The first Sunday trail, lovely weather and the promise of pork pie. What more could anyone ask? I can’t write much about what happened on the trail because I had to abandon Hotlips to lead the run by herself while I left to take Buzz to university. This was not as planned – he had been due to go on the Saturday! I had helped check out the route and lay it so I can tell you where it went and did turn up at the pub to wish everyone well. I also handed a map to the walkers and enjoyed a loud exclamation of “How Far!!” after telling ACJ the length of the trail.
A small but select group met at the pub carpark. Comet and Uranus had brought along another Didcot Runner – Simon. When standing next to CS there was an uncanny resemblance to Arnold Schwartzenegger and Danny DeVito in a scene from Twins! The high calibre of runner meant Hotlips had to step out to keep up with them – this concerned Big Stiffy as she is training for the Oxford Half Marathon and had already over exercised her foot on the Saturday.
The pack set off through the village (can you believe that, not through the watercress beds!). Lemony set off in her car to re-lay a check that had disappeared because a home owner on the route had cut their grass and blown the flour away. Just before the junction at the far end of the village we found a footpath off to the right that led up to the fields. A turn left took us back to the road on Day’s Lane and back to the same corner! Off then towards the Cow Common where we took a different route from usual, cutting off to the right over a style, then continuing along the road and turning right to get to the other side of the common!
The inevitable now. Up Grindon Lane – which seemed to go on for ever – then right towards the farm and right again to go back down along Potters Lane on The Chiltern Way. Across the road and along the footpath before turning off right and taking a small dog leg through the trees to the top of the playing field. Across the field and back onto the road where Big Stiffy and Led Zepplin had relaid the markings to lead us through the Alms Houses and out through the churchyard. Another steep footpath led north through the trees before turning left as it met the field. Right on the road and left onto another footpath before turning left to go through Lower Farm, turning sharp right and following the footpath to the road. Straight across the road and along to the next footpath on the left which led back to Cottesmore Lane. Left here and left again before cutting through the watercress beds and back to the pub.
Because we couldn’t have chips Hotlips had bought a rather large pork pie and made some stuffed tomatoes for the vegetarians. With so few people she thought it would provide Stiffy with a packed lunch every day of the next week. But no! After 2nds and then thirds (or some packed into aluminium foil for later in the day) it all disappeared. Obviously much appreciated after such a wonderful run.
No forfeits to award this week.
Hares: Hotlips and Lemony Snickett (a bit)
Hounds: Zorro, Professional Peach, CS, Gatecrasher, A Cruel Joke, Henry V, Uranus, Comet, Pressganger and Qualcast, Simon, Big Stiffy and Led Zepplin
Date: 27September 2016
Distance: 5.5 Miles