Even if you didn't know Sarah, you wold realise she must be teacher by the way she introduced and organised the hash.
She started with some general banter to get everyone geared up for the hash task ahead, then she dressed the unpalatable facts up in an interesting and easy to understand way, often teasing us with partial facts to make us work things out for ourselves (e.g. its five and a bit miles – followed by "But what's a bit children?" or words to that effect. She was jolly and encouraging, though you could see the steely unremitting threat of dire retribution if you stepped out of line and didn't follow her hash rules exactly. No skimping on the back checks and woe betides you if you didn't observe the new W command. Everything was planned down to the last minute detail. (Aside: the last detail was the chips.)
The lesson continued with Ant asking questions all around the hash e.g. "How's it going then?" to the guys and a more Joey-like (from Friends) "How U doin'? " to the girls. The lesson was hard in places, easy in places, yet had a steep learning curve (especially steep up a great big hill near the end!).
Roger, as usual, held the plenary session in the pub afterwards.
I was even given a handout – two maps for the long and short runners.
So, I wondered what else I learned from the hash? Well we run up a total of 480 feet (or 120 cows to a teacher in a maths lesson) and my GPS said I carelessly lost a total of 708 calories over the 6.38 miles I ran. Sadly, I had two pints (at 182 calories each = 364 calories) and I guess an average chip consumption is about 1/3 of a large potato – around 150 grams which equals 360 chip calories (Aside: chips are a staggering 960 calories for the average chip-shop-portion, which weight 400 gm). That means I gained 724 calories, amply replacing the 708 I had burned off hashing up hill and down dale all evening long.
I ran at a staggeringly slow average speed of 14.53 minutes per mile – at that rate a marathon runner would have run around the equivalent of the entire short run each and every time I clocked up a single mile – that's the best part of 20 miles by the time we finished the hash!
A few other things I realised on the hash: Soon after starting we ran up by the side of the motorway with dogs all doing what they do best and getting in people's way – I remember wondering if a magician would call his dog a Labracadabrador?
Turning south on Holtspur Lane and then turning left again we cut across the end of the sports field and skirted south around the woods towards Lily Fee farm, 400 years ago this farm was held in tenure at the cost of serving the first dish of the second course at dinner on 26 December at Hedsor Manor. Today it is more famous for its woodcarver who has undertaken commissions for both the Queen and Elton John. Although it went against the grain, we turned away from the farm into the wood where we rapidly misplaced the shortcutters. Crossing over The Chase we passed Staplegrove House before heading back into the woods. Climbing over one of the stiles Jo, who is always worth listening to for her comments when you are the scribe, announced to all that she needed to get her leg over again.
Somewhere near here was a magnificently mean false trail up a stunningly steep trail. Comments about bringing back capital punishment for hares were overheard, as was "I asked my North Korean friend how it was there, he said he couldn't complain" and "I hate Russian dolls...they're so full of themselves"
Soon we were running around three and a half sides of the rectangular Farm Wood towards Hedsor. However, as I checked at both ends I must have come within a few yards and minutes of seeing myself running the other way. On-on down the hill and along the edge of Wooburn village (marked on Endomondo as Wooburn Town) we headed inevitably, if unenviably, up the mountain side to Flackwell Heath (Aside: people from Flackwell heath were known locally as "Old Heathens" – so I assume that many hashers must come from there).
From here it was an easy run down across the golf course (albeit with a wicked up-hill on-back at the end) before trotting to a last wrong check. An intensely irate householder ran out swearing and shouting at me that "**!!*! dog walkers weren't allowed on his land". He didn't seem particularly mollified when I pointed out I hadn't been on his land, just the road, and I didn't have a dog - but eventually he grumbled off back into his den muttering dark deeds under his breath. Ahh well, perhaps he had been having a bad day.
Back in the pub the chips were satisfyingly full of calories and Jess was awarded a T shirt for getting to 50. Running must be good for you - she looks unbelievably young to be 50.
Was it Jess that said that had she never wanted to believe that her GM dad was stealing from his job as a road worker? Apparently all the signs were there when she got home!