Run Report 1908: Old Guildford Road, Nr Deepcut

…and good will toward men…..and Wurzel!

Scribed by Hawkeye

I am paraphrasing slightly but I think it was Jona Lewie 2:14 who famously stated ‘Glory to the GM in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men even when they set using the method of Guildford’. With such warm thoughts in my mind, I set off towards Deepcut, apparently somewhere in Surrey that is accessed via Timbuktu. If it had been any darker I’d would have needed a star to guide me. Arriving with time to spare I had exhausted my navigational capabilities for the day without stepping out of the car. But once I did this, I’d ruined my shoes as the hare had chosen to start today’s run from a quagmire.

My old friend déjà vu was back again as I recalled to PP how this muddy undulating trail was very similar to one I’d used ten years previously, four sheets to the wind on two wheels and in the company of my new best friend Paddy – an Irish double-glazing salesman from Bellfields. How we navigated from Frimley to Guildford with 20 pints of beer and one set of bike lights – is the stuff of legend and a few bruises. The pack without such Proustian flashbacks included the aforementioned Pis’t’man Pat, Lady Chatterley, Robic, Robin Hood, Call Girl, 3s4d, Secret Squirrel and Hawkeye. Walkers were Wally & Sparkly and by the looks of the abandoned white van, TIFM was lurking somewhere. So that was ‘8 hashers hashing, 2 walkers walking and an old man hiding by a tree’….

Wurzel had opted for an early white Christmas and was once again wearing a good proportion of the flour being used to mark our trail. Prior to departure we foolishly asked for clarification of the general marking rules being used and the ensuing explanations made Robic’s head spin more than it already was. So with the smallest pack in ages we set off with the largest group in months…..and all in accordance with this weeks’ rules. The early stages of the run were pock marked with the signs of military exercises. Port-a-loos everywhere and to my eye, small scale litter randomly scattered. I’m not sure if such terrain actually has more litter or that in a desperate search for a blob of flour my eyes alight upon any non-natural content. It’s not often I can say that I ran an extra 100yds due to Twix bar (wrapper).

PP and SS pushed ahead in the early stages as Robic found her feet, then head then stomach and settled in for the long haul. Whilst the territory was very familiar to the hare (thankfully) the pack was largely treated to new experiences on undulating heath and pine woodlands. Quite delightful and largely free of the mud that parked the dogging area sorry that dogged the parking area. The rules for marking being as clear as this weeks’ Covid guidance, I spent a considerable time running of course and running off course – not that I knew it. The most reliable indicator for a trail became Wurzel marking the junction or checking where CG was taking a shortcut.

I was accused of being a bit of a grump, which was a fair enough call…I just get so used to the PH3 rules that anything less virtuous and simple confuses me. This is the way. At this juncture we all reflected on the sagacity of the GMs to group us all together, like a KFC family bucket a GH3 trail can be can be quite slippery, could leave you unfulfilled – but is certainly not meant for less than six people. As a pod of eight we just about hung together, helped by the occasional voluntary regroup and a lot of involuntary ones.

Somehow we avoided crossing the railway line (after trying quite hard) and crossed instead the ‘Old Guildford Road’ the large track that bifurcated the common and headed off in a more southerly style. Here the running had a vague familiarity and SS later reminded me that it was that we used to run from the nearby Potters on the Basingstoke Canal. Three quarters of the way round and RH, PP and SS continued to lead – so for all its faults (….?) GH3 style was keeping us together.

In the closing stretches we came across that old man hiding by a tree (TIFM) and regrouped with CG in the middle of expansive heathland and small spruce trees, two of which had been pre-decorated with tinsel and baubles, pity I didn’t have a chain saw to hand to speed up the Hawkeye festive season. With an impeccable sense of timing but not direction I headed off on another wild goose chase but in truth my goose was truly cooked as I never saw a runner again until I was shepherded home by the only wise man of the day – Wurzel.

VERDICT: To be truthful this was an entertaining run and given our limited ability to live a normal life these days, as normal as it gets. So whilst I may have had the face of a curmudgeon, with the legs of a hasher I was always going to be pleased with the morning. The hare, a renowned orienteerer claimed to have taken only two hours to set the trail, whereas it took me nearly 1hr 20 and 6.5 miles to run it. So many thanks Wurzel. Anyway, if I’d spent a penny at every port-a-loo we’d spotted, I’d be a few pounds lighter, have perfect urological health but be accused of really taking the p*** out of the GH3 style trail. And remembering my reflection of good will toward men even Wurzel, I couldn’t possibly do that……

IN THE MUD: Sadly neither the weather nor location lent itself to sticking around although Sparkly was tempting us by offering round the mince pies. Without our usual revelry and this being my last RR of the year (I am setting next week), I will leave you with what are purported to be some of the best christmas cracker jokes of 2020. I think you’ll agree when having read some of them, that this only reinforces what a terrible year it has been.  Thank god (and the GMs) for the hashing we’ve managed to accomplish. On on!

Who dresses in red and gives to the children this Christmas? Marcus Rashford.

Why couldn’t Mary and Joseph join their work conference call? Because there was no Zoom at the inn.

Why did the pirates have to go into lockdown? Because the “Arrrr!” rate had risen.

What is Dominic Cummings’ favourite Christmas song? Driving Home for Christmas

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