Run Report 1883: The Village Green, Westcott

PH3 to the rescue…

East to west and all points, but north……

Scribed by Hawkeye

Heading east to Westcott has always seems slightly jaunty to me, but I guess it’s all relative. Despite my belief after last weeks’ turn out for my run, there had not in fact been any corona-inspired restrictions limiting the size of hash runs – so this week we were back to thirteen plus a few walkers and hangers-on. These included Quasimodo, Tea Cosy, Pis’t’man Pat, Robic, Moondance, Hawkeye, Virgil, Venus, Robin Hood (and Jasper), Scooby Doo, Dusty, Gingerly Rogers and Call Girl. The walkers were Headless and Sorry John.

Cars had been decoratively and decorously placed around the village but then Scooby entered at high speed and volume to mark PH3’s arrival. To mark our departure the hares contemplated a briefing. Fully channelling our Prime Minister Wally opened his mouth and every word that came out was bullsh**, apart from the promise of a regroup. Some may have believed some of it, some not – personally I think Wally has been studying the Daily Telegraph too closely for narrative guidance!

The baker’s dozen exited the village via the path by the bakery to reach the Pipp Brook valley. Here Venus stole a march on the pack but ended up in a hole, Hole Hill to be exact where a guided (3-blob) turn duped her into thinking it was the route ahead such that she then missed the subsequent cross. Calling her back, I didn’t fail to notice that she was now actually cross.

But Virgil took up where Venus left off and brought us to the A25 and Balchins Lane where I (and only I) thought it a good idea to explore the potential offered by St John’s church, Wotton. It was not a divinely inspired choice. I regained the group at Holy Trinity Church, Westcott and witnessed the hares witness Sorry John ‘do a Sorry John’ and depart. Maybe he had better things to do, and to be fair without any prejudice to hares or hounds – slithering around in the mud for the next hour was not necessarily going to be everyone’s cup of tea!

Having tried every alternative we resorted to Logmore Lane and a cunning residential shortcut back to the inundated path that leads away from the village. Some inexplicably headed towards the village, but you can’t fool all the people all the time and the remainder ploughed (quite literally) southwards through the mud. With the noticeable exception of TC who is now a consummate high wire acrobat capable of circumventing most muddy obstacles by use of fences field boundaries and foliage………beating round the bush has become his specialty.

Headless was present to welcome us to the regroup (and show photos of grandson number one). Orientating our vista and generally enjoying a rest the ever restless Virgil snuck off for a peak ahead whilst Robic was more concerned with her behind. When the majority decided to depart Virgil felt he had a better idea than most and let PP and others head downhill whilst he tried to take some acolytes with him further up the lane, Headless merely looked confused and counselled against it.  And so it proved. Virgil’s earlier lead had been cancelled out….1-1.

We were now on familiar if soggy territory and regained the watching hares again as on the hour, we made it to the foot of the Nower. Time and territory are strong urges to overcome and with our ‘time up’, and knowing which way was home – we tried every opportunity to close the loop. The hares had other plans, plans that broke Dusty as we headed east on the A25 away from Westcott.

In the end, a switchback path allowed us to drop down to Milton Court and the Pipp Brook valley once more, where from my vantage point I saw TC take the last meaningful falsie of the day before regaining the village. And at the end, after extra time and paying the penalty for messing up the regroup, Virgil won out. If only it was the same on Wednesday night eh Virgil 🙂

VERDICT: Westcott has many paths, but finding new ways to cover old ground is no mean feat, so congratulations to Wally and Sparkly. That said the trail was mean to our feet, as it would be anywhere in quagmire Surrey having just exited the wettest February since records began. So many thanks to the hares, though that last loop away from Westcott sorely tested my resolve!

IN THE PUB: The Prince of Wales is a fine boozer, made all the more pleasant by the presence of Groper. Groper and a fine selection of ales (Hophead and the full Fullers suite) plus the welcome return of bounteous chips from the hares. Reports filtered in of a fine Cambridge Half Marathon performance from Uphill Gill, 3s4d and Lady Chatterley taking part in the Woking half plus EO waving to us as she departed for a holiday-cum-corona lock in somewhere. Whether impacted or not, PP was taking no chances and stockpiled pints of ESB two at a time. Personally I was suffering more from wine flu than swine flu. One subject of conversation was the Robic/Moondance forthcoming charity event, F30 marathon preparations (currently blighted by sickness) and the whereabouts of TIFM. On the latter I can report that TIFM is alive and well (and so is his van) so we should see him soon. Meanwhile Scooby, concerned with self-preservation, due to his underlying health problem (asthma) has taken the proactive step of trying to contract Covid-19 early while the hospitals still have iron lungs to spare. Locking himself away with a case of Barolo from Northern Italy, might just do it…….on on.   

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