Winter was back with vengeance for Barney's run from Princes Risborough, on the drive over my car was showing just 3 degrees and there was lashing rain thrown in for good measure. On arrival at the car park there was no sign of life as all the sensible hashers were tucked up warm and dry in there homes and the ones dippy enough to come out on such a grotty night sheltering in there cars. With seconds to go before the appointed start time the first brave soul to break cover was Mick closely followed by the GM. As the ranks slowly swelled the GM tried to persuade hashers to snuggle up behind him as his ring needed warming or it may have been snuggle up in a ring behind him as he needed warming my hood was up so could not hear clearly either way there were no takers or givers !.
Once we had recovered from the shock that the long was to be about 6 miles and the short 4 the hash headed off down Manor Park Road, enthusiastic to get moving for a change. The first long/short split was very early with the longs heading off towards the station with unusually no females. As we made are way towards Picts Lane Gerry commented on how nice it was to be starting in day light now! Ah what a wonderful place planet Gerry must be or maybe he’s been stocking up on moaw moaw before it’s banded.
The rain had taken its toll on the floor so there was talk of turning round and heading back to the car park but Sam picked up the trail again returning towards the town centre then a right into Poppy Road and eventually the Ridgeway. Out in open country side now Barney was keen to show us Pytle Spring which he assured us was actually flowing for the first time that he had seen, shore enough as we entered the spinney that surrounds the spring the trickle of running water could be heard but this turned out to be Graham having a slash.
The path across to Brimmers Farm had been ploughed and drilled so was by now very sticky adding a couple of kilos to each trainer, the back arrow on the far side of the field were particularly cruel - even Sam complained! The up side of this was that checking was easy you just had to follow the footprints left by the shorts along Brimmers Road to the junction with Kop hill. After a second long/short split only 6 hashers were left to tackle the lung busting run up Kop Hill. No floor could be seen any where on Kop Hill the jury is still out weather this was down to the rain or if Barney had actually been on the hill. The trail was eventually picked up after following the Ridgeway down of the hill
Barney had not finished with us yet, instead of heading to the high street we went of in the opposite direction through the houses over the Aylesbury Road and railway line to Alscot Farm before turning to home. We must have missed a check somewhere as instead of running to the On Inn at Barney’s house we ended up back at the car park but Barney must have guessed our mistake and was waiting to point us in the right direction.
Barney’s family had extended their usual hospitality as we were treated to chips, cake and beer plus the added bonus that the longs missed the GM’s speech. Jo and Helen having arrived late had managed to make there own way round and found their way to the on inn, quite what was going on in the conservatory though I do not know but they both cried out in unison “we worship dick” !.
Thanks Barney for a good run which must have been very testing to set and thanks to your family for their hospitality and allowing a bunch of wet, muddy and sweaty hashers to invade their home.