We were all gathered at the Dog and Duck at Highmoor (near Nettlebed), but the hare was nowhere to be seen and then as if by magic Matt suddenly appeared from nowhere behind the waiting pack. The rules were normal hash rules, except for a rather curious new marking, which was only explained as an MMMMC. Matt explained that anybody who could decipher the meaning of this acronym would win a prize. This caused much head scratching and a few suggestions were made, which more often than not seemed to end in the word CHIPS. Matt then made a long speech about how he wanted to keep with tradition and set a half marathon, but then decided that a nice short flat run without any shiggy would be more suitable. Apparently, there was a long run of five miles, a medium of four and a ridiculously short run of only three miles.
The hash began at 7.45pm precisely, but was soon suspended as we had to regroup in the woods to wait for a few late comers. The run proceeded through a long wooded area for what seemed like ages and was very annoyingly (and painfully for those brave runners in shorts) overgrown with loads of stinging nettles. I guess this is why it is called Nettlebed. After running for a while we stopped at a field and Roz pointed out a rather impressive statue of a knight on horse back which also had wings. It was mentioned (do not know by who) that the horse was a rather well endowed animal at which point, Audrey immediately pulled out her mobile and started to take photos!!! When we eventually dragged Audrey away, we carried on past a farm trail with lots of sheep droppings, and a frightened baby hedgehog - which was even more scared by the time Roz had finished shining her torch at it and prodding it.
Off again through more woods and more lovely nettles and then some SHIGGY (all hashers lie), until we reached the first long-medium / short split. Impressively nobody opted for the 3 miler. This was not your usual hash, as without some of the regular FRB’s on show, there were a few unexpected sights to behold. I recall that I saw Barney and Audrey running in the wrong direction after coming across an “on – back” and Kerry was full of energy and she found herself at the front of the pack for at least three “on-backs”.
After some more running through woods, we eventually came across the new marking of MMMMC, which was mentioned at the outset. Some of us thought that Kerry had already guessed the meaning half way round, when she came up with “Matt Marries Miss Manxie at Christmas” but although this was good it was not right. Anyway, upon reaching the marking, Matt finally explained that it stood for “Manxie’s Mad Manic Mile Challenge” or at least I think it was something like that.
The idea was this. The pub was approx half of a mile to the left. The challenge was for anyone to turn right and complete a circuit of one mile and get to the pub before all of those that would turn left. There would be a prize for those in the winning team. We all returned to the pub for some much needed refreshments including the customary chips. Thanks Matt.
Oh by the way, the short cutters won out and were awarded a prize of a box of chocolates to share.