|Beaver and bitches: Lucky smells a rat.|
The first, billed as not a monster...was... well, not a monster. Ok, it had a lot of up and it was quite long, but once we got to the top and started round the hill, there was plenty of good running along clear trails, culminating in an excellent check that brought most of the front half of the pack back together. So although it was nice to get back to the run site, the experience was not painful enough to prevent most if not all from also running the excellent full moon run which followed not too long afterwards.
So two runs, 13k give or take a few hundred meters, 600 meters of ascent and two hours or so of running, down; Gorge of Death? Bring it on.
The writing was on the wall when Stick Insect decided to retire about 30 minutes into the run, long before there was even a sniff of GOD in the air, and Short Screw was noticed to be absent, later confirmed to have involuntarily opted for the short run along with the fittest of the fit young things. That left a pack of a dozen or so, which fairly swiftly split up into a leading group of half a dozen; who pulled far enough ahead of the rather more scattered remnants who by the time the highest point was reached, were just far enough behind to never quite reach a check when paper was still being looked for. Tempers became frayed as the going got tough. It was not ideal running weather and the early course of the run around some of the most unlovely country you could hope not to find, rather took the edge off the later part of the run which was, yes, I'll admit it, spectacular.
GOD was reached at length and there was a brief pause while some pictures were taken at the point where Mii the dog had refused last time round. This time he, along with the other 3 cannines took it in his stride; then after some rock-hopping down the gorge, we were out into the rubber at the bottom and in no time at all there was the run site looming up ahead - well a kilometer ahead. At this point the paper which had teetered on the brink of being parsimonious and difficult to see, paled into insignificance under the onslaught of the setting sun, and most of the pack just took a bearing on the run site and headed across country. Only Sex Sprinter it seems, had the decency to find the in-trail and follow it home, by which time most of the front part of the pack had already come in off paper in around 1 hour and 40 minutes - 20 minutes longer that it had taken the generally older and less fit pack the previous week to complete the not quite a monster, which was about a quarter as long again as the GOD run.
But that was by no means the end, and with memories of Off T's epic escape the last time GOD was negotiated, the hare had the decency to look a bit sheepish while the stragglers straggled in, just before the light and their energy failed completely. The food frenzy then followed and there was also a lot of beer, which at one stage looked as if it was about to run out before another bucket was located. In the midst of the transition from circle to birthday party, just as the card school was setting up, Off T arrived, much as he had done the last time GOD was in the air, this time happily in his own car rather than on the back of a commandeered motorcycle, clearly having no intention of risking a repeat of his last misplacement.
So all's well etc. Not a run that will score highly on the hash-heaven hall of fame or infamy scale, either as being mind-blowingly wonderful or as being completely disasterous. As the hare himself admitted he had come close to concluding that bits of the run were impossible but had persevered and found a way through. We would expect no less from Beaver who in this GPS pampered age of bolt-together runs, persists in going out and recceing real runs until they are ... well, until they are as good as they can get. We can quibble about the choice of paper, the lack of trails and the apparently interminable ascents, but we cannot fault the effort that went into setting the run, nor the eventual quality of the latter third which was, yes, spectacular.
Finally, let us not forget that this was a birthday run, as had been the not quite a monster run last week. Sex Star, along with Star Soccer and Beavershot all had their birthdays celebrated and the extended post-circle gatherings at both runs were in their honour. Probably a good time to mention another anniversary of sorts coming up in the near future, the Hatyai Full Moon Hash run #99.9, which for those of you who have been counting carefully will actually be the 100th run. Plans are being laid for an evening of running, eating, drinking and mildly lunatic behaviour at the Sai Keow Resort in a joint SH3/HFMH3 run on Saturday 20th July and there will be a camp out to follow or rooms available to rent if you get in quick. Regular full moonies will pay 100 Baht (excluding the room) and non-regulars if we can't find some good reason to reclassify them will pay, hmmm...200 Baht - not a lot anyway. Early booking is advised to guarantee... but that would be giving it away. Anyway, bookings will be accepted at next weekend's runs.