As I drove down the hill into Chesham for tonight's run, I saw a sign to the town train station. I could not quite remember where it actually was, however, I did remember the car park where we are due to meet for tonight's run.
I arrived to catch our hare Ken, briefing this elite group of athletics on tonight's run. These chosen few, are so elite, they gave a united unrehearsed moan as Ken informed then it was to be a run without hills! At least they could condone themselves in the knowledge that a Ken kilometre is equal to 2 miles. What they may lack in varied topography, they could at least gain in distance.
With the tribal call of 'check it out' ringing out on the lovely warm and muggy summer's evening, the pack left with the gusto of a grumpy, granny finally walking slowly, to meet an old neighbour that she never really liked. Through the town we slowly went, past drinkers outside a pub who were wondering what we were doing. Trying to live the dream, in a mixed up confused, cruel world, is the answer.
A later internet search of Chesham informed me, that it is a 'town known for its four B's, usually quoted as: - boots, beer, brushes and Baptists'. Tonight however, it was known for the three H's, Hares, Hashers and Hounds. Contrary to popular belief, the town is not named after the river; rather, the river is named after the town.
As our group of H's went over the railway footbridge, I finally realise where the elusive railway station actually was. Opened in 1889, the line had been intended to cross the Chilterns and connect to main line companies serving the north however, before work was begun, an alternative route across the Chilterns via Aylesbury was chosen.
Being some 25 miles north-west of Charing Cross, it is the furthest London Underground station from central London. It also has the title of both the northernmost and westernmost London Underground Station.
We left the lights of the station behind us and passed some houses and gardens. Upwards we went into a wheat field that was above both the line of houses and the tree line. As we stopped for oxygen, we were rewarded with a lovely sunset in the rarefied air. Further on we ran, passed some lamas, which I don't think are indigenous to the Chilterns, but were obviously at home in the high altitudes above Chesham.
We were shortly offered a long short split, which seem to be set on an east, west divide. Onwards away from each other, the two groups went. As the number of torches being turned on increased, our remaining distance diminished. For those that like to know distances, Andy covered some 8.25 miles.
Back to the car park we arrived and proceeded to do our usual 'change for chips' routine, before walking across the park to the pub. Apparently the Queen's Head was first licensed in 1759, and still has many of the pub's original features intact. However, the fact that all the bar staff seems to have large circular openings in their ear lobes, seems to be a modern tribal twist.
Being a Fullers pub, it had ESB on offer, which made Mick and Barney act as if Christmas had arrived. It was a most agreeable pint. Three very large bowls of hot chips soon arrived and made the rest of us also increase our level of Hash happiness. Roger later announcements included the fact that Livvy was celebrating her birthday and had bought along cake. Obviously knowing that we all like a bit of cake, it was well received, as was Roger's readings.
Happy Birthday Livvy and thanks for the cake. Thanks also to Ken for a great non hilly, hilly run, followed by lots of hot chips. It had been a lovely summer evening.