Slowest ‘common’ denominator….…..
Scribed by Hawkeye
It’s a fair mile from Guildford up to Cobham but not far enough to deter an enthusiastic pack from pursuing the one man wizard that is Wurzel. In floury expectation were Venus, TIFM, Hawkeye, Scooby Doo, Robic, Moondance, Factor 100, Wally and Sparkly. Virgil was largely a bystander to let his latest injury heal properly and Sorry John was the advance party.
To follow on from the previous weeks’ near invisible sawdust, the early stages of this flour-marked GH3 style trail went very well as we jinked left and right through the wood to the lake that no doubt provided the ‘inspiration’ for the imaginatively named car park we’d started from. Thereafter vandalism piled confusion upon chaos.
The hare had covered 4.5 miles in flour but (thankfully) was out to double up the distance, replay and relay his trail. I suspect without this support the pack would have raised a white flag and turned for home. Therefore, with the cart often before the horse we proceeded through prime dog walking country. They say you’re either a dog or cat person, but if a ‘dog person’ has the small minded personality to wipe out hash trail markings*, I’m glad to count myself amongst the latter. But like the pack on much of this run, I’m getting ahead of myself and putting the cart before the horse or perhaps the owner before the dog……as on several occasions during the run, what flour did remain was seen being greedily lapped up by dogs, often Labradors. So maybe we should look at our four-footed friends first?
Back on two feet what I term ‘the GH3 logic’ began to prevail as more and more would-be FRBs began to drift back behind the hare having recognised their earlier ‘rewards’ for attempting infinite false trails. So out on Esher we were now at the slowest common denominator. Our first section complete and back across the Portsmouth Road the vandalism faded and we assembled for a voluntary regroup overlooking the river Mole, except it was impossible to glimpse through the trees.
The terrain however was great for running with ample paths, plenty of tree cover and generally soft underfoot conditions. At some point we lost the background rumble of the A3 which was pleasant but also disorientating. Having half crossed the first footbridge across the A3 on the out-trail without success I guessed that the trail needed to head south towards the International School in search of a way back home. But as always knowing in your head and finding with your feet seem more than six foot apart.
We found our way across the undulating scrubby woodland, more easily following the trail now the vandals had departed, or the dogs were full. A cruel left turn around the perimeter of a palatial house fooled the first FRBs but whilst I was able to lead us through this section, I succumbed to the sound of the road and to a non-existent false trail. In the end we emerged from the woods on the slip road to the International School before crossing the A3 and adjacent common home.
VERDICT: Wurzel did his best, the vandals did their worst and the pack picked the bones out of it, but in the end we successfully completed a loop just shy of 6 miles in a little over the hour. Many thanks Wurzel for your considerable efforts both before and during the run to ensure the pack had a good morning out.
POST RUN CONVERSATION: Muggy with a threat of rain plus external commitments was enough to see the pack quickly disperse. F100 was running well (2 weeks after her 100km event) and is ticking off a half marathon next week before a couple of marathons in September. With that energetic information I headed home to an afternoon on the sofa avoiding the rain. On on.
* PH3 dog owning members obviously excluded!