Run 1303 - The White Hart Harwell

A husband and wife conversation on the way to the pub went a little like this: “Will it be a long hash?” “No, it’s a Tuesday night and Zorro is a sensible fellow.”  How wrong could Big Stiffy be?   After all, the hare was on a bike.  His excuse was that he wanted to cycle ahead to re-lay the trail if the heavy rain had washed away the flour.  There was no sign of the co-hare.  Was this a sign that there had been disagreement over the length of the trail?

People came from all directions to meet in the pub car park and the hare pointed us on down the lane to the left.  We weaved round the houses until we came out onto the main road to Rowstock.  Crossing over we started the long ascent.  The contour lines on the map may not look very close together but it was a stead slog upwards until we reached the Icknield Way.  Here we turned left, and climbed another hill.  There was a hash view at the top.  We could see Wittenham Clumps, Didcot chimneys and a horse.  Oh yes, and the Diamond project.  Ringer had to reprimand the physicist in our midst (Uranus) for not being interested in looking at the biggest ring in the country. 

At this point the hare drew a fish hook on the ground and sent us all back the way we had come and on to the A4185.  Mudder had checked that way at the previous check so felt particularly aggrieved.  The rest of us just moaned a lot and Wimpey decided he was going home by retracing the trail.  The trouble was when he told people this they thought he meant the pub, not Sutton Courtenay.  More of this later!  At the A4185 there was a chance for a short cut and the walkers headed off.  The rest of the squad went straight across the road to continue on the Icknield Way but found it was diverted through the Harwell site.  About here Zorro and his bike were just in front of the pack.  Although he has lost a lot of weight he was having an issue with his shorts again.  Was there one or 2 x Uranus on the trail today?  (The bit that came out from behind the fence a few years ago) which added some more distance.  Back on the proper path we continued West last a number of options on the right before getting to Aldfield Common.  At this check we gathered at the farm gate where we watched the sheep and lambs.  There was a lamb that had only just been born right by the gate.  So cute.  Everyone wanted to turn right here but Zorro pointed us left.  And he wasn’t joking!   A loop round via Oldfield Farm and through the woods brought us back onto the Icknield Way.  By now the hare thought he has lost a couple of hounds and had set off to find them.  Note to self – take a mobile on the hash!  Again, we wiggled round the site and back towards the main road only to see Zorro coming the other way on his bike.  How did he gt ahead of us all?   A short way along the road we turned off onto the short trail, “It should be down hill form here on in.”  If only, it seemed to go up for ever.  Mudder was running at the front with Hotlips and kept assuring her that it would head down hill, eventually!  Saffi kept Lemony going as they headed along the very long On Inn – could be a record? Zorro went past puffing flour into the air.  Just what the runners wanted in their lungs. We continued across the A417 and through the back streets of Harwell to the pub.  The only problem was that not everyone was local and the On Inn was not marked so a few hounds ended up wandering the village in the dark for a short time 

Back at the pub Lemony couldn’t find Wimpey.  Just before the search party set off she reached him on his mobile to discover he had gone home.  At this point the stresses of life over the last few weeks (or was it just the very long trail?) got too much and Ringer dipped in his pocket and bought her a well-needed drink.  But don’t tell anyone.  We don’t want to spoil his reputation as a hard man!

We took over half the bar and felt very cosy.  What a great group of folk.  There were no vests or shorts or ANYTHING to give out.  Hopefully we shall get at least one shirt back next week as Lesley should be joining us for her third run.  Maybe CS could bring back all his haberdashery even if it doesn’t fit.  Poor Ringer needs something to give him a reason for talking at circle up.  Oh, wait a minute, what am I saying, he never needs a reason to talk!!!

On On

Hares: Zorro and Piscine Down

Hounds:  Mudder, Out to Lunch, Edina, Patsy and Saffi, Comet, Uranus, Lemony, Wimpey, Ringer, Big Stiffy, Hotlips, Dingaling, Hutch, Rubber Sole, Rubber Sole’s Buddy, Northern Soul, Henry V, A Cruel Joke, Professional Peach, Sue and Christina

Date: 25 April 2017

Distance:  7.63 miles (and I can still feel every one of them)