Running by numbers……
Scribed by Hawkeye
Friday Street is to be TIFM’s new home, in fact I swear if he could somehow fashion a homestead in the woodland – he would finally flee the bright lights of London to retire in Surrey. But his current plan is merely to use Friday Street and the delightful Stephan Langton as the base for all his future runs. Sorry John finally has some competition.
So with plentiful parking, great beer and running variety on offer an expectant pack assembled. In truth of those assembled, I think it was only Gingerly Rogers who was actually expectant but enthused others included Ayrton Senna, Easily Overlooked, Wally, Sparkly, Call Girl, Moondance, Robic, Hawkeye, Factor 30, Cynthia, Pis’t’man Pat, ‘New Jane’, Cheetah, Secret Squirrel, Virgil, Venus, Madonna, Scooby Doo, Kelinchi, ITB, Sorry John and Groper. Some of these may/may not have been walkers, but by the end of the morning I think we’d all walked at least part of one of the hills.
The hare was present and looked unusually relaxed when compared to his usual non-attendance at the start. If he’d rushed back to offer up a pre-run briefing, frankly he wasted his time. Suitably uninformed we set off down the steps where once again the muddy gulley offered up nothing but wet feet. Madonna and I were the first to speculate on TIFM’s estimation of 50 metres (I think it is shorter in his head than it is in reality) as we tried to regain the pack on this ‘non-marked falsies’ style run. Down the valley and up that steep climb some of the pack had coalesced and it was pleasing to see Sparkly up and running again, the first time in 2020 and some.
front of the pack was someway hence and with AS exploring in vain across
Sheephouse Lane it fell to Cheetah to plough on in the lead. Cheetah is very much
like his father Pis’t’man Pat; in terms of
energy, enthusiasm, route
finding abilities, moral values and a love for beer. Okay his father
only has one thing in common with his son! But he’s always welcome to front run
at PH3. And it was somewhat surprising that F30, AS or Mad were also witnessed
anywhere near the front a mere 24hrs after completing the final G3 event – applauded
and encouraged onwards by Robic.
Having toyed with the idea of visiting the Henman Bunkhouse, the hare had better ideas and brought us back up to Sheephouse Lane and off road again through the woods and an inexorable climb to what we assumed to be the highpoint of the day (Garmin read out to be checked……..) and a self-declared/much needed regroup. I think we were about 2 miles in and Virgil assumed the running commentary usually provided by TIFM on the likely future route.
We shimmied downhill to ‘the valley’ with the pub downhill to our right and headed left. Here some confusion was caused when some of the front markers gave up their explorations of trails, only to find the call of “circle” had come from the back markers arriving at the circle they’d just left! You don’t get such aural confusion on a standard PH3 outing. Some dalliances on the top of the hill and a circle that completely inverted the pack led to a drop back down to the valley and the ‘inevitable’ turn up the hill and home before we reached the pub.
PH3 is founded on the concept of a 4½ – 5 mile run, a concept that is flagrantly ignored most weeks, so this week TIFM redressed the balance a little. For me a run can only be considered too short if the pub is not open – on that basis AS, Mad and I set off for another loop.
Arriving in the pub after most, I wasn’t witness to any conversation or explanation on the reason for such a short run, nor did I hear any complaints. But this was our first run outside the confines of the EU since the early seventies, so maybe there had been some conversion confusion in throwing off the Brussels-imposed kilomteres in favour of the miles on which we built an empire? I’m also reminded of the fact that NASA lost its $125-million Mars Climate Orbiter somewhere back in the late nineties because spacecraft engineers failed to convert from Imperial to metric measurements when exchanging vital data before the craft was launched, so it is not without precedent.
VERDICT: Whilst we are united as a bunch, I suspect there were differing views on the length of the run and in this regard setting a run can be a bit like having twins who like cricket and platypuses respectively, whatever you try to do to entertain them together will leave everyone dissatisfied. That said we survived a morning out, and I am guessing someone advised the hare that a map and a bit of reccying remain good practice whichever side of Brexit day the run is set. Many thanks to TIFM!
IN THE PUB: Being in for opening time ensured that seating was secured and the chips arrived from the freshest of deep fat fryers. What is never in doubt here is the quality of the beer; Falls Gold, Whakahari IPA, Dormouse etc. and even the decaf latte seemed good enough to stand a second round. So the Sunday out in Friday Street ended well. On on