On a hot summer night, would you…..
It was certainly a hot summer’s night as the car park at the Le De Spencer Arms in Downley filled with Hashers and, like synchronized swimmers, drivers were completed three point turns to find space on the equally busy road whilst trying to not upset local residents by blocking their drives.
Whipping Boy gave a briefing, short run being X distance and Long Run being Y distance, flour on the right, Re-Groups mean Re-Groups, busy roads to cross, maybe some sheep and look out for the math equations for some of the On-backs…Hold on did he really say Math equation? You mean we may need to use our brains as well as run? E=MC2 ? Or for our Hash is it SP=SLxSF (Speed = Stride Length x Stride Frequency).
Leaving the car park, the search was on to find the correct route down Plomer Green Lane before crossing a field and into the woods. With the nights already drawing in, there were a few moans already about torches having been left at home, whilst listening for the shout of ‘roots’, and the front runners having to remember what their math teachers had taught them at school. 2 cubed? Is that 6, no its 8...’
After the Long / Short Split, it was a short run before the longs crossed the busy road, but not before a quick stop to admire the view of the Dashwood Mausoleum lit up on the hill opposite. Then over the field heading generally in the direction of the Hellfire Caves. A man made cave system excavated between 1748 and 1752 for Francis Dashwood, 11th Baron Le Despencer.. Ah, so that is where the Pub got its name from. The caves also run under the church of St Lawrence, who my parents named me after.
Turning just before the caves, we headed down to the A40. So much of the route so far had been descending, but what goes down must also go up again, and so began the long, but gentle uphill with many checks and more on-backs. A little bit of flat before the cries of On-Inn could be heard from the front runners. Back at the pub we joined the shorts who were already enjoying their drinks, chips and onion rings, but, no fears, ample more being brought out.
A little concern from a few, due to the presence of the men and lady in blue – had we lost someone, are they here to arrest me for some dodgy parking, had I broken my ASBO rules? Fortunately they were not interested in our little drinkers’ club as we re-arranged the furniture to sit as many as possible in the garden, drink beer and eat chips eagerly awaiting Rogers post run briefing.