Every so often it is good to question yourself.
So, did I enjoy last week's hash from the Red Lion in Stokenchurch? Hmm, interesting question.
Well, twenty nine hashers was an unexpectedly large turnout for such a dire night, especially considering half of the hash was trying to out-run avalanches on the slopes of some French mountain or other.
It was very, very cold, the wind was whistling an interesting and lively tune and it was raining, reasonably unpleasantly. Then the run was announced at "Just under six miles". Hmm.
After a half a mile or so I remembered to turn on my GPS, just about the time we hit the mud. Well there was mud on many bits of the hash after that. In other places the mud gave way to thick, deep, gloopy mud with muddles (I just invented that word for a muddy puddle – good, huh?) – and the rest of the route was deep in atrocious mud, including a recently ploughed field which went down a long steep hill, before going up the other side of the equally steep valley. And don't get me started on the countless hills! And as for the rain – yup, you're right it was coming down even harder.
And then we got to a check, which I checked out a long way as I knew it was the only way back, only to be called back as the hare had "missed" an earlier footpath. ¼ mile back down the path and the Hare announced, no it isn't here it must have been the right way after all, so for the third time the path (or muddy nightmare as it should be called if we are going to be accurate about it) was traversed. And then, dear Kev our beloved hare announced (just as I was checking out a second route), "No, it is certainly back that way we just couldn't have gone back far enough!" So on to the fourth time along the quagmire. Oh, and by the way the rain was still pouring down the increasingly soggy back of my neck and the wind had stepped up a notch.
The whinging got even louder, nearly drowning out the rain.
Checking on my GPS later I was out running for two hours and one minute, the temperature on the evening reached a maximum of 41 F (and a minimum near freezing), the pace of the hash was 14.30 minutes per mile, even discounting the times we were stopped still and trying to find our way. We ran through over seven miles of quagmire and up a surprisingly small 694 feet. We visited Ibstone, Aston Rowant, the A40, M40, the far side of Stokenchurch's Telecommunication tower and a muddy ploughed hill I never want to see again.
The last hill was pure murder – Kev commented at the top that he must have killed-off the entire hash. It had taken so much out of us that everyone had gone deathly quiet - the hash were too tired that it didn't even have the energy to whinge any more.
Despite not turning my GPS on at the start I still clocked up 7.5 miles and we got back a little after quarter to ten. It was still raining. Naturally the shorts had eaten all of the chips (and Thai food) that the hare and pub had laid on – with the exception of two types of Thai food that the kitchen brought out especially for the latecomers (both based on grilled dead things, which is not good for vegetarians, especially hungry ones).
So, to return to the question did I enjoy the run – well yes, actually I really, really did, it was totally brilliant!
An exceptionally good one Kev!