Run Report 1514: The Queen Victoria, Shalford

If MGM did hashes…..
Scribed by Pis’t’man Pat

Male nipples – they’re weird. Mine sit on my chest for fifty odd years serving no discernible function then after just one cold, wet and windy run around the Surrey Hills they decide to weld themselves to my tee shirt.

After a painful separation, I have now adopted an entirely different style of movement for the rest of my foreseeable life. I stand here at the Post Office counter my shoulders raised and as far forward as can comfortably be achieved – by trial and painful error I have determined that this stance turns the front of my shirt into something of a tent in which the wreckage on my chest can dwell in happy isolation from all contact. If the great unwashed of Chilworth offer up one more reference to Quasimodo or twinning Chilworth with Notre Dame, I’m shutting early.

So what have we got so far, (beside a lot of pain). We have Surrey Hills, more specifically a Shalford-based run from the Queen Victoria, and we have quite harsh weather conditions – not that this reduced our numbers. Indeed an absolute gaggle of the mad and stoic were assembled outside the pub when through the morning mist approached four lycra clad figures. As what initially seemed the opening scene of Top Gun morphed into Charlie’s Angels, one of our number remarked that the shops must be shut.

There followed a head count : DVD, Mary Poppins, New Melanie, Uphill Gill, Paul Newman, Moondance, Robic, Tea Cosy, Billy Graham, Secret Squirrel, Scooby, Prince Charming, Cinderella, Sparky, Blond Party Girl, Silver, TIFM, El Caudello, Tea Cosy, Nat the Hat and your scribe PmP. Meanwhile, somewhere to the North, Man in Black and Woman in White had taken an early, albeit pedestrian, lead.
A moment before eleven our hare, Dusty, gave us a most comprehensive review of the task ahead. “Twenty three circles, 8.9 km of trail, 640 metres of mud – giving a mud co-efficient of 0.07. There would be an ascent of 130 metres and a matching descent”. (I, myself am a keen supporter of the descent matching the ascent on circular trails – it stops any possibility of arriving back to find oneself floating at a ridiculous height above one’s car – as we all know when this occurs, even if you can get someone to throw you up your clothes, there is no way to get changed with any degree of modesty.)

Our initial progress involved a lot of rapid but confused movement. Like an improvised representation of Brownian Motion (and worthy of an Arts-Council grant), runners were going every which way as they bounced around the back streets and alleys of Shalford. Eventually the mayhem subsided and we strung ourselves out heading for the Chilworth recreation ground. By this time your scribe had already (and most unusually) seen three crosses. As a consequence he was safely at the back of the pack and well placed to witness what shall be described as the first case of stealth-hashing. Suffice to say that the trail clearly passed through the football ground but Brunette Festive-Function Lady (named changed for protection) came back through the hedge as if on elastic. A third cinematic classic was to be enacted. As she crept along, keeping low, keeping quiet, the fear was contagious. We were suddenly in “Platoon”. The Vietcong were everywhere. I never found out how many of the enemy were in that field, but will be forever grateful that I followed her lead and took the long route round.

Two twists and a turn soon found us in Blacksmiths Lane from where a quagmire-cum-footpath led to a large farm gate. Here a choice of routes was on offer. The front runners seemed happy to ignore the possibility of further ascent, electing instead to engage a new enemy; the Japanese. We were heavily outnumbered but had the element of surprise. The initial skirmish saw the sushi-swallowers glued to the spot as we poured through them. We took no prisoners. (No it’s true – we didn’t.) Instead we ran straight past and into the distance only to realise that, for the second time in forty five years, the saki-slurpers had got one over on us. In the late sixties they sold us the rust-bucket Datsun Cherry, now with scant regard for the consequences; they’d stood on, and hidden, one of our crosses.

We had no choice. Retreat was the only option – as we passed them for a second time, there was limited eye contact. (For a more detailed explanation of this phenomenon please refer to HRH Prince Philip).

Tarmac took us to the lower Chantries where we passed through the woods and onto the grassy slopes. Here Prince Charming won Mountain Goat of the Year Award as he rocketed up the hill with no apparent effort. I arrived some seconds later in the throes of a major cardiac event only for him to cheerfully announce he was well off trail. (Cinderella it really isn’t too late!) As PC descended, I remembered some wise words from SS back at the start “130 metres of ascent” he’d whispered, “it’ll be difficult to get that round here!” And so your scribe went higher anticipating a reunion with the main pack somewhere up in the rarefied atmosphere above. The wind howled, the rain fell and way down in the valley I could see PH3 make a stuttering progress across the fields and back towards the pub. The reunion was off, the Japanese were beginning to form a blockade and my nipples were on fire. Quite how I got back to the Queen Victoria first must remain a mystery. I will only record that true line honours go to Robic.

VERDICT: I learnt a lot from this hash; the Vietcong live in the Chilworth football pavilion, 130m of ascent does not require the use of oxygen tanks and Thomas Jerome Newton was a very lucky man. Other positives included getting back alive and, whilst I was on trail, enjoying the devious setting of our very skilled hare. The 23 circles kept a tight pack together (with just one notable exception) and we thank you Neil.

AT THE PUB: Some rather excellent fluffy chips lifted spirits (provided courtesy of NtH and Dusty – thanks). The beers were good, so too the banter and general misbehaviour. Just another day at the studios.


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