At 5:00pm on Tuesday my boss said to me: "You’ve done absolutely naff all today!" I misheard this as "You must absolutely go to Naphill today!" Sure enough, I thought, Barney’s setting a trail there tonight, so I clearly must attend. Besides, he tends to run with the Shorts, so the trail will not be too long, says I to myself, says I.
We had a first-time hasher, Emma, who had been persuaded by Moist to come along. The GM calmed Summer down with what looked like a water pistol. Then Barney briefed us, dropping the hint that there might be a fair few miles to run today. I was wincing about the injuries I read about in the previous two hash reports. According to Dr. Google running injuries occur for three ‘too’ reasons: too soon after a previous injury; too fast; and too long. So I decided to be very disciplined, and not run too fast or too long. I sacrificed my joy of extended hashing and opted for the Short run. The result: no injury.
We started off running up to Downley (rather than, say, down to Uplands) and passed la maison publique qui s’appelle Le De Spencer Arms. We taxied around the common and took a left onto the metaphorical runway that led us to take off down to the West Wycombe Murco garage. It was good to stretch our legs, the enjoyment being only partly checked by the knowledge that what goes down must come up, and by the large number of on-backs with the number 9. Apparently it would have been 10 but the hare was worried about the 0 being crossed out by deviant hashers.
Then there was a Long/Short split. The Shorts went up the Bradenham Road while the Longs circumcised a large part of the West Wycombe estate (sorry, I meant circumnavigated).
We Shorts had Barney with us, which meant an almost smooth passage via Cookshall wood and farm back to Naphill. The bit at the end where we got lost I put down to the need for extra yards and time so as not to feel too inadequate when the exploits of the Longs were revealed. So 9:30pm and 5.4 miles was definitely a respectable Shorts outcome. Scribbler had Shorted but I think he found his own way back to the pub in time to catch the second half of the footie.
Back in the pub we were reunited with the walkers Dave, Rose and Audrey. The latter had injured herself while helping Barney set the trail, presumably on Sunday when it was laid.
Just before midnight the Longs arrived, though I may not have changed the time on my phone from my recent holiday in the Seychelles. From the caves and mausoleum, they had run up to Bradenham and then taken a right back to Naphill. It was 6.7 miles as the crow flies, officially recorded as 9.3 miles and some like Andy did well in excess of 10 miles. Paul was lost and then found again thanks to torch lights and people shouting on-on.
The pub was very welcoming, the chips were good and plentiful and Elaine had made some nice lemon and coffee cakes for what was Barney’s birthday run. The weather was good and we were fairly injury-free this week, despite the distances covered. Good run, Barney!