THE CHIP BUTTY HASH
The car park was heaving when we arrived. Wow I thought, I know Mark is popular but THIS popular? Alan carefully squeezed the car into a slot designed for a mark 1 mini, and we all crawled/ fell out the 2 inch door gap between us and van next door (Matt and Rozy had beaten us!?!). Now anyone that has been to the Crown at Hazlemere will know there is absolutely heaps of parking. What they might not know is that the car park on the other side of the Amersham Road belongs to the Holy Trinity Church. Our hash had clashed with some service or other, and the hoardes of people were not hashers but Church goers. A few of our more virtuous hashers moved their cars onto nearby side roads to free up some parking slots.
We joined the hash huddle as Mark was just beginning his speech. " The long is 5.2 miles, the short is 3.9" he said to horrified gasps from the shorts. "This is the Chip Butty Hash" he continued, "You must EARN your chip butty by performing incredible feats of strength and courage!" (Fortunately we found out later, running in the dark on a cold Tuesday night qualified). Matt Wright and Mark had obviously reconciled from their snoring contest in Ledbury as Matt had kindly co-hared. Finally after detailed instructions from our drill sergeant, we set off into Hazlemere Recreation Ground and our first challenge: - "The Wall".
Ant didn't realise this was a challenge and was over without really breaking stride. Zac followed then lured Nikki into the spotlight by verbally encouraging her to follow just as the bulk of the pack arrived. Alan climbed to the top to offer assistance whilst a couple of hashers knelt before her in a circus pyramid allowing her to ascend gracefully. Jess meanwhile elegantly clambered over on her own (Alan: - I am sure everyone else then followed but I had headed off checking).
Leaving Hazlemere Recreation Ground, we ran alongside a couple of fields for about a three quarters of a mile before arriving at our next challenge: - "The Burpees". The keenest (or should I say hungriest?) amongst us (Nikki, Jess, Matt, Graham) proceeded to jump up and down, much to the amusement of a couple of guys watching from their car. Roger unsure what exactly a 'burpee' was, did a wonderful demonstration coached by the hare.
Just round the corner was the children's playground with flour dotted all through it. This was much more to our liking. Mick & Barney made a beeline for the swings whilst the rest of us carefully stepped over the stepping stones and wobbled along the balance beam. A few even ventured onto the climbing frame. Finally everyone made their way down a large slide. It was only then that we noticed we were being watched by an old lady with a horrified expression from the nearby meeting hall. To avoid putting Roger's peacekeeping skills to the test yet again, moving swiftly on seemed prudent.
The hash became more usual at this point, with plenty of fields, woods and calls of roots and heads, interspersed with "holes", which were plentiful. Somewhere along the way we lost the shorts as we tend to do. I observed to Dan that the hash was wonderfully flat, and we then proceeded to take the longest, rootiest down hill ever. A few of the locals, of which there seemed quite a few, reminisced about the various rabbit holes they had got stuck in over the years. I got a little carried away and took a dive to ground and rather nice roll and recovery if I say so myself. Helen also took a dive later in the evening.
Of course after the long down, we were rewarded with a long up, which was much appreciated by those that had undertaken the Frieth Hilly on Sunday. We passed through a field of sleeping cows who could not be bothered to move without a Jo to chase. General chit chat wandered onto our next holidays, Matt Wright gloated that he wouldn't be here next week as he was off to Paris this was immediately gazumped by Nikki who would be in Florida! Ian proved that chivalry isn't dead by doing a very long on back for me whilst Paul sticking up for women's lib let Jess go back when they arrived at the last 5 back together.
Finally after 6.5 miles (or 8.4 miles if you're an Ant) we made it back the pub, where Helen discovered that a bowl of chips makes you very popular, as she was joined by Steve (on a raid for Jane), Mike, and D4 amongst others. Fortunately there were oodles to go round and bread and butter too. We totally missed Roger's speech being ensconced near some of the noisy regulars, but congratulations to Roz for her 300 T shirt with the very witty slogan: "If you can read this it means I'm not last". A good point for your scribe to sign out, thanks for the run, thanks for the challenges, but mostly thanks for the Chip Butties!