Run Report 1920: Hogden Lane CP, Ranmore Common

Club 19-20

Scribed by Hawkeye

Commerce and capitalism rarely cross paths with PH3. There were the occasions back in the nineties when we sought sawdust sponsorship from Travis Perkins and chip endorsements from McCain but those brief and unsuccessful forays aside – we remain an altruistic and free spirited bunch. Gin in PP’s case. But this weekend bluebells and payola went head-to-head as SJ (quite understandably) had to prioritize employment over enjoyment. And having survived being self-employed through the pandemic, not let this opportunity pass by.

But cometh the hour, cometh the GMs who valiantly stepped in to set in the area and revel in the bluebells who wait for no man, woman etc. But was this going to be like the Jimi Hendrix version of all along the watchtower (better than the original)  or a right ‘Jamie Oliver’ for suggesting you put chorizo in paella……..a bounteous pack turned out to find out. This included Scooby Doo, Secret Squirrel, TIFM, Call Girl, Easily Overlooked, Robin Hood, Tea Cosy, Robic, Moondance, Cynthia, ITB, Factor30, Hawkeye, Pis’t’man Pat, Uphill Gill, Paul Newman, Trip Advisor, Venus and Dusty. SJ did make a brief appearance off the back of a 6-day 12hr shift, so for Run 1920 we had 19 or 20 participants depending on your perspective.

I had tried to practice safe drinking whilst watching Saturday night TV, and if ever you needed a drink to watch the TV – it’s the Eurovision song contest. Anyway as I am sure PP can attest, safe drinking (where you match alcohol glass for glass with the equivalent volume of water) is okay in principle, but even I can’t manage the necessary two bottles of water. But suitably hydrated I arrived to the hash where a shower were assembling in…….a shower.

The marking for this hash was impeccable from the outset. Copious markings and a lack of vandals (few people go walking in torrential downpours) meant that we were always certain of our trail. Which was just as well as it was bonkers – think spider on LSD fallen into an inkwell. Setting aside the idea that the GMs are drug-fuelled loons, the reason for such random running was to show off the seasonal best of the bluebells. Therefore the only clue to aid the FRB was whether a section of bluebells was visible from the circle.

An early undulating section did for SS who pulled up lame – some people will do anything to get out of writing a run report, but the early regroup was perched on the edge of the downs at that pillbox overlooking Westcott. We made it further along the NDW before a brutal ascent into the woods and the best of what Fern Britain had to offer – a mesmeric greenery dotted with bluebells, not a show reel from 1990’s Good Morning show. It’s good to know that at least the ferns have been enjoying the recent and incessant rains.

But what goes up, must use the North Downs Way, so we quickly descended and cross White Lane. In my mental map there is a Bermuda/Bluebell Triangle section between where the NDW and Drove Road bifurcate just past Gomshall and into which I rarely venture. But throwing all caution to the wind, the route took us through the eye of the hypotenuse and into uncharted territory. The novelty of running once more in a large pack is that you can go a whole run without taking the lead, or is that just a circumstance of running with TC? I think Dusty and Moondance offered him some company at some points but it looked like he had it covered on his own.

Emerging from some delightful beech woods onto the Drove Road, my hard fought insider knowledge, from my run to the start, was pretty redundant as the FRBs were so far ahead, but at least I had survived the Bermuda/bluebell triangle. Having crossed Crocknorth Road, we dropped down to Critten Lane to pass behind the former Ranmore Arms and a close encounter with a pen of sheep, pre-numbered for the menu. The on in continued the theme of well-marked but undulating and with some familiar territory (from Yew Tree Farm) we regained the height needed for a flat run across the common and home. Oh and ‘Germany won on penalties’.

VERDICT: Simply delightful. The advantage of May’s excessive rainfall is a stupendous level of greenery to counterpoint a full flush of bluebells. A devious trail that was under time but over (the usual) incline – but all the better to slowly take in the surroundings. Many thanks Sparkly and Wally

POST RUN CONVERSATION: The post run entertainment was lacking chips. It was lacking piping hot sausage rolls. And it was lacking an Aga-warmed atmosphere. So whilst the run was upholding of expected standards – a damp, chilly carpark after party was not! But the warmth of conversation was unchanged. I caught up on F30s somewhat challenging marathon and Ultra plans for the year ahead – #this girl can and left for a much anticipated hot shower, relaxing in the comfort of a delightful run in similar terrain and company. On on

Run Report 1919:Hollowdene Recreation Ground, Shortfield Common Road, Nr Frensham

The perfect wedding shower……

Scribed by Hawkeye

Lockdown continues to ease and having spent a year on the sofa to save lives and protect the NHS, it was high time to leave the sofa…..to save my life and protect the NHS. April showers had also dutifully respected social distancing but had been making up for lost time in May. Time to Frensham things up a little. With some or other similar justification (or just sympathy for bedraggled hares) Robin Hood, 3s4d, Lady Chatterley, Call Girl, Sparkly, Wally, Prince Charming, Cinderella, Hawkeye, Secret Squirrel,  Pis’t’man Pat, Easily Overlooked, Tea Cosy, Sorry John and TIFM arrived at Shortfield Common Road. EO was one of the last to arrive, which was surprising considering the venue….

The following hour tested some/all of the following myths:

  • It never rains between 11 and 12 on a Sunday.
  • Interbreeding between hashers is alive and ‘well’.
  • Tea Cosy can be early for a run
  • Covid is not transmissible through torrential downpours
  • PP remains in full control of his faculties if not his liver
  • The Tufty Club survives – for some
  • Frensham with its ponds etc., is largely flat

Read on to find out which ones.

We were promised a sub 5 mile trail, wildlife and a regroup. Running the touchline we passed the offside of the football pitch and were away. Within five minutes we had successfully crossed the main road onto the heath. I am pleased to report that Secret Squirrel still holds his Tufty Club badge, less so Policeman Badger who’s lifeless form was the ‘wildlife’ referred to by the hares. Not a good omen for the run ahead.

Running ahead was Prince Charming who with youth and local knowledge on his side, was a force to be reckoned with. But first of all we had to reckon with the novelty of running in a group of over six people – albeit suitably distanced. This we accomplished seemingly seamlessly even hovering over circles like a well-oiled machine. The early section was accomplished in torrential rain that somehow grew stronger as we climbed to the high ground and an al fresco marked regroup with a panoramic of the great pond/lake below.

For some reason this brought forth a ditty about the Duke of Buckingham from Secret Squirrel. Maybe it was the onset of hypothermia as despite being mid-May and just before midday, soaked to the skin the regroup was distinctly chilly. But joy unbridled is a woman in love and Lady Chatterley chose this moment to announce her recent betrothal to 3s4d. Brief cheers and clapped/chapped hands ensued before, for safety’s sake we moved on.

I took a falsie as we tipped over the crest of the hill and never saw Prince Charming again. But the entertainment proceeded nonetheless. Descending the hill just ahead of the tongue of water that was turning the path into a stream, I joined the pack as it wove alongside the Pond/Pond Road and emerged by the hotel. Next up we encountered PH3’s very own Mary Poppins e.g. TIFM jogging with a golf umbrella!

Closing out a half lap of the lake my legs and lungs felt it was time to turn for home. TC already had and in the company of SS we encountered some wildlife (thankfully in rude health) in the shape of lambs and bullocks as we crossed the meadows towards St Mary the Virgin and some rather bucolic scenery as we climbed up from the river, to the playing field and home.

VERDICT: Rumour has it that Robic suffered from a last minute cancellation, but Moondance looked a natural as the plus one. And as foretold the run length of 5.1m (include some of the predicted long falsies) covered in c56min – was just what we like. We also like cake and in celebration of the announcement LC (for I assume it was not 3s4d) conjured up our necessary sugar fix.

POST RUN CONVERSATION: the rain had abated but temperatures remained low until full past 12noon when the sun came out (see myth busting below) and we relaxed like lizards in search of solar gain. This allowed us to catch up (physically and verbally) with PC and Cinderella on local housing developments and explore PP’s future plans in that regard. I think CG and Sparkly were absent for the photoshoot but more importantly present for the cake. And then the rains came again…..

So many thanks Robic and Moondance and what of those myths, well……….

  • It never rains between 11 and 12 on a Sunday – myth busted!
  • Interbreeding between hashers is alive and ‘well’ – with nuptials planned – apparently so.
  • Tea Cosy can be early for a run – True, but only because he took a lift to get there
  • Covid is not transmissible through torrential downpours – the jury’s still out, but hopefully not!
  • PP remains in full control of his faculties if not his liver – seemingly so……..
  • The Tufty Club survives, for some – True.
  • Frensham with its ponds etc., is largely flat – largely busted.

On on.

Run Report 1917: Farley Heath Roman Temple CP, near Farley Green

A shingually good run……….

Scribed by Hawkeye

Our run this weekend, heralded the early onset of May and a UK Bank Holiday weekend with weather to match. Confused about the UK’s climate, well I’m currently taking hay fever tablets and scraping frost from the car in the morning – figure that one out? A healthy group of runners, walkers and inbetweeners had volunteered to figure out a trail set by Secret Squirrel and Easily Overlooked. The hashers that went out six by six included Call Girl, ITB, Cynthia, Too Bright, A-List, 3s4d, Lady C, Wurzel, Wally, Uphill Gill, Paul Newman, Venus, Hawkeye, Robic, Moondance, G&T (Georgia&Tom), ‘New Gwen’, Tea Cosy and F30. Walkers were Hipless, Sorry John and TIFM.

Due to prior sustained performance I had been elevated from Pod three to two thus robbing my lifestyle of a now assimilated fifteen minutes. This was only a part of the reason that I dispensed with an earlier held idea to run to the hash, the main reason was the need to do some DIY rather than sofa snoozing in the afternoon. Anyway, given my stay-at-home lifestyle – the car needed a run more than I did. The planning department of the Roman army that occupied this part of Britannia clearly never got round to road building, so following a sinuous route I arrived for the run to a car park seemingly set to host a modern ‘Surrey’ pentathlon – horse, hike, bike, latte and Chelsea tractor driving!

Heath equals sand and dry weather meant strength sapping terrain. Having turned left at the first opportunity I found my way back round and across the road and a long stretch away from it. Seemingly on my own I decided to kick the circle then reproached myself for such louche pod three behaviour, remade it and answered a call of nature until a pod member came within earshot. Of course in due course my nose got put out of joint and I took a falsie. Then all my Christmases came together as PN took up the lead and we enjoyed a view over the nascent 2021 supply of Christmas trees.

The first part of the run was leading inexorably uphill. By a process of accumulation we acquired enough height to reach the ‘edge’ of the Surrey Hills and the Greensand Way and in the process a quick visit to Hurtwood Control CP No6 before arriving at a regroup in CP No5. As a number sequence quiz it wasn’t enthralling but for CP anoraks a stupendous day out. But the regroup had a purpose which was to take in a permanent art installation https://www.surreyhillsarts.org/permanent-works/perspectives/ comprising hundreds of cedar shingles. Suitably rested, we thoroughly enjoyed the shingles, apparently Virgil (currently laid up at home) is not so keen.

A regroup in a podded run was a tad optimistic and as pod one was only 1 minute ahead of pod two when it arrived, it was somewhat inevitable that our paths would cross. This happened on a rather delightful downward stretch past the misnamed Winterfold Cottage (it’s a mansion!). You just can’t keep a good pod down, although A-List did a pretty good job to stay ahead of the bunch.

The on in was inevitable – in my head, but unknown to my feet. I knew we had to cross the large by-way (BOAT) but not which way from where we were. PN therefore took the lead and as we emerged into the woods opposite the start and the final circle he went all in, I gambled on number 8 (the car park) to good effect. To finish a fine run.

VERDICT: On current form I should be with Pod one next week, the walkers the week after and then…….? But for now, I and I think all involved relaxed in the comfort of a circa 5mile+ run accomplished in or around the hour. Clearly the preparation paid off and EO is now getting quite ‘experienced’ which is a polite reference to the fact that not a month has elapsed and here she is laying with another man. I know that lockdown restrictions have been hard for us all, but EO in particular seems to be making up for lost time!

POST RUN CONVERSATION: The weak sun was of little assistance. After the brief post-run cool down…it really cooled down. Whilst we waited for pod three I learned that Sparkly was playing golf and that UG had been running in some new trainers – which like a new car require some gentle nurturing. And with the extended Robic/Moondance pod returned and my core body temperature drained –I headed for home, enough roamin’ for the day. On on.

Run Report 1915: Bell & Colvill Layby, West Horsley

Quiet staggering……….

Scribed by Hawkeye

April showers can best describe the alternating group of runners, reprobates and ne’er do wells that assemble on a Sunday for a hash during this month – it certainly can’t be applied to any rain, as to date – bar a fleeting flurry of snow last week (when pub gardens finally reopened!) there hasn’t been any. This thought was one of a few that precipitated my decision to run to the hash. Another was a thick head and the thought that this course of action would somehow help. With PP temporarily absent – I’m doing my best to keep up the claret count and lay the blame on my lifelong football team for getting promoted to the Premier League on a Saturday night. Mind you rather like a tree falling ‘silently’ in a forest if no one is there to bear witness – one assumes that claret is still consumed even if no one sees PP do it, or its after effects.

When I arrived the hares looked confused and bemused whilst demonstrating all the organisational abilities of Dido Harding to track and trace who was going to turn up for this run. You can lead the PH3 on a trail it seems, just not to it?! Therefore pod sizes were as flexible as your post-lockdown elasticated leisure wear. Early starters probably included Secret Squirrel, Too Bright, Cynthia, ITB, Robin Hood, Virgil, Venus, Lady Chatterley, Le Pro, TIFM and Sorry John.

But it was a delightfully warm morning and the hares had no doubt set a delightful trail for us, so who cared. My pod, in the company of Wally, 3s4d, Trip Advisor, Uphill Gill and Paul Newman set off. I had discovered some evidence of a trail arriving by foot but at that stage being unsure whether it was the early or late stages of the trail meant that I wasn’t much use as a leader – which 3s4d and PN found to their cost. UG and PN were recuperating from a south coast half marathon that ‘only’ took in half the Seven Sisters (3.5?) and what with my pre-run exertions we could have done with an injection of fresh legs –  but where could that come from……

In the meantime, we wriggled and writhed our way out into the meadows that envelop Squires garden centre, an opera house and reach from the King William IVth to the Barley Mow and St Marys Church. A veritable monopoly board of entertainment awaited us now we’d passed go. Spring can be a cheering time of year, none more so than this year with a tough winter lockdown disappearing in the rear view mirror and this run encapsulated that feeling. A warm sunny feel and nature at its thrusting best. No zebras this week but the two-tone theme continued with an abundance of blackthorn in full white blossom. Quite staggering, which provided a pleasant backdrop for my quiet staggering.

The route led us to the railway line where TA felt the need to cross and I didn’t. Thus for a while I navigated the lead towards the opera house (this still sounds bizarre to be writing about Horsley?!) then lost it due to FOCO (Fear Of Crossing Outbound trail) – which of course I was mistaken in. Somehow we came to pass St Marys church and Sheepleas. Here the hares had clearly had even more of a field day as falsies sprung up hither and yon. Legs flagging we needed an injection of fresh legs –  but where could that come from……

Then apparently the GM clicked his heels together, wiggled his nose and recited an ancient hashing incantation and the fast running Tea Cosy appeared to answer the call in our hour of need. This is clearly more plausible than TC merely starting late, for which there is no precedent or prior experience……. Whatever the background, his athletic talents and local knowledge were soon put to work as he led us to a voluntary regroup by the way-marked plinth. So all hail the messiah, or as per Monty Python should that be “Now, you listen here! He’s not the Messiah. He’s a very naughty boy!” – for not registering for the run.

Legit or not, we did leg it as the renewed efforts registered and we found the sneaky route down from the summit and by turns towards Shere Road. Here in a brazen display of bravado and a frank disregard for the feelings of his fellow pod members who had observed Wally dutifully shepherd his flock from the rear all morning – were now treated to the sight of Wally opening up a sprint, the likes of which have not been witnessed since they reopened Primark last week.  TC was unable to let that pass – literally.

VERDICT: As hangover cures go, the run to the hash worked well. As a reaffirmation of a hopeful and bounteous spring the run on the hash also delivered. I have some sympathy for Call Girl – as knowing the pace that Sparkly likes to set a trail, I imagine it was a strenuous morning.  But many thanks CG and Sparkly, even for all those falsies!

POST RUN CONVERSATION: When Messrs Bell & Colvill founded the Lotus Company, I dare say they never foresaw the day that the PH3 Spring Outing would camp in their eponymous layby, which was what greeted the last pod, as the earlier starters had set out their stall with deck chairs and all. All that was missing was a crate of Guinness and fish & chips all round. TIFM emerged healthy for his first post-lockdown appearance and showed an unhealthy interest in the gravel and grit stored but surplus to immediate highways use? I accepted the sawdust bags having witnessed a tough act to follow. On on

Run Report 1914: Random Hall Hotel, Slinfold

Fan–Dabi–Dozi

Scribed by Hawkeye

So being ‘blessed’ with a full complement of parents, I missed the recent return of PH3 to the streets of Surrey. But, the in-laws drew the short straw this weekend and a case of hypothermia to boot as we enjoyed iced tea in their garden on Saturday so that I could make it to the hash on a sunnier Sunday. So, a week late for the return of PH3, I arrived on time at the Random Hall Hotel – my hairstyle arriving a few minutes later – fashionably late so I’m told.

The hashers had gone out six-by-six and by the time I arrived, scampering through Sussex were Call Girl, Secret Squirrel, Sparkly, Wally, Too Bright then Uphill Gill, Paul Newman, Trip Advisor, Virgil, Venus.  My lucky companions included Robic, Moondance, Georgia and Factor30. Black Cat was inexplicably delayed

I never discovered the charms of Slinfold, a place named after the Anglo-Saxon practice of sawdust spreading, as having explored the first false trail of the day, we never set foot on to the far side of Stane Street again. At this early juncture it became apparent (or rather wasn’t) that the briefing offered up by PH3’s very own version of the Krankies – had been detailed in many ways but absent in one – i.e. the near invisibility of the sawdust. Quite frankly I’m still amazed they managed to recognise its existence enough to get it into the sawdust bags in the first place! When it emerged it had the camouflage ability of……camouflage.

The weak sun was matched by my legs as we set off on what a month ago would have surely been a clay-strewn quagmire but now represented a hard-baked threat to life, limb and ankle. Some premature bluebells gave way to the Downslink where general pandemonium took over from captain calm. Eventually we divined that the route continued over the top and to the local golf club. Here, half expecting the Rupert-trousered brigade to be sofa-bound and wired into the Masters, I was surprised to see players teeing off in my direction. With F30 for company I escaped unscathed. Sofa so good.

We crossed the first of a few quite dry stream valleys and coppiced almost-bluebell woods before emerging into delightful fields and the like. Front running was changing as quickly as the April weather, occasioned by the continuing challenge of spotting the trail. We were however able to spot two zebras as our paths crossed and we realized that they were ‘horses dressed as zebras’ which is either a Harry Hill sketch or a some sort of tax scam. Robic took over the family running duties and led us past Quince Farm and a close encounter with the River Arun whereas for me it was not family but familiarity that crept up on me.

So putting that familiarity aside and exploring a pointless falsie I found myself seriously detached from reality, or the 4 runners ahead that were my closest approximation. It then dawned that the road was the A281 (and not the A29 as I had thought) and the familiarity was because I had set a trail on these paths from Rudgwick! The Wright family had splintered with the girls leaving the boy (and later the young were to leave the old) and I did my best to catch them all. That said as I entered Dedisham Farm and the forewarned path redirection – the farmer sat beaming astride his sit on lawnmower with that quintessential English smell of fresh cut grass wafting skywards. It seemed somewhat churlish to chastise him for obliterating a circle and any sense of the trail when in truth I don’t think he was any more aware than we were of its possible existence!

The on in was rather delightful and bucolic to a man blessed enough to live at the foot of the North Downs, yet still after four months of restricted activities, yearning for the new vistas of the Sussex Weald as offered. What a joy to be back on the trails again.

VERDICT: A cracker(jack) of a route that was nearly impossible to see but absolutely delightful nonetheless. Fan–Dabi–Dozi even. Many thanks EO and SD.

POST RUN CONVERSATION: Whilst it wasn’t a day to sit around in the carpark, some long overdue gossip was in full flow. And Venus offered round some rather divine cupcakes. My coiffured debon-hair was the subject of some conversation drawing comparisons to Blake Carrington. And whilst it has been something of an endurance during lockdown, the current Mrs Hawkeye has taken to fluffing it daily – so it’s not been all bad. She likes my long hair too. 🙂

The Random House Hotel, the country home of a publishing magnate seems a nice enough place, perhaps we should come back when it’s open later in the season. And to check that Black Cat did make it round? I set off home to book an appointment with a barber who’s prepared to tackle a lockdown Barnet with a postcode all of its own. On on.

Run Report 1911: Yew Tree Farm, Polseden Lacey

life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get……

Scribed by Hawkeye

In keeping with tradition our first run of the year foregoes the usual inn keeping and heads to the cosy environs of Yew Tree Farm for a convivial post-Christmas catch up. But 2021 was going to be different, as had 2020. In fact early March 2020 (The King William IVth, post-run 1884) marks the last time as a group we set foot into a pub.  Maybe this year……or next!

So as 2021 opens before us, our ‘running’ options become more closed, such that we are now reduced to a largely solitary form of hashing which necessitates a new approach to running and a new approach to setting. But I think we’re getting the hang of it.

As this was not in any way a formal or organised group event there is no way of knowing who turned up, or when but from a glance through social media and a recollection of random people I encountered decoratively scattered across the Polesden landscape this could have included……Sparkly, Call Girl, Robic, Factor 30, Virgil, Venus, Cinderella, Prince Charming (& Mother in law), Cynthia, ITB, 3s4d, Lady Chatterley (& family), Dominic Cummings and Pis’t’man Pat. Wally wasn’t well enough to run but had made a short car journey to test his eyesight.

My cunning plan to jog down from Ranmore Common Car Park and pick up the trail wherever I encountered it failed dismally as the whole trail was set on the ‘other’ side towards the house etc. The reason became apparent as I waded through calf deep liquefied mud churned up by the forestry works on the Ranmore side. So plans and trainers ruined in short order.

We were promised a circa five mile and five circle trail and I confess to having failed to initially navigate correctly from any one of those five circles. Sometimes it’s about the quality not the quantity. The upside to mud (there is one I can think of) is that it makes fresh pine sawdust stand out – so trail finding wasn’t too hard. And if you managed not to miss the turn headed Bookham way you were able to curse the hare for the double-back across the field or glance at the remarkably clear view of London. In short order we were running up the main drive either expecting to be welcomed by a butler or taken out by a sniper.

Relieved that neither came to pass the trail led us inexorably to descend to the start of ‘Sound of Music’ Hill where the only meaningful vandalism of the day sent me off in a spin, quite literally. I missed a sharp turn which others managed to see, so I completed a reverse loop of the woods crossing the flint bridge twice before heading back down the valley, no harm done. Remaining more socially distant than the clearly multiple families, friend and the like – I had to dig deep to summon the individual energy for the solo pursuit along the valley and up the lane home. But if that’s all I’ve got to worry about for the week – what the hell……

VERDICT: I suspect that in the end they will determine that two vaccines, injecting bleach, living next to a 5G mast and regularly immersing yourself in fresh mud are conducive to resisting the onset of Covid-19. Which is the only positive I can summon to keep myself going through a very wet/muddy running season.  And as for the trail, if Forrest Gump is to be believed and “life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get” – we should never doubt that with this hare we’re always on Quality Street. Many thanks SJ.

SOCIAL MEDIA REVIEWS:

***** Was a great hash! And I didn’t need my glasses to spot the circles, ……. and they wouldn’t have helped with the sneaky cross in the tree roots early on that I found………a great run, mud mud mud again, and trails I’ve not knowingly run before, though Virgil may tell you I have. Thanks SJ, another few miles done. Mrs V

* nice venue but the event did not live up to my expectations as unmasked ramblers were wandering everywhere. Will not be booking again. Mr I Shield

** Thanks SJ as cunning a trail as ever. You even outfoxed me and my plan to run in from Ranmore CP and pick up the trail somewhere- doh! Would have rated higher except for the mud… On on! Mr Hawk.I

*** It was a fantastic run with amazingly little mud. Jody had the beady eye which spotted the vandalized sharp left after the ‘sound of music’ hill. Really enjoyed it – thanks SJ (only thing missing was the sausage rolls!). Row.Bic (Mrs)

* stunning location, but venue did not fulfil my requirements. The hot mud bath was not, there were no towels and a dog barked at me. I will use Airbnb in future. Dr Stu Pid.

**** Shame I lost the trail down near the stone footbridge but the great thing about hashing is that once you are out there the exact route is often secondary to the joy of running in a lovely locality (and I did refind the route eventually,)Thanks again.  Mr Pee Pee.

** nice event. Would have been better except for the strange man with the ‘Christmas belly’ who kept popping up out of the woods. Felt like he was following us around! Miss I Wass Talked.

*** To echo everyone else…. lovely route. Am slowly getting my running back, and just about kept up with Robic, though I did take two chunky falsies so then had to try and sprint to catch up! The beady eye was on high alert thankfully. Cheers SJ. Ms K Factor.

FOOTNOTE:

So once again that seems to be all folks, stay healthy, stay happy and if collective drinking and/or running fall off the agenda be sure to practice both in your splendid isolation. Or stay safe, stay sane and hash in a legal/socially responsible manner. On on.

Run Report 1908: Old Guildford Road, Nr Deepcut

…and good will toward men…..and Wurzel!

Scribed by Hawkeye

I am paraphrasing slightly but I think it was Jona Lewie 2:14 who famously stated ‘Glory to the GM in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men even when they set using the method of Guildford’. With such warm thoughts in my mind, I set off towards Deepcut, apparently somewhere in Surrey that is accessed via Timbuktu. If it had been any darker I’d would have needed a star to guide me. Arriving with time to spare I had exhausted my navigational capabilities for the day without stepping out of the car. But once I did this, I’d ruined my shoes as the hare had chosen to start today’s run from a quagmire.

My old friend déjà vu was back again as I recalled to PP how this muddy undulating trail was very similar to one I’d used ten years previously, four sheets to the wind on two wheels and in the company of my new best friend Paddy – an Irish double-glazing salesman from Bellfields. How we navigated from Frimley to Guildford with 20 pints of beer and one set of bike lights – is the stuff of legend and a few bruises. The pack without such Proustian flashbacks included the aforementioned Pis’t’man Pat, Lady Chatterley, Robic, Robin Hood, Call Girl, 3s4d, Secret Squirrel and Hawkeye. Walkers were Wally & Sparkly and by the looks of the abandoned white van, TIFM was lurking somewhere. So that was ‘8 hashers hashing, 2 walkers walking and an old man hiding by a tree’….

Wurzel had opted for an early white Christmas and was once again wearing a good proportion of the flour being used to mark our trail. Prior to departure we foolishly asked for clarification of the general marking rules being used and the ensuing explanations made Robic’s head spin more than it already was. So with the smallest pack in ages we set off with the largest group in months…..and all in accordance with this weeks’ rules. The early stages of the run were pock marked with the signs of military exercises. Port-a-loos everywhere and to my eye, small scale litter randomly scattered. I’m not sure if such terrain actually has more litter or that in a desperate search for a blob of flour my eyes alight upon any non-natural content. It’s not often I can say that I ran an extra 100yds due to Twix bar (wrapper).

PP and SS pushed ahead in the early stages as Robic found her feet, then head then stomach and settled in for the long haul. Whilst the territory was very familiar to the hare (thankfully) the pack was largely treated to new experiences on undulating heath and pine woodlands. Quite delightful and largely free of the mud that parked the dogging area sorry that dogged the parking area. The rules for marking being as clear as this weeks’ Covid guidance, I spent a considerable time running of course and running off course – not that I knew it. The most reliable indicator for a trail became Wurzel marking the junction or checking where CG was taking a shortcut.

I was accused of being a bit of a grump, which was a fair enough call…I just get so used to the PH3 rules that anything less virtuous and simple confuses me. This is the way. At this juncture we all reflected on the sagacity of the GMs to group us all together, like a KFC family bucket a GH3 trail can be can be quite slippery, could leave you unfulfilled – but is certainly not meant for less than six people. As a pod of eight we just about hung together, helped by the occasional voluntary regroup and a lot of involuntary ones.

Somehow we avoided crossing the railway line (after trying quite hard) and crossed instead the ‘Old Guildford Road’ the large track that bifurcated the common and headed off in a more southerly style. Here the running had a vague familiarity and SS later reminded me that it was that we used to run from the nearby Potters on the Basingstoke Canal. Three quarters of the way round and RH, PP and SS continued to lead – so for all its faults (….?) GH3 style was keeping us together.

In the closing stretches we came across that old man hiding by a tree (TIFM) and regrouped with CG in the middle of expansive heathland and small spruce trees, two of which had been pre-decorated with tinsel and baubles, pity I didn’t have a chain saw to hand to speed up the Hawkeye festive season. With an impeccable sense of timing but not direction I headed off on another wild goose chase but in truth my goose was truly cooked as I never saw a runner again until I was shepherded home by the only wise man of the day – Wurzel.

VERDICT: To be truthful this was an entertaining run and given our limited ability to live a normal life these days, as normal as it gets. So whilst I may have had the face of a curmudgeon, with the legs of a hasher I was always going to be pleased with the morning. The hare, a renowned orienteerer claimed to have taken only two hours to set the trail, whereas it took me nearly 1hr 20 and 6.5 miles to run it. So many thanks Wurzel. Anyway, if I’d spent a penny at every port-a-loo we’d spotted, I’d be a few pounds lighter, have perfect urological health but be accused of really taking the p*** out of the GH3 style trail. And remembering my reflection of good will toward men even Wurzel, I couldn’t possibly do that……

IN THE MUD: Sadly neither the weather nor location lent itself to sticking around although Sparkly was tempting us by offering round the mince pies. Without our usual revelry and this being my last RR of the year (I am setting next week), I will leave you with what are purported to be some of the best christmas cracker jokes of 2020. I think you’ll agree when having read some of them, that this only reinforces what a terrible year it has been.  Thank god (and the GMs) for the hashing we’ve managed to accomplish. On on!

Who dresses in red and gives to the children this Christmas? Marcus Rashford.

Why couldn’t Mary and Joseph join their work conference call? Because there was no Zoom at the inn.

Why did the pirates have to go into lockdown? Because the “Arrrr!” rate had risen.

What is Dominic Cummings’ favourite Christmas song? Driving Home for Christmas

Run Report 1907: Roman Villa CP, Farley Heath

Back to Black………heath

Scribed by Hawkeye

As I fired up the motor on Sunday morning it occurred to me that I’m likely to have cycled more miles than I’ve driven in 2020. I know that to be the case for Moondance. I’d left my departure and travel time a bit tight, especially when I now have to navigate the regular congestion at Newlands Corner. That said the enforced adrenalin rush was quite a novel sensation – I’ve not been late for an appointment in about nine months……on account of not having any!

And on to another novel sensation, hashing with PH3 again. Out of the shackles of Lockdown 2 and into the arms of Tier 2. I don’t know about you but Lockdown 2.0 felt like all sequels, rather uncertain, no clear plot and with the general feeling that it was only done for the money. But nonetheless here we were in a surprisingly large, but busy country car park.

In fine fettle was a socially distanced pack consisting of Call Girl, Sparkly, Robin Hood, ITB, Cynthia,  Easily Overlooked, 3s4d, Lady Chatterley, Pis’t’man Pat, Trip Advisor, Uphill Gill, Paul Newman, Hawkeye, Robic, Black Cat, Too Bright, A-List and Secret Squirrel. Hipless and TIFM were roamin’ somewhere near the villa. Arriving just on time, I was fully prepared to wait for a late arriving BC, after all Black Cat Matters, but he arrived on time too.

The weather wasn’t too bright but our group was and we set off. Its revealing what four weeks of poorly enforced house arrest does to a person, or not. Robic went off like her life depended on it, Squirrel was faster than a whippet up a drainpipe and BC harnessed the power from his full Sunderland kit and surged onwards and off course.  This left A-list, Too Bright and I to acclimatize, it’s a marathon not a sprint.

Virgil and Venus had reccied the run during the preceding week in a downpour and were accompanied by Uphill Gill and Paul Newman. In a touch of schadenfreude (which is actually German for rain) they then significantly changed the route on the day! Who needs enemies when you have friends like that.  This condemned UG, PN and their unwitting pod-mates into a day of dead ends.

Early in my exploration of the trail, I had strayed into what Secret Squirrel informed me was known as ‘Warren’s Gulley’ on account of Rubberlegs (aka Warren) being the only person able to find it. But today I had my senses fully trained and was able to pursue a seemingly endless number of wild geese including Hawkeye’s blind alley, Hawkeye’s dead end, Hawkeye’s cul-de-sac and Hawkeye’s one-way street! I’ll be honest the trail we followed remains a mystery to me to this day, and that despite the fact that Virgil gave me his planning map to keep and Sparkly the Garmin readout…….

What I do recall is that we soon emerged onto Blackheath and the scene of RH’s pre-lockdown run and Virgil’s ankle twisting. First we crossed Littleton Lane then we crossed back, then we collected the remnants of Pod 2 (LC, Squid and 3s4s) before crossing Blackheath Lane and then contemplated crossing Sample Oak Lane but didn’t. The regroup at the War Memorial was welcome to re-orientate ourselves from a dizzying few minutes. As we caught our breathe, we assumed BC was being sarcastic when he said he hadn’t been here before, until we realised he wasn’t!

There were plenty of walkers out and about on the heath but it’s amazing what a week or two at home does to everyone – they all seemed genuinely pleased to be out and to chat to other people. So no vandalism and welcoming smiles – a welcome side effect of 2020, long may it last. We found two separate self-reported former overseas hashers through such encounters. And then within a blink of eye we transited heath to heath, from Black to Farley and a slow and gentle but inexorable climb home.

VERDICT: Field Marshall Rommel is attributed with the saying ‘time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted’, which seemed very appropriate for this occasion and I can envision V&V poring over maps during November, awaiting their next opportunity to inflict a trail on PH3. But what a trail and perfectly marked too. In fact it was a perfect day out, that was no doubt only bested for the hares when Tottenham took their north London arrivals apart on the football pitch later in the day! Many thanks Venus and Virgil.

IN THE CAR PARK: Our groups attempted to stay in our pods, which was difficult after our recent break and spontaneous socializing. But we didn’t stand out amongst the general throng of walkers and riders milling about. So finding out the latest gossip for a run report was quite a challenge. All I gleaned was that PN had done the run with three gloves – no me neither? PP however was pleased to report that following a couple of weeks of back pain (apparently he sneezed while putting on his socks – which seems an extremely over cautious preventative measure to halt the spread of Covid), he was now fully cured. I am sure being chased through the woods by Robic also convinced him that sometimes your dreams do come true. On on.

Run Report 1906: Yew Tree Farm, Polesden Lacey

Roam 101……….

Scribed by Hawkeye

Sorry John is no doubt a well-read chap and well aware of the significance of ‘Room 101’ from George Orwell’s 1984, namely a torture chamber where occupants are subjected to their own worst nightmare, fear or phobia. This undoubtedly influenced what was to unfold on this his ‘Run 101’. 

It was an unsuspecting bunch of pods that wended their wet way to Yew Tree Farm as SJ prepared to divide and conquer. Driving in via the main NT entrance you bear witness to a sign that says ‘pre-booking needed’, quel surprise! Seems like just when PH3 finally mastered this pre-booking pod lark – Bo Jo says no go once again. This week’s participants included Call Girl, Flappy Paddle, Factor 30, Sparkly, ITB, Heavenly Blonde,  Wurzel, Wally, Secret Squirrel, Pis’t’man Pat, Cynthia, Black Cat, Hawkeye, Trip Advisor, Scooby Doo and Lady Chatterley.

I saw most of pod 2 lost on the out trail, but none of pod one, and assume that ‘Heavenly Blonde’ must have been a typo?!? And my pod of four set off downhill without a trace of a Black Cat.  So what was SJ’s ‘Run 101’ going to be, what could he do to subject us to our own worst nightmare, fear or phobia? To all intents and purposes it looked like the hare had spent considerable efforts in finding a sawdust with a pantone to match exactly the background colours and leaves on the trail. And what subtle differences in tone remain were then erased by a light dusting of rain. ‘Run 101’ quickly turned into ‘Roam 101’ as our pod slowed to a crawl to maintain occasional sighting of a near invisible trail.  A trail set in invisible sawdust – a hashing groups’ worst nightmare……

The trail may have been unknown but at least the terrain was more familiar but in his parting words the hare had also said that thankfully the recent winds had removed most of the leaves with just a few remaining………and then the wind picked up to dislodge those few remaining to further cover the markings!

My pod struggled to pick up the trail but in the end found its way along the valley and up to ‘the bridge’. Following an existential crisis and losing Scooby Doo somewhere in the woods, we were lucky that a Black Cat crossed our path. And the morning after Halloween too. LC and TA pressed on with the trail finding that took us across Bagden Hill then a precipitous descent to Chapel Lane. In such close proximity to a barbed wire fence, this brought to BC’s mind recollections that involved self-inflicted wounds involving a bicycle, a fence, a canal a beer (or more!) all in France.

We trod carefully but couldn’t believe the switchback across the other side of the valley and another such fence. The risk was worth it though as we conducted an ambling regroup and marvelled in the views of Box Hill and the Mickleham valley and thereabouts. This may have (in some part) compensated for the next vertical ascent to emerge breathless and Scooby-less on the Ranmore ridge above Denbies. Regaining the junction with Ranmore Common Road, SD re-joined us and we contemplated whether it would be the first, second, third…..turning to head for home. I lost count in the end as FRB after FRB tried their hand.

By luck of the draw I ended up choosing the final turn and a delightful leaf strewn dive down towards home, only losing the trail as we re-joined ‘the lane’ and headed home. I’d heard report that SD was still in sight, so assumed all was well. Until fifteen minutes later LC still hadn’t returned…..

VERDICT: With 100 prior runs to choose from I am tempted to suggest that the hare waited for the Saturday night lottery numbers and selected some content from each numbered run, but in truth it was more organised than that. SS even correctly spotted a previously unused trail (vertical down to Chapel Lane). Even if we never saw the sawdust for dust. Many thanks SJ, doublethink at its finest.

ON THE PATIO: Given our extended running, many had podded off by the time we returned, but the stalwarts remained. But maybe with  no chips (covid-compliant) pod one had voted with its feet………a SJ trail with no after run chips – a hashing groups’ worst nightmare……!

Why 2020 has been such a challenge, and remains so, for me at least, is that life is about experiences and memories created. Something in short supply this year, but hashing never fails to deliver, neither does the post run entertainment. On this occasion building on BC’s barbed wire story several shaggy dog stories emerged (guess who..) involving bikes and flowerbeds, sodium hydroxide and eyes but were somehow trumped when it emerged that BC had in fact driven to County Durham half blind (from an industrial accident) and yes got an eye test! Dominic Cummings remains a mere acolyte to PH3’s own wandering minstrel.

With the Saturday night Lockdown 2.0 announcement fresh in our minds, it felt like déjà vu all over again. Personally, I was looking forward to a steady escalation of the current regime…I am easily coping with beer one every day and felt sure I could step it up to beer two and even beer three, if the Government required it.  There was even some ribald commentary about what alternative reason for our congregation could make it more compliant, but I largely missed it, as I had departed in search of LC, who had picked up another lane and assumed it to be the one arriving at Yew Tree Farm until it wasn’t!

So here we go again, or rather we don’t and I look back to RR1884 which I signed off on March 17th 2020 with the words “So that’s all folks, stay healthy, stay happy and if collective drinking and/or running fall off the agenda be sure to practice both in your splendid isolation. On on!” So it is pleasing to note that we have at least managed to get in a further 22 runs this year and in my case a short UK summer holiday, a marathon but not Covid-19. When will it be renamed Covid-20…….?!

So stay safe, stay sane and hash in a legal/socially responsible manner. On on.

Run Report 1901: Shalford Common, Shalford

Halfpenny but…………

Scribed by Hawkeye

The weather took a turn for the worse last week, as did the general outlook for the UK this winter. Against that, hashing remains a beacon of hope, a ray of light in an otherwise gloomy outlook. This week Sparkly was away in Cambridgeshire dog-sitting whilst Easily Overlooked was in Surrey doing the same. With Scooby Doo. This week our twin hares took the mystery machine to Shalford Common; a place a contrasts. A place seemingly rural and idyllic but at the same time choked by traffic and a place where the local community will do a litter pick while at the same time some local youths will sit around smoking pot. Mind you they did look socially distant, quite spaced out in fact.

A suitably chilled and spaced out group of runners had also assembled and dispersed in pods from the Common that morning including Flappy Paddle, Cynthia, ITB, Robin Hood, Virgil, Venus, Secret Squirrel, Pis’t’man Pat, Trip Advisor, Prince Charming, Robic, Too Bright, Hawkeye, Uphill Gill, Paul Newman, Wally and TIFM. Walkers included Call Girl and Sorry John. Lord Lucan or even more unlikely, Rubberlegs could have turned up too as I can’t claim to have seen more than half of those listed, as apart from UG, PN and Wally I didn’t run with them. That and the length of trail and ambient temperature forced many home early after the run. A portent of things to come this winter…..?

A small word about Call Girl, who walked some of the route just over three days after a general anaesthetic. I can’t think of anyone else with the fortitude to do that, with the exception of PP who is generally anaesthetised every Saturday night but still runs on Sunday morning. But CG of course broke her wrist out hashing with GH3 on Monday night. I ‘cast’ no aspersions about the quality of GH3 trails, but I do find trees are less forgiving after dark. Anyway, more power to her elbow, or wrist.

I run hashes to avoid roads, to avoid straight lines and to avoid repetition. As I ran over to the start of the hash this weekend and stumbled on the trail exiting the Chantries it dawned on me that today I might have to forego a bit of repetition. My gang of four set off. Pond safely navigated we headed towards Chilworth before peeling off by the railway crossing and an encounter with the walking wounded CG.


On the other side of the tracks, and with my ill-gotten insight I led us up to the Chantries though failed to locate an immediate way on which we eventually achieved via the rear of the camping ground. Where circles remained (there was some vandalism) they remained unkicked and unsticked. We tried every opportunity not to cross Halfpenny Lane but succumbed to the inevitable and gravitated to the siren call from the patron saint of knackered hashers: St Martha. Or to give it the full title, St Martha on the Hill. In my younger days I once courted someone by the name of Martha, on a hill as it happens. She was no saint……

With markings as apparent as a working covid vaccine we regrouped physically and mentally and I shared my knowledge of the impending on in.  This proved to be absolutely the wrong thing to do at the wrong time (which as I recall is what Martha said to me all those years ago…). As a result we couldn’t fathom how to loop back without crossing the trail, a task made all the more mentally challenging after Wally spotted a marked regroup overlooking Chilworth.

Occasionally, on a hash you reach a point where you ‘jump the shark’ from enjoying to enduring. This week, I vaulted my great white as we continued further downhill to the pillbox and a return route that took to the North Downs Way. We passed Tyting Farm, took another halfpenny for good measure and passed through the Chantries within 100yds of where we’d tried in vain to circle back 20 minutes earlier. The on in followed the NDW in large part before a brutal shortcut up and across the hill and I was able to re-join the path I’d spotted earlier via the Mill, Seahorse and home.

VERDICT: Hashing in plain sight is the necessity of 2020 as pubs become a distant memory and/or rare treat. So setting from Shalford common, the heartland of PH3 is a natural if challenging task. Challenging because, the territory is so familiar. That being said, I did enjoy the run – maybe the halfpenny bit was a step too far, a case of a run that could be Easily Over…..done?!!  But many thanks EO and SD we cherish every run in these feverish times.

ON THE GREEN: The autumn chill and the 30 minute spread across the pods meant that by the time my pod had returned, many earlier runners had (quite rightly) headed for warmer climes. This left the hardy stalwarts, a self identifying group, to relax with a cold ale or a hot beverage. And for me to retrace my steps for a third time, on on!