Run Report 1880: The Cock Inn, Headley

The two that set for seven who set forth at eleven……

Scribed by Hawkeye

Another weekend, another hash run and another biblical winter storm. As it happens, I once knew a girl called Ciara Dennis who ….. Actually I assume Dennis was chosen ahead of Daniel, which seems a missed opportunity as Stormy Daniel(s) was well-known to blow pretty hard sometimes………….. But on this occasion whilst the wind had been brisk it was the rain that promised to be torrential. Two brave/foolish hares were needed, Venus and Virgil fitted that bill. All that was needed now were some hashers brave enough to set forth into yet another amber weather warning. Many stayed tucked up in bed, Moondance & Robic went away for the weekend, Uphill Gill opted for culture rather than ankle deep mud, Sparkly was golfing, SS was below par following a barnstorming performance the previous weekend and TIFM was undergoing his annual MOT – or his van was.

It was therefore a malevolent perhaps magnificent seven that set forth. These included Madonna, Hawkeye, Pis’t’man Pat, Factor 30, Wally, Paul Newman and Billy Graham. It may be unfair to comment that these days BG only comes twice a year but has form at the Cock Inn. And if you think Headley is far enough from the Guildford area, you should try commuting from Salisbury. Come eleven, the hares were still battling the elements so the pack set off promptly. You know you’re in for a challenging run when the out trail is literally a stream which was formerly a footpath.

We found our way to the edge of Headley common and were perplexed to find the trail seemingly switch from sawdust to flour. Upon closer inspection this turned out to be a parallel trail set by the Surrey hash, and whilst we saw their trail from time to time, we never once set eye on a single SH3 runner? Any malevolence quickly became benevolence as with such awful weather conditions a collective duty of care descended on all survive and not require the attention of the emergency services!

Headley common is a beastly place to run in a downpour with leg sapping undulations and puddles aplenty. Luckily we had a willing and able front runner in the shape of Madonna who seemed to have regressed to childhood such was the look of glee as he splashed through the more than adequate puddle supply. We quickly found our way to ‘that slope’ where a vertical descent of steps is met by a mirrored ascent and High Ashurst lurks somewhere up in the woods. PN was reminding me of the falsie I lay for him (coming up) just as I found it (going down). So we paralleled the hill and F30 and I were able to see the trail unfold below us (Venus was chastised by Virgil for such a misdemeanour in the post run post-mortem!)

Nonetheless we let Madonna explore the falsie up the steps (so maybe there was a bit of ‘friendly malevolence’ after all) as the remains of the day slithered in the most treacherous of underfoot conditions. With BG back in the fold I’d already been complimented on my impressive occularity thereby proving his irrepressible jocularity, also being the first to comment that the ‘Walkers Only’ sign should be taken literally. To be fair with some noble exceptions walking was enforced as a 1 mile 4o incline on slippery mud gradually sapped us all. Think ‘It’s a Knockout’ without the costumes and enforced bonhomie.

Earlier we’d coached Madonna in the ‘art of calling’ an essential (for the pack not the front runner) and now with baritone clarity we could hear every ‘circle’ more distinctly than an ‘on on’. Madonna then decided to put the Mad into Madonna by retracing his steps from a couple of circles to make doubly sure we heard. We had, we were just too knackered to acknowledge it!

A regroup seemed necessary and back onto the level we huddled for warmth under a tree. From here on what had been soggy but in places avoidable now became ankle deep and expansive, so if you found the mud, you next had to find the water to clean off. I swear I saw Tom Daley in one of the larger ponds.  This went on and on and on as we zigzagged across the common to the total bemusement of the dog walkers, an equally bonkers fraternity but with a four footed excuse to step out in such atrocious conditions.

Inexplicably PP and BG found themselves out ahead of the pack (!?) and sniffed the on in back down Headley Road but F30, Wally, Madonna, Paul Newman and I dutifully followed the less direct trail home round the back of the pub and through the churchyard. Malevolence to benevolence and now deliverance. We were glad to be home.

VERDICT: There were hardly many but the hardy few repaid the faith of the hares in their ‘lay it and they will come’philosophy.So huge thanks to Venus and Virgil, I hope you felt it was worth it, though with 28% of the PH3 in attendance, actually setting the run, you’d be entitled not to!

IN THE PUB: A dry and warm pub was the order of the day and the Cock Inn delivered, though it took Madonna 5 minutes to regain the feeling in his fingers and tie his shoelaces! The delightful Red Mist, TEA and Shere Drop were available alongside hot beverages and snacks. PP dispensed his usual two pint wisdom ‘the meek are a pain in the arse’ and BG extended an invitation for a hashing trail in Salisbury after Easter. He then set off promptly to ensure he got home in time to set it!

And to continue a theme, I am now looking forward to Storm Emmanuelle next weekend. On on!

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