Run 1311 - Wittenham clumps

This has to be the best hash of the year!!  A short trail was promised as the follow-on was at Pressganger’s for a BBQ.  Even though it was nearly the longest day it does still get dark.

We arrived at Wittenham Clumps carpark on a lovely, sunny Tuesday evening only to find that the rest of the world was there too.  The army cadets were training, a Harwell running group were running, the Scouts and Guides were doing something and the dog walkers were walking their dogs.  Total chaos so Lemony started organising the double parking.  She checked with the cadet officers who were eating their tea at the back of their car that they were happy to be boxed in and directed Eric (in a courtesy car and understandably a little nervous) to pull up behind the nice chap.  She came slowly as Lemony continued to wave her forward. Suddenly Lemony realised that Eric was looking at the front of her car and not at the directing hand so waved frantically for her to stop whilst leaping to the side.  Cadets, tea, Lemony, Eric and car were all fine.  Then they all discussed who was going to be leaving first and hashers said confidently that they would be back before the cadets wanted to leave at c9pm.  Once Uranus arrived the officer was on the centre square of a noughts and crosses game!

We circled up just through the gate.  The only guidance from the hares was that we had to obey the runbacks even if they were written upside down.  This conjured up quite a few images and imaginations ran wild (well mine did anyway) only to later be ruined by the truth.

There were not enough runners to check all of the possible ways but Stiffy struck lucky and led us straight on and then right.  Fancy starting us on a hill.  How cruel.  We went round Sinodun Hills and through the woods, and fields.  There were quite a few runbacks which kept the pack together well.  There were a few comments after 3 miles that we were still heading away from the cars but most of us hadn’t got a clue where we were.  Pausing for a photo Gnome Alone (who has grown a beard in retirement to better suit his name – it is long enough to hold on to – maybe this is how Cheap Date gets him to pay attention when she is speaking) choreographed a photo opportunity.  We all had to jump up on the count of 3. The trouble was this was agreed before the walkers joined the line up.  So Rubber Sole and Henry V were not ready.  Wimpey encouraged them by saying that the walkers wouldn’t be able to get off the ground anyway.  He was very lucky that there was another hasher between him and HV’s very pointed stick!  I t was about here that Zorro decided he couldn’t cope with the heat any more and stripped off his T shirt, cladding himself in the Down Down shirt that Pressganger was sporting.  It was about here that Lemony, who was down to her crop top, felt something tickling her leg.  Reaching down she realised her T shirt, which she had tucked in hr shorts, had slipped down and was hanging out of her trouser leg.  She pulled it through with a flourish, much to Pressganger’s amusement.

At the point where the track headed towards Shillingford people did start getting concerned.  They checked for flour so carefully that they didn’t notice the salty sea dog in his canal boat moored by the side of the river.  Only when he shouted “On On” did we realise it was Twitcher.  Well, most of us, Hotlips wasn’t wearing her glasses to still didn’t know what was going on.  Lovely to see him though it was, there was even more enthusiasm for the beer and water he was carrying.  A beer stop on the hottest Tuesday of the year so far.  How perfect.

The trail continued along beside the river (following the Earth Trust 10k route) and Zorro couldn’t resist taking the plunge!  Qualcast joined him and they both had a good splash about.  The trail turned back in land retracing our outward journey before turning off right and heading back through the woods and back round to the car park.

Although there had been slight panic at the clock ticked towards and then past 9pm the army were still nowhere to be seen so we could all move our cars on to Pressgangers.  On arrival she did a brilliant impression of a traffic cop, directing us all into parking spaces.

Round the back who should we meet but CS!  Where else would he be?  He hadn’t made the trail but wasn’t going to miss the food.  Pressganger and Pete laid on a great spread (including desserts brought by others) and plied us with more drink.  What a wonderful time.  We are going to miss them so much…..What’s that I hear you say, Pressganger?  We are all invited for a camping trip in Chepstow next year?  How kind, how kind.

Oh yes, the Yellow Shirt went to CS Gas for eating but not running.  He must have a complete set now – paddle, shorts and shirt.  Charitable of us to provide him with his summer holiday wardrobe.

On On

Hares: Pressganger and Eric

Hounds:  Zorro, Piscine Down, Edina, Patsy and Saffi, Comet, Uranus, Lemony, Wimpey, Ringer, Big Stiffy, Hotlips, Rubber Sole, Ratatouille, Henry V, A Cruel Joke, Professional Peach, Gnome Alone, Epic Fail, Ben Dover, Twitcher, Qualcast and CS Gas arrived for the food, and Pete the BBQ Ace

Date: 20 June 2017

Distance:  5 miles