Oh well it had to happen at some time. I was caught by Gerry to write up the hash, after avoiding this task for well over 1000 hashes in various parts of the world.
With about 40 of us assembled in the Stag & Hounds car park on a very pleasant warm and sunny evening we were informed by the hares that this would be a live run, with the hare having a three minute lead on the pack. A flour cross on the ground would always indicate six back. At first this sounds as though the pack can soon catch the hare, but we were not to see the wily David (AKA Benchbreaker, AKA Exgem) again until the end of the run. (Ed's aside, at the idea of on-backs and re-groups on a live ruin it was realised that the longs were revolting.)
And so after a few minutes we were called on by The Blonde, with the trail leading us North up the Beaconsfield road. As it was a live run and no maps my memory will have to suffice for the directions. Left into Ingleglen and through the estate to the footpath leading to Stewarts Drive. On on in the Beeches alongside Stewart Drive heading North for several checks and then West into the heart of the woods. A couple of checks and to a regroup with the Long / Short split. Unbeknown to yours truly on the Short trail, the hare had set a loop for the Longs from this point with The Blonde doing her best to disguise it for the Longs when they returned to the same point. (Ed's aside with a Long's loop that was considerably in excess of a mile, it was realised that either the Exgem had run incredibly fast around it - in time to get back and set the short-run before the pack caught him, or that he had reverted to a cunning pre-set subterfuge. Question: did the Exgem pull a fast one?) Thus it was not too clever on the Shorts trail to be kicking the checks through for the Longs to catch up. However, there were plenty of crosses for six backs, no wonder we never caught the hare. (Ed's aside, after getting caught by several crosses in a row one long hasher suddenly twigged the reason why they were called "cross.")
It was turning out to be a perfect hashing evening with the well-marked trail wending its way on soft pathways through the trees, just occasionally crossing a road but usually on paths with beautiful scenery. A real tour of the best parts of the Beeches.
Past the Fort earthworks heading West and then South alongside Halse Drive to be led down a long gulley with the trees closing in overhead. Up and over Lord Mayors Drive, across Middle Pond dam with horses wading in the water, and then the trail wending its way back East across more open countryside to Hawthorne Lane, Kingsway and Beaconsfield Road again where David was waiting for us.
It turned out to be approximately 4.5 miles for the Shorts and 5.5 miles for the Longs (loggged as 7.7 and 7.2 miles on various GPS'). And is it a record; the walkers only returned after the Longs had got back? (Ed's aside: No a hasher who will remain namless ( Mike Cnsden) (Oops) holds this honour).
In the pub Roger awarded the Tosca to someone who was not present and Paul was presented with a 100 runs T shirt saying front " I started off hashing with nothing" and on the back "Its 100 hashes later and I still have most of it left". Various reminders including the Much Wenlock weekend, then very crispy chips for everyone.
Thank you to David and Lesley (The Blonde) for a great evenings run.