A beautiful, sunny morning and a cheerful crowd gathered in the car park. New people too! Sarah and Russ looked rather fitter than the rest of us and were very enthusiastic – which was great as we were rather thin on runners. It was lovely to see Call Girl et al after a long break. But she was walking having run from Didcot. - not what we have come to expect from her.
There was no map for walkers but they had a Walker with them (and he had the map in his head). Our newbies had seen flour on Steventon hill but still checked that way and had an immediate introduction to a fish hook. But the trail went down the lane by the pub and along the causeway towards Milton. We crossed under the A34 and, after some confusion, found the footpath across the field. The hare had to point out the style, and was keen to do so as it lead to a pointless loop round the field and back to the bridge that took us back over the A34 and back towards Steventon.
A trip round the green, then off to the allotments – where the hounds were called back from the left path and Noddy was blamed for the confusion. We ran towards The North Star along the causeway, then up towards the railway crossing. Wimpey was sure the trail would go left, but it continued towards the church. Again Wimpey was sure we would turn left, “even if this is wrong I’m going this way”, and 3 blobs were found. But we were called back again. This time due to Hotlips talking to a dog walker while laying the trail and losing count. Wimpey carried on but the rest ran up to the farm and back down the footpath through the muddy field towards the old mill race. At the edge of the field Wimpey appeared, insisting he had sprinted after us and run the full trail!
From here we went up into the woods and left to the path. Lemony checked up the steep slope into the field (she should know her way round better than that) and had to retrace her steps and detach her coat from the thorns. Russ and Sarah waited patiently for her. They’ll soon earn!
Back towards the pub and the on inn took us to the mulled wine and mince pies in Station Yard before heading into the bar.
Can’t think of a better way to start Boxing Day.
Hares: Hotlips, Big Stiffy and Noddy
Hounds: Lemony Snickett, Wimpey, Buzz, Twitcher, Eric, Henry V, A Cruel Joke, Call Girl, Hell Boy, Bat Girl, her mum and dad, Professional Peach, Martin, Oliver and his dog, Led Zeppelin, Nicola, Sarah and Russ
Date: 26 December 2016
Distance: 5 miles