"Hello 6th Form, my name is David Griffiths and I am your new P.E. Master. And this is Miss Whiplash, my assistant, and she is just as tough as me!
I'm here to get you lazy bunch into shape so, tonight, we are going out on a little run around Cookham to start getting you lot into some sort of shape.
Now, I'll take the reasonably fit amongst you, whilst Miss W. will encourage those of you who really are physically lacking. I've had a briefing from Mr. Crawshaw so I know who the slackers are, for example :- Jones, you, boy, have made too many trips to the tuckshop and I think also you and Master Barnard drink too much Tizer.
Consden, put that bloomin' big bar of chocolate away – I've been told that you are a right gannet.
Misses Hirschfeld and Furmston, Mr. Crawshaw tells me that you two never stop talking or gazing into your mobile phones – we'll soon put a stop to that!
Oh, and one more thing, I have convinced a local farmer to let us run across his land. Well he took one look at me and couldn't say no could he?
What's that boy, how long is the run? Miles and miles lad, now get your backside in gear and, if you lot really give it some welly, the dinner lady might lay on some tucker when we get back to the school.
OK, let's go. Fittish right with me, others left with Miss W. and, Keats, leave young Helen alone, anyone would think that you two are married!! Hup, Hup, Hup, Hup, Hup, Hup."
And so it began...
Us shorties ambled along the High Street before being enticed left onto the footpath to Strand Water, which turned very quickly into a falsie. Back over the causeway, with a brief stop to gaze at the pond – a fact for which David later accused us of walking, as if !!!
Following what became evident as the right trail, this being opposite the Moor, we ran into open country. Being totally convinced at the next check that we should go straight on, the trail was, of course, left, and then right to pick up the path past Strand Water ( not much water in it!) which had the evil falsie on it.
Crossing a rather nice new bridge over a stream, which Patch wanted to wade through but was convinced otherwise by Mum Mary, we went left following something called "The Green Way" further out into the middle of absolutely nowhere.
It was here that the longs nearly caught us up but failed due to a fiendish long/short split which sent them off into the middle distance whilst we jogged serenely on with Hawkeye chivvying us along on his one and a half legs.
Another substantial dustbowl of a field was traversed, after which we arrived at a double regroup, which of course we ignored in order to stay ahead of the longs who were coming up fast.
With yours truly amazingly opting not only to check out the trail, but also actually find the flour, we ran on across Widbrook Common to find that, as is usual hereabouts, a herd of bullocks was in the field in front of us.
Much natural reluctance to "take the bull by the horns" and carry on through the herd now set in but, with the longs now catching us up, we were saved from embarrassment by Keyboard Ken who, with a blood curdling yell and a flash of his torch, dispatched the bullocks from the footpath. In Indian terms ken should now be known as "He who scares bulls".
We arrived at the Cookham/Maidenhead road, this kindly marked with a flour sign which read "CARE", and went left along this scary piece of new tarmac dodging the oncoming traffic until arriving thankfully all in one piece at the entrance to White Place Farm, a combination of a bona fide farm and some very pricey new housing.
Here Matt, who was nursing a dodgy ankle went straight back along the main road, whilst the rest of us mugs ran on up the access road into the farm and up to the jazzy houses, one of which being under construction having a large picture of David Beckham on it which solicited ooh's and aah's from the girls. I confess at this point to uttering the anguished cry to the effect that we were going away from the pub even though the ETA at the venue was fast receding.
A run round various fields brought us to a gate, climbing over which we arrived at the Thames Path with realisation dawning that we were still a long way out, and the light fading fast.
A plod along the Thames Path fetched us up to Mill Lane, home of Mr. Chris Rea, and eventually back to civilisation and a gentle meander back to base camp.
The dinner lady had indeed done us proud – there were chips, more chips, even more chips and then some more chips until even Trencherman Mike was struggling to finish them off. The usual speech from the GM and a presentation of a t-shirt to Benchbreaker (which should have been for one of the longest runs ever, offset by definitely the most chips in the history of hashing).
Thanks to David and Lesley for a very good, if totally knackering run and the chip surfeit.