Now I come to look at it, Fox and Pheasant is NOT a good combination. Not for the pheasant at least.
But anyway the beast from the east had swept into action, and laid a trail in spite of the freezing conditions.
I didn't think of an excuse in time before my lift arrived so we rolled in to the car park to join the other hardy / foolhardy / just plain unimaginative souls. There was in fact a decent turnout of 27 which, given the conditions, is pretty impressive.
One of these troopers was Liz, a virgin hasher who had decided that since it was such a nice crisp night she'd join us for a run in the dark. Pretty sure she'll fit in well.
The hare informed us that is was nice and flat and due to it being about -6C there technically wasn't going any mud [at this point I was distracted for about half an hour on Wikipedia trying to work out the effects of low temperature on the thixotropic properties of shiggy. Turns out frozen shiggy is thicker than warm shiggy (up to a point) ].
Anyway - it was off across the frozen tundra that is Stoke Common, which isn't in Stoke, but is common. It was actually rather pleasant to run through in a post-apocalyptic way.
We looped round the Common following the spore of the notorious Poges Pooch Poisoner which apparently had been noted on the Stoke Poges Facebook page. Probably the work of Russian bots.
After a while it became apparent that rather than follow the blobs of flour (or possibly strychnine) it was easier to find the trail by just following the fat bike tyre marks set into the snow.
The tracks led us across the road and round the Scout campsite (Kitty is doing her DofE next weekend ... sure she'll be fine in -6 conditions) and then across into Brockhurst Wood. Brockhurst of course means Badger Hillock... didn't see any piles of badgers though - maybe they were covered by snow.
Once through the woods we crossed over into Hedgerley Park. My friend Lance's middle name is Hedgerley ... wonder if he was conceived in the park.
Anyway, it was then back across the road and into Pickeridge Wood. I imagine Pickeridger means a ridge of pickers; didn't see any piles of pickers - maybe they were covered by the snow.
Once back on the Common, Ade managed to find the only bit of unfrozen water for miles by splashing through the middle of an enormous puddle. Now it was a race to get him back to the pub before he froze solid.
We made it back to the car park to find that some gits had smashed the window of Matt's van and stolen Roz's bag.
There was a much happier sight once we got into the pub though - well obviously beer but more importantly, another new hasher. Chloe was looking absolutely gorgeous - congratulations to Sarah and Ant.
There were sausage rolls and chips aplenty to help warm us up. And Roger managed to demote our very own Wing Commander to a mere Squadron Leader when he awarded Simon his first t-shirt for 50 runs.
All in a all a very nice run... although bloody cold - what on earth were we thinking...