Run Report 1925: National Trust CP, North Holmwood

Points of view, on viewpoints……..

Scribed by Hawkeye

An intimate knowledge of local carparks is an unusual by-product of being a hasher, alongside developing the personal alcohol consumption capability of a full rugby seven team. On this occasion there was little excuse for not knowing the CP in question – it was a mere few hundred yards from the hares’ home. Enjoying the surrey countryside, enduring the numerous cyclists and exiting the Dorking one-way system we arrived, ready to roll.

The ‘we’ in question were Hawkeye, Robic, Moondance, Wurzel, Factor 100 (100km that is), ITB, Cynthia, Wally, Sparkly, Call Girl, Robin Hood, Virgil and Venus. Tom (House)Martin was also present and is now known as ‘Swift’. Finally we were accompanied by Hugh-Mid – you remember him…rather cloying and a bit too close for comfort, leaving you in a sweat. So we were 14 runners.

As it turns out 14 is the average IQ of the average dog walker in the North Holmwood area, either that or they all have such pronounced limps such that sawdust is scrubbed out as they pass by. But undeterred the intrepid pack doubled-down and sweated through the jungle-like early sections and the oak woodland that ensued.  This was lovely running territory and very confusing. But confusion became our best friend as we tackled copious circles, persistent vandalism and terrain that looked identical (to the untrained eye).

Front running was dominated by Swift supported by Robic, Robin Hood and so on. Back running was dominated by Virgil who arrived last despite living the closest and then proceeded to pump up a tyre on his car. Personally I would have spared the energy and just feigned tying up my shoelaces to avoid any route finding. But maybe he was being magnanimous…….

With few natural visual clues to go on, like hills, power lines or rivers – I resorted to trying to decipher the numerous fingerpost signs and their meaning. For example ‘Mill Road CP’, ‘Fourwents Pond’ and ‘Viewpoint’. But information only becomes knowledge when you have the context to interpret it, and I didn’t. Therefore, having winkled the smallest snippet from the hares that there wasn’t a planned regroup, but an occasion to do so at a viewpoint – I honed in on the viewpoint signs.

This was a mistake. For every advancement, I fell back at the next attempt and got quite grumpy when Robic tried to make a voluntary regroup within the woods – what about the bloody viewpoint I cried, internally. But thereafter my luck changed as slipping away from Swift I crossed the road to arrive at a viewpoint next to the War Memorial. Whether this was ‘a’ or ‘the’ view point depended on your point of view, but the presence of a cross (not just the one on the war memorial!), didn’t support my case. Hero to zero yet again.

Back across the road once more and through Mill Road CP we headed for the much anticipated viewpoint where a local christened us the Surrey Chipmunk Society on account of the sawdust spreading. Virgil now joined Surrey’s newest society and did his best to not lead us anywhere useful. Venus was more accommodating. By now Fourwents had been and went as had all other markers, so we followed our instincts and when that didn’t work Venus or Virgil. By such devious measures we crossed the glade by the CP where the hares were enjoying tea and sandwiches.

VERDICT: Whatever your view on viewpoints, the pack was unanimous in its view on a great run. Statistics escape me, but it felt very much on time and course. The course rated highly on the complexity rating, even to confuse a Sat Nav and yet barely left the confines of Holmwood Common. Many thanks UG and PN – a cracker.

POST RUN CONVERSATION: Despite being humid the threat of rain prevailed and an alfresco post-run ensued in the car park, rather than the nearby glade as folk considered the afternoon ahead. And confirmation of the complexity of the trail arrived as Wally was summoned by phone to recover a stranded Call Girl, Sparkly and Sat Nav, somewhere on the common. On on….

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