Run Report 1513: The Crown, Chiddingfold

The Chiddingfold Five……whatever and ever amen….
Scribed by Hawkeye

It’s a little known fact that our hare, Hotspur has spent the last fourteen months living in a kibbutz in Brighton. Probably because it’s not true. Whilst there he became converted to organic and environmental living and developed a fondness for the alternative American rock band the Ben Folds Five. Therefore, it was a Fair and even bet that he would choose to set from this location. That and having relocated back into nearby Northchapel.

Making their way to the village green were a gaggle of brightly coloured and shivering runners including; TIFM, Scooby Doo, Blonde Party Girl, Secret Squirrel, Dusty, Sparkly, Wally, DVD, Moondance, Prince Charming, Nat the Hat, Sorry John, Virgil, Venus De Milo, Pis’t’man Pat and Billy Graham. So One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces. The hare was welcomed back into the fold and stood there Cold and Composed to brief us on the trail ahead. We needed to look no further than his muddy feet to see what lay ahead.

We set off North, I think and in whichever direction it was, it was in pursuit of Nat the Hat and TIFM who’d made an early start and as such were a beacon for the pack, Selfless. It’s a moot point whether this territory is Surrey or Sussex. To me Surrey is marked by find sands and well drained footpaths, Sussex by claggy, soggy clays. But a close examination of the relevant OS product for the region reveals this to be Surrey – so why then the interminable slip sliding and puddle jumping that marked out the early part of the run? Anyway, despite choosing chatting over jogging for the first half mile, I found myself at the forefront as the trail headed uphill in a delightful wooded section and I tip-toed toward a road.

Now our hare has never been a man of restraint and a choice of bold primary colour clothing in complete contrast the lemon yellow Skoda (with headlights in case you missed him) made for an unmissable and caring hare on the trail. Safely across the road, by turns we hit a large forest trail replete with forest walkers as we swooped for a mile + in very pleasant terrain. I took some falsies and as a consequence was joined by Virgil and Dusty who in turn made their own unwise choices, Brick.

At some stage a road intervened with the soil underfoot and we plodded on in expectation and eschewed a few choice choices. There was Dusty, Virgil, Scooby Doo, myself and Billy Graham – The Chiddingfold Five, but really it was a Battle of Who Could Care Less.

The road served to stretch the pack beyond its normal elasticity and those at the back were definitely Missing the War or whatever passed for competition at the front. Indeed word had been passed along the grapevine that BPG was mortally wounded (a sprained ankle) but not the wounds inflicted on each other by the attendant males fighting to offer her comfort……in the end she succumbed to the possibilities offered by the aforementioned lemon yellow Skoda.

An eventual climb off the main drag (where we might have omitted to kick the circle?) revealed a long and pleasant path around some fields where vista aside Smoke was the only visible clue on the horizon. Our next reference point involved a field that I seem to recall on a previous visit had housed a bull, but apparently on this occasion the bull like half the pack, was elsewhere. The on in startled a flock of geese but this was nothing to what was going to startle the neighbourhood as despite the rapidly dropping temperature, one of our number chose to strip to the waist for the final mile. I’ve not conducted a comprehensive survey (or in fact any survey), but I’d hazard to guess that as the returning pack waited breathlessly at the pub, in preferential order of who might pique their interest……PP and his moobs were not top of the list?!

VERDICT: The joy of running is that familiar venues can reveal new routes, and whilst this had a longish (bull-inflicted) length of road – this was largely the case here. And I for one am always pleased to welcome back returning hares. So many thanks Hotspur, great to have you back in the locale. We look forward to seeing you more frequently on a Sunday.

AT THE PUB: The Half Crown was decidedly more to our liking, the upstairs setting being a little too posh so we went below stairs and created the atmosphere and heat. PP revealed that he’d received the Eagle Radio customer service of the week award, presumably by keeping his top on. And Sorry John had placed third in Best in Breed at Crufts – or rather one of his delightful mutts had. See photo with the RR email. We were joined briefly by ‘New Ben’ – on a bike from Guildford (too injured to run) and Hipless. There was some conversation about sartorial style, but frankly who are we to opine on haute couture. And somewhat bizarrely SS managed to drink his beer from a leaking glass. We left before the flood. On on

GARMIN LINK: 1513

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