Run Report 1777: The Saddlers Arms, Send Marsh

When will I see you again………….

Scribed by Hawkeye

It was pretty cold at the weekend. Sufficient to be below zero on Sunday morning, indeed I even heard one of the hare’s comment that it was minus three degrees. Personally, being a child of the seventies, I’ve always had a soft spot for the ‘Sound of Philadelphia’ but today was clearly going to go ahead without Ms Holiday, Ferguson and Pinkney, but with Sparkly and Wally – so I guess that was going to be all right.

Defrosted motors assembled in the Send Marsh morning belonging to Quasimodo,  Robic, Hawkeye, TIFM, Pis’t’man Pat, Secret Squirrel, Ayrton Senna, Ginger Rogers, Daphne, Scooby Doo, Factor 30, Dusty, Cynthia, Call Girl, Groper, Yogi Bare, Uphill Gill, Paul Newman, Lady Chatterley, 3s4d and Venus. A few people did actually car share. Sorry John was present and having made an early loop around an early part of the trail and inadvertently crossed on to the in-trail – was now home again. So many years after the original and in the same location, it was another case of ‘Sorry John’ and goodbye. Virgil (plus Jessie and Chloe) formed the walking party, Moondance went from iron(ing) to carbon and arrived via bike and Billy Graham died on Wednesday.

The level of chatter made any meaningful briefing almost impossible and this was further compounded by PP losing some part of his spectacles. Even before the off on this hash we were all on our hands and knees looking lost! Much to the hares delight 20+ runners all looking vaguely disorientated was to be a common theme of the day.

We made our way across country to emerge on the Ripley Road but not before passing through the local garden centre. This feels weird enough in this day an age, but who knows what it felt like pre the 1994 Sunday Trading Act. SS and TIFM probably? Anyway despite taking the early lead both SS and PP went XX and missed the Northward trail back round towards Papercourt Lake. And I’m sure I can’t be the only one still pondering what lay behind those 8ft high corral fences – a Surrey religious cult perhaps? We made it to Papercourt Lock and an involuntary regroup- where the markings were indistinct but the view was passable. But the weather was not for tarrying and we followed in the wake of TIFM who took us from Lake to Lock via a direct route.

What happened next proves that evolution generally takes a long time. If June 23rd 2016 taught us anything its that stupid people in large groups with a little misinformation can really screw things up. This is what happened at Papercourt Lock, as the regroup intolerant TIFM and Dusty were spotted on the meadows and ‘assumed’ to be taking the true path. Personally, I assume they were following some neon flashing signs saying “£350M THIS WAY”, but that might not be the case. The pack demonstrated its collective ability to apply less brain power than a headless chicken and followed en masse. The only upside to this diversion was the opportunity to view a Redwing up close.

LC led the pack on to the real true path and what happened next, explains what makes PH3 such a great bunch. At a very pleasant and remarkably sheltered regroup spot Wally & Sparkly had assembled to dispense hot chocolate to the thirsty and chocolate or lemon cake to the peckish. All ‘in honour’ of my recent birthday. I was just as impressed by the twenty-run(ner) salute. We left few crumbs for the local robin.

SS took up the lead now although this time Venus had managed to slip off the front of the pack and was followed by Yogi Bare with his four-footed friend Ziggy Sawdust! What had started out as nicely firm/frozen mud now began to thaw as we rounded Prews Court Farm and headed towards Send. My longest falsie of the day had me returning to Send(er) and the middle of the pack but, as we crossed the main road the whole pack momentarily regrouped by a manually relocated fingerpost pointing in completely the wrong direction. Wally later claimed complete innocence….

Stretching my neck a little further I arrived to meet the hares again this time beside the ornamental giraffes, yes really, and some general confusion before we refound the route across the road. Knowing exactly where I am has never offered much advantage as the next circle was to prove. Grumbling about my predicament, GR had a much more poetic commentary – namely that the vast number of x’s I collected were in fact birthday kisses!

So having kissed goodbye to any chance of keeping up with AS, I proceeded to lead a few people astray in one last futile attempt to outflank him. That said AS later confessed to having run to the start along this road, so it was never meant to happen. On in!

VERDICT: A cracker of a run that Sparkly believes could trace out the shape of the Olympic 2012 logo on the Garmin whereas I think she’s been at the merlot again. And where I clocked >7 miles,I reckon the actual route was closer to 6. But a huge thanks to the hares for the trail and also the birthday regroup goodies and to SD and Daphne for the cakes. So ‘when will I see you again?’ About every 15 minutes on this trail as it turns out!

IN THE PUB: The Saddlers is a welcoming pub with a car park to match, a rare commodity these days. We commandeered the far end and crammed 20 people into a space for 12 and seats for 8. Chips were bought for 20, served to 12 and eaten by 8 – you know who you are. And what I learned is that there is a skill to the speed of running, but there is also a skill to the speed of getting changed, particularly when such a runner to chair ratio exists. I also learned that LC and 3s4d had already done the Polesden 10k before the hash, so had truly earned their carbohydrate replenishment. And as I consumed my pint of Pride with pride, I also learned (but already knew), what a great bunch the PH3 are! On on.

 GARMIN LINKS: You can now access these directly from the tab on the home page called “Hash Routes”

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