Last week we were in Maidensgrove, this week it was Middle Assendon, making it two weeks in succession that we ventured into Oxfordshire for the Hash. Both Sam and I evidently had the same thought that we had not ventured into this area for a while and should do so before the long nights set in with a vengeance.
Also for the second week in a row, Leslie could be all a-trembly at the thought of running through Bix Bottom and for a second time be frustrated.
The start of the run was delayed a little as we waited for Hashers to arrive, as for quite a large proportion of us, this area is a long way from home, both in time and distance.
Sam was also keen that there was to be no repetition of last week when a significant proportion of the pack took matters into their own hands and lost themselves in the surrounding countyside.
Off we went at last, right and right again, which meant uphill. Around here up really does mean up, which was quite a shock to the system and lead to legs heavy with lactic acid by the time the land levelled out.
Little Bixbottom lay to our right and there it would remain until we reached Bix and Bix Common, where it became our rear.
We successfully negotiated the speeding motors on the Nettlebed road to pass by Bix Manor Farm and on towards Lambridge Wood. All the while we ran parallel to the map height contours, which allowed us to make distance without undue pain. That was reserved for later.
Not long after passing Lambridge farm we made out descent to the Fair Mile on the outskirts of Henley where Sam gave us the first of two challenges. This was a paired sprint over half a mile, pairs setting off every 5 seconds. Needless to say, the usual suspects ended up arriving first, even though they were saving their energy for the Budapest trip. Also, whatever niggles that lay dormant in our legs before the sprint, they awoke with a vengeance after it.
Barely had we regrouped than Sam offered the second challenge (although it was not apparent at the time that it was a challenge). Short run straight up the valley road, or something a bit longer if you turned right.
Well, the right turn went towards Fawley. I have always driven to Fawley in the past and did not appreciate that it was as high as Snowdon. The road went up, and up, and up and up.
And if that wasn’t enough up, the selective on-backs ensured there was more up and up. Till Crockmore Farm, that is, where we turned for home. Odd that the ensuing down did not feel as down as the up. Then On-Inn.
Back in the pub, we overwhelmed the locals through shear weight of numbers (as no one had managed to lose themselves on the run, this week at least).
Roz W carried around (with the permission of the kind landlady) a large platter of chocolate brownies to celebrate her birthday that day and Mike C was on his best behaviour given the temptation of his favourite foodstuff in front of him (according to Judy, his diet that day had comprised mainly chocolate anyway).
The recipe can be found by following this link.
The GM was present this day and gave his speech without notes or sound amplification.
Firstly congratulations to Roz and Maggie for successfully negotiating the Great North Run, comprising both the start and the subsequent 13 miles (there are now so many people taking part in this race that you spend more time waiting for the race to start than you take for the actual run). In the process they raised over £1200 for Marie Curie Cancer Research.
Secondly, a warm welcome to one of our “old” regulars, Ewan Brown, who is back briefly in the UK for his 26th hash (if the rumours of his and Lucy’s desire to settle in Australia are true, he will have to change his email address to something more apposite).
Thirdly, a warning to all members of the Hash and Jaws going to Budapest this weekend for the marathon not to dissipate their energy the night before the race by being all unnecessary. This was received with a look of relief on some faces and “incredulity that he needed to say this” on others. How this was to be effected was made clear afterwards. One hasher uses her night attire as a form of semaphore to send a message. In Budapest it will say “Niet”. My mind wandered and I tried to think what the signal might have been, in Drake’s time, to indicate that the Armada was on its way.
Another said that she had been married long enough to know how to snuff out such insurrection. I don’t know why there is a problem. It is not as if one’s sleep need be disturbed.
Finally, it was Tosca night and there was no shortage of possible contenders for the honour, but the prize was eventually awarded to Kevin (abetted by Kerry) for setting the most dangerous Hash in our long history from the Dashwood Arms.
Later that evening I was amazed to see Jennifer (niffer) bouncing up and down on her seat, waving her arms excitedly in the air. Being nosy, I asked her what had happened. She said that she had just read the Hash trash and seen her own name in print. This must be the most excitement generated by any Hash trash. If she does the same to this mention of her, perhaps we have started something that will ripple forward in