A variety of enthusiastic hashers gathered at the Lambert Arms near Aston Rowant. Even Mike was enthusiastic when he found out there was a short run! When it was coming up to the important 7:45pm our hare, Aud, announced the usual deceitful, typically grossly inaccurate mileage and topology. It was a choice of 2. 5 mile walk, 4. 5 mile medium, 5. 5 mile medium-long or 6 mile long. All with the promise of no undulating hills, as if that has ever been true, thinking back to Kevin and Kerry’s run from the Fox and Ibstone.
7:45pm was upon us and with stragglers still arriving, Aud set us of asking the question “Do you want to get back tonight?” We were off, fast paced and unrelenting on-back after on-back followed until the long short split. Jo was eyeing up the directions eagerly, less worried about the length of run than the sheer number of cows. Showing true hash courage Jo not only came to this safari of a hash, despite plenty of forewarning on the sheer amount of animals by Facebook, but she also chose the long route through the cows. Matt the matador led the way into the cow’s field, holding them at bay until we were all through. While Jo practiced both her 0-60 time and 400m sprint away from the cows, which had started to follow. Helen showing very selfless and courageous traits ran back towards Jo to warn her about the approaching cows. Until she deemed 50m from the cows but still 20m from Jo that was close enough and ran back in the other direction. After we had escaped the never ending cow field we had arrived at the sheep field, with a hundred odd sheep and lambs darting across the footpath on both sides of us.
We regrouped on the other side while red kites circled above us looking for any leftovers. Aud promised those who went with her not only a shortcut but a cow free shortcut. The idea of short deterred a number of us who went the long way round, running through empty field after empty field. We re-joined Aud’s group of cow-skippers on the road, who regaled us with yet more tales of ruminant racing. On-on we went peacefully for a while until yet more cows, which were easily shooed into the adjacent field.
Of Aud’s initial warnings the Stinging nettle warning, which had been all but forgotten became quite apparent. This gave our joker of the pack Aid a prime opportunity to show off his knee high clown socks. He was right he didn’t look quite as silly wading through stinging nettles in them. Helen on the other hand chose Kevin as her steed, and piggy backed her way through the stringing nettles. Around the corner was yet more animals, horses to be exact and the lovely country cottages where there owners lived. We jogged through their gardens, with Helen green with envy at the sight of these picturesque cottages with all the horsey trimmings a girl could want.
On-on we continued until yet more cows, Lucy (Anthony’s dog) bounded straight into the field of bullocks and nimbly jumped the style. This left the challenge of getting Twist (Simons’s dog) through the field. Matt cleared the style of cows with ease, however the cows had now spotted Twist and were making a beeline for her. Ken the cow whisperer stood fast with his hand out stretched and the cows halted on his command, allowing Twist to make her get away. This was soon forgotten with the discovery of the cute Shetland ponies, which appear to come in three sizes, small, tiny and tiny-er. Helen making friends with a tiny Shetland mum, who had a tiny-er foal by her side. A fast jog back by the motorway finished the run for the longs and we all met back at the pub. With a strange unusual, even unheard of thought going through our heads, where were the hills? Aud had called our bluff, I never even entertained the idea she was telling the truth when she said it was flat! The evening ended with the presentation of a very generously sized T-shirt to Hells Bells to commemorate her 250th run.
Thank you to Aud for a very enjoyable hash, it was enjoyed by all. Even the walkers who went completely the wrong way from the start. Kudos to your bravery to set such as wild hash on your own!