The hare's claim of a 5.35 mile run and my GPS recording of 10.7 miles, did not, at first sight appear compatible when I settled down to write this Trash.
However, I eventually looked at the route and noticed that I hadn't actually turned it off when we got back to the pub! The run part of it turned out to be 5.4 miles - which lead to the even less likely conclusion that Hare Mick had been telling the truth (I am sure you will agree that this is disgraceful behaviour for a Hare).
It was nice to see Phil returning from a summer absence and unexpected to see Mike and Judy (who last time we ran from here went to the wrong Royal Oak in the wrong Bovingdon – perhaps Mike thought he was going to Loudwater?)
We started off along the road but swiftly hung a left across what I believe is the green in Bovingdon Green, before heading off across the hilltops towards Heath and Wolmer woods. The going was harder than I had hoped for as the lack of most of the FRB's meant that us mere mortals had to do much of the checking.
We soon passed the footpath that leads down to Happy Valley – locally rumoured to be the site of a Vinery in Roman times (a few Roman coins were fount there), though excavations imply that apart from a 16th century house which was demolished in the 1950's and a few shards of medieval pottery, all that had been there was a few Nissan huts from Ww2.
On down through Davenport Wood and towards Marlow Common with more than a few on-backs to keep us entertained / cursing* (*delete as appropriate). I have forgotten which hasher I overheard saying that he had spent all day searching for a U2 CD... ...but he still hadn't found what he's looking for.
The trail became good and hilly (well hilly anyway) as we headed towards Brockmer End, where Nell Gwyn was (wrongly as it turns out) reputed to own a farmhouse – though it is very possible that she visited with her lover King Charles II – whether or not she had her oranges with her is sadly unrecorded.
Somewhere around here I believe we waved a fond farewell to the shortcutters before starting the mountain climb up through Homefield Wood – a hill which just keeps on giving. It may have been the scene of the odd curse or two aimed at our beloved hare, at least one of them by Keyboard Ken, our back-checking supremo, as he miscounted the number of hashers ahead and had to go back (which he did with all the enthusiasm of a sinner facing the Spanish Inquisition). The downhill that followed was nice but somewhat ruined by the two up-hills that immediately followed it.
Arriving at Freith Road, and knowing that the pub was in striking distance if we turned right, we naturally went left. Apparently there were some hills ahead that we hadn't run up so far that evening.
Trotting gently along the road I was chatting to someone who, earlier that day had changed a light bulb, a bit later on they had crossed over the road and walked into a bar. Apparently their life was one big joke.
Down and up another valley before turning right along Mundaydean lane and heading back (yes, you guessed it), up another long and painful hill. One last wood and then a swift dash (OK slow crawl) and we had returned to the pub, thankfully at a decent hour.
The chips were more than plentiful and Mike managed to gain possession of two large bowls seemingly just for himself. A pleasant chat or two, a nice pub and a particularly pleasant end to the evening as four of us managed to miss the GM's words of wisdom by being at the wrong (?) end of the pub.
A great, if somewhat hellishly hillish hash.