miscible eddying and ebbing from bubble to bubble. We spoke at length about Colin and his daughter, Emily, preparing for a rowing race down the Thames to London at Easter. What a trip and I hope they do it.

Devil’s Den

We ran the paths over the River Kennet and at the back of Fyfield and over the Bath Road towards the Devil’s Den. The route went under a cairn with a precarious boulder on top (of course it did, Colin was hare) but the runners were slim enough to get through. It was a first for me on this route and it was delightful. The mix of hill and downhill by horse run and fence and then through fields of rocks, thrown as if God’s kids had had a birthday party. The weather ignored its forecast and gladdened our day and we stopped for photos at several places. 

Among the Grey Wethers

The run back to the main road was a delight. We met some walkers who arrived around the same time as the runners. That doesn’t happen very often. The pub landlord was very officious and only allowed two of us at a time into the pub to order a drink. There was no room inside, as they seemed to be re-enacting a Bethlehem quandary about stables. They obviously don’t have walkers, runners or people with muddy shoes in Lockeridge. 

It was their loss and explains why it’s so long since we’d been there. We commandeered two benches and in sunshine enjoyed the outdoors. Jeremy made a fine speech about a cracking hash and thanked Colin. He also warmly welcomed Janet and hoped she’d return. I’m sure she will as no one gave her the shorts. That’s how we lose shorts, and runners, after their first visit.

He then handed over to Viv to brief us on the next hash which was so complicated that I doubt anyone will get there. David provided chips for everyone which was very generous and we had a good old chin-wag.

Thanks Colin, great hash!

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