Keep calm and carry on running……….……but on your own!
Scribed by Hawkeye
Public Health warning: when things get to such an extreme, you either laugh or cry. I choose the former, I hope you do too. If not, do not read on, this is not for you………………..
I am sure all of us have guilty pleasures. Mine is old B&W war movies, viewed horizontally from the sofa on a Sunday afternoon. Therefore this woefully wet winter has had its pleasurable moments for me, but before the calm must come the storm and therefore I dragged myself once more to a Sunday morning hash run. Well in fact I was chauffeur driven by Robic and Moondance. Last time we ran from here the unlucky hare only had six hounds, so I was interested to see how many were assembling in the weak morning sun. In the end there were sixteen including Sorry John, which as this was also ‘post-Covid-19’ tells me I need to buy lots more chips next time I set. So in addition to my chauffeurs and Polesden’s finest perambulator, the pack included Virgil, Venus, Scooby Doo, Pis’t’man Pat, Lady Chatterley, New Jane now known as ‘Trip Advisor’ (with thanks to UG for that), Tea Cosy, TIFM, Hawkeye, Dusty, Wally, Call Girl and Robin Hood with Jasper. If fact it was surprising that Jasper could make it as only earlier in the day the World Health Organisation (WHO) advised that following tests on Covid-19, dogs currently quarantined could be released. That’s right….WHO let the dogs out………I’m here all week, and given recent developments the week after and the week after and…….
There was a (non-life-threatening) feverish atmosphere as we assembled and half listened to half a briefing, we left half-cocked. The out run was a cunning loop around the car park that saw us eventually cross the churchyard and begin the ascent to Mickleham Down. Taking a fork in the track I foolishly listened to Virgil who thinking he’d gleaned vital intelligence called me back downhill to join him on his personal ascent. I was less surprised to see the cross than he was – after all ask an open question and you get an open answer “no I’ve not seen a cross but I did see a circle”. Of course they’d seen them, the bloody hill was covered in them, it was just that the one that caught their eye was beyond a cross that hadn’t. So I was right forked off but, it allowed for an early regroup of sorts.
Tea Cosy was back to good form including hiding behind trees to lure suspecting runners to a cross but again Virgil was on terra most familiar and led us in many directions. Whilst the mud had reduced from previous weeks it was still slippery going and with slippery customers as hares we were never sure of the way ahead. In the end this proved to be that long open section along the top of Mickleham Down where the front running TC called us together for a second regroup. Little wanting to follow Virgil we tried the downhill option before reluctantly accepting that the lengthy stretch towards Mill Way, Headley was our anointed route.
This was followed by an immediate switchback and a golfing challenge. At this point, having pre-empted the switchback I was actually out of sight of the pack, until that is I strayed on to Paul Newman’s personal vendetta that was a ¼ mile falsie. Therefore by the time I returned from my ½ mile penance, I was out of sight of the rear of the pack! Suitably handicapped, below par and feeling slightly rough (I’d given blood on Friday evening!) I played on through to the best of my ability. Eventually we managed to run round five sides of the golf course and pop out near Givons Grove and an on in that took us past the door of the (now open) King William IVth before finally arriving home.
VERDICT: Just what the doctor/Chief Medical Officer ordered, plenty of fresh air, plenty of gaps between runners and we even went straight past an open pub. Strangely prescient by the hares. Many thanks to UG and PN a damn fine run.
IN THE PUB: Having been frustrated when I last set here, with the fact that the King William IVth was temporarily closed (and not about the poor turn out 🙂 ), I managed to persuade the hares that the aforementioned pub was a much more deserving choice for our beer and chip investments. In general this paid off as the beer TEA, Dunsfold and the chips were ideal. Huddling outside under the patio heater less so, but probably healthier all things considered. The conversational variety was somewhat constrained this week! Personally reflecting on these somewhat incredible times I’m able to reflect that:
- It is difficult to know who is currently concerned more about their underlying health or underlying wealth concerns….
- For once (and probably the only time) the whole world has some respect for the Pope when he encourages people to restrict mass gatherings……
- Social distancing is in fact something that PP has been perfecting for years as the pack stretches further out of his reach, but Billy Graham has shown true leadership here by bogging off to Wiltshire…….
- And personally I am practising social media distancing from all the loons and doom mongers out there…..
And with that we headed off and as if on cue the rain started to fall, and for me the sofa and The Cruel Sea awaited!
So that’s all folks, stay healthy, stay happy and if collective drinking and/or running fall off the agenda be sure to practice both in your splendid isolation. On on!