Run 1593 / Report Run 1592

Run 1593 – July 31, 2013 – 7pm start

7pm – please note early start time
Cornwall Street Playground, Kowloon Tong. Instructions say Kowloon Tong MTR Exit C1
Hare: Hopeless
Three trails: Long 7.7km / medium / short 5km

There will be on-site pizza at about $100/head
Showers nearby
May be a Gispert T-shirt, price unknown

This is a joint run with Little Sai Wan to celebrate the birthday one of the founders of hashing, A.E.I. Gispert. We’ll join their cash system (run $10, then $10 a beer and $5 a softie) so it’s a FREE(ish) run for us

Next hare: Monkey Shit, August 7. The hareline.

Run 1592
Braying for Deliverance
By Gunpowder Plod

It was with trembling knees and trepidation that I turned up by the river in Sheung Shui for another Liberace run. Nightmares of his previous unreccied trails haunted me; the near vertical ascent and descent through thorns and dusty stream beds of Kau Lung Hang, the wading through the crap and junk strewn hillsides, cesspools and backyards of Taipo. Golden Balls loves this shit, I wonder why….
Anyway, there I found One Eyed Jack with his legs up on the steering wheel trying to cram himself into his new Nike shorts. I parked myself on his back seat while he completed his contortions but was overwhelmed by his wild flower in-car deodorant. Note to self: must get some to overcome lingering scent of WhySoSyria and Britarse’s shorts in Suzuki.
Gradually the hare and pack gathered in the gloom of the industrial estate, a truly lovely start and circle location which will take some beating: Liberace, OEJ with the buckets, Golden Balls and Jelly, Mango, and finally, as Mango and Golden Balls were winding me up by telling me that Motormouth could not be banned from a hash, a figure emerged from the pollution with a bouffant hairdo and tasteful pink top. “Oh No!! It’s HER!!” I brayed, thinking it was indeed Motormouth coming to harangue and curse me in person. But no, massive relief, it was only Stingray with his stylish mullet and waddle.
Liberace in ancient circle with Teddy Bear

So, after a briefing from Liberace: “Shot twail, no shiggy, no hill, flour n chalk, back 40 minutes” about which I was deeply suspicious, we set off with the usual suspects in the van (no, not Liberace’s van you ignorant tossers) and across the railway bridge to the east. Here OEJ and Stingray took the lift down in pursuit of Mango on the stairs, giving Golden Jelly and I two fingers each on the CCTV as they descended.
The trail led us through some nice parkland and tree and pantechnicon-lined avenues with some good checks which kept us more or less together. Then it was over a footbridge for me while most of the pack short-cut over a central divider to a check where we ran around for hours but failed to find trail. So we made our own way on home in, lo and behold, 40 minutes, Golden Jelly sashaying in 10 minutes later, saying we should have taken a little track off to the left that nobody noticed, which went around the back of her old alma mater Fung Kai, the school with the vastest playing fields in all Hong Kong.
Pre-circle drinking included a free Little Red Swear Book (plug) for Liberace; “Ha Ha! Commulists will kill you!” and my conducting a “Police! Don’t move” raid on the card players in the back of a nearby lorry. Fatty, the eventual winner, was not amused.
Salesman arrived and duly set off on trail. A riotous and stimulating circle then ensued with myself and Mango reducing the pack to quivering lumps of mirth before Salesman returned 30 minutes later.
On on to next run with the lesser hash in Kowloon Tong.

Run 1592 / report Run 1591

Run 1592

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Hi Tech Centre, Sheung Shui industrial area
Hare: Liberace

Liberace has announced the start early – but that’s no guarantee he’s recced anything! Let the adventure begin…

Next run: July 31, joint run with LSW starting at Cornwall Street playground, Kowloon Tong, 7pm.

The hareline

Run 1591
The Bogbrush Jinx
By Gunpowder Plod

Bogbrush, yesterday

The RA really cocked this one up – or was it a deliberate effort to ensure that the “Bogbrush Jinx” was repeated? You remember; Tai Mo Shan where everyone lost trail and did their own thing and Lam Tsuen where there was no in trail. 
Anyway, poor old Bogbrush, who had gone into a catatonic fizzy when reminded by GB at a Hung Shui Kiu daipaidong on Sunday that he was the hare and choked on his fourth chicken foot in garlic, eventually decided on Tai Po Kau Forest in favour of the San Wai Ranges (the scene of yet another Bogbrush currimus interruptus courtesy of the PLA). 
So off he set to lay trail no. 1 in the afternoon; washed out by downpour. Undeterred, he returned with more flour (glutinous this time) and double-strength Park n Rob bog roll and laid trail no. 2. Mango was obviously by now into his stride, mumbling voodoo curses over a bowl of fresh roadkill, and the heavens reopened, turning Tai Po Kau Forest into a hilly Bangladesh monsoon flood. Golden Ball gets a call: “Oh woe is me!” wails Bogbrush, so GB suggests he leave a soggy message in the pagoda telling everyone to go to the King’s Belly instead.
The message is passed on by GB and we get a reasonable turnout; the usual Belly inebriates plus Bogbrush, Salesman, Chemical Ali, Tintin, Dram, Mango, Stingray and Gunpowder Plod, with GB and OEJ having cried off to go on the piss at the Gold Coast? 
By now the rain has eased off (Mango wants to run) so off we go on a non-hash run, just the three of us: Mango, Stingray and Plod. And a nice little run it was, Mango and Stingray jogging along cosily in front, holding hands and discussing UK house prices and mortgages, with Plod shuffling along behind, wheezing and gasping and yelling “Wait for me!” every 5 minutes. We ran up Tai Po Road and then down behind 23 Railways Cuttings, East Cheam, under the railway and back and around the Tai Po riverside with Plod shooting into the lead on smelling the pub.
We had a circle, Plod flogged a few Little Red Swear Books and we all went home happy.

Run 1591

Run 1591

Bogbrush’s trail has been wiped out by torrential rain…trails have turned into rivers…he doesn’t feel up to laying it again or live-haring…ABORT TAI PO KAU…repeat ABORT TAI PO KAU.

GM has been notified.


King’s Belly at 7.30 for an impromptu/tag hash.

July 17, 2013
Tai Po Kau Forest King’sBelly
Hare: Bogbrush

Bogbrush Speaks!

In addition to reels, you’ll be dancing a jig when by a stupendous leap of
imagination, I have designated TAI PO KAU as the venue for the N2TH3
run. The main advantages of this venue are as follows:
    –     easily accessible 
    –    wet weather venue 
    –    mix and match – create your own run
    –    easily shortcuttable for OEJ
    –    possible shiggy element – wait and see. 
    –    solid pagoda for sheltering
    –    mainly off road for concretists like Plod et al.
    –    stream available for aqua enthusiasts
    –    contains trees even more ancient than the pack
 In short, it is the complete Hash experience and it is right on your doorstep.
On On

Sorry, no run report this week.

Run 1590 / report Run 1589

Run 1590

Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Waste ground near Pok Oi Hospital / Sun Kwong Hotel
On on: Sawadee Thai Restaurant
Hare: Big Moany
Park: Waste ground
Train: West Rail to Yuen Long, walk half a mile along Castle Peak Road

Next run: July 17 / Bogbrush. The hareline

Run 1589
Snakes Alive!
By Golden Balls

Fartypants = Hung Shui Kiu. And so it proved. Arriving at the park behind the daipaidongs – the same one in whose toilet a few years back I was asked by a dusky chummy if I “like hash”, to which I of course rambled on about having just done “a hash in the hills”, much to his bewilderment – we encountered the sight of Walky Talky parading around in floury short-shorts. Very suspicious. “Virgin trail!” proclaimed the hare, to which we said, “A likely story,” “Piffle,” and other less repeatable expletives, for the hare had only just got off the plane from Heathrow.

We set off that night for the hills in the east, a strangely ambling small pack. Markings testified to the hare’s drowsiness: loads of them all together, then nothing for a few hundred metres. It was during one of these markless interludes we discovered why. Arrows had thoughtfully been drawn under lamp-posts, but on the far side of the post from the lamp, in the post’s shadow, rendering them practically invisible.

All too soon we hit the road winding up towards the old quarry, Eunuch and Mango Groove setting the pace. I was in a fast-walking trio with One Eyed Jack and G-Spot. “I know why I’m walking, but what about you two?” I asked. G-Spot moaned about his big toe, while One Eyed Jack remained darkly, ominously silent. I suspected the worst.

A clever check-back up a flight of steps had us heading out on a path along a sort of broad platform in the quarry face. This was indeed virgin trail. As we zig-zagged up the quarry face the centipedes were out in force, and it was while G-Spot and I were admiring one of these giant copper nightmares that One Eyed Jack ghosted silently away, never to be seen again.

At the top of the quarry, coiled by a culvert, was a rufous burrowing snake. Very lethargic, and G-Spot

had no trouble chivvying it into the culvert with a stick. Trail then went through the fence into a lightly wooded area, where we encountered a very lively common wolf snake. It was very interested in us and kept making a bee-line for one or the other. It was when I was trying to ease past and it came racing towards me that I got tangled up in the branches of a tree. The resulting St Vitus dance was made much of in the circle.
Down a long wooded track and out into yards. No trail for a while, but that was nothing new. G-Spot went back to look and I carried on, thinking I was heading towards the park. Wrong! I ended up in Yuen Long and had to come back all the way along Castle Peak Road, having done a massive long-cut (several km). The only consolation was that One Eyed Jack had done the same.

Oi! Get Off Our Land!

This was the subject line of Dave Gow’s email about Jeanette Wang’s SCMP article reproduced below. While you may be ambivalent or irreverent about hordes of runners descending on the heartland of the Northern New Territories Hash, it’s good to see the north-east NT recognised for what it is: an area of outstanding natural beauty and a trail runner’s delight. As Salesman said, “We run the trails.”

With marathons being struck off an exponentially growing number of people’s bucket lists worldwide, a new item on life’s to-do list has emerged: the ultra-marathon.

Ultras are broadly defined as anything longer than the marathon distance of 42.195km, but perhaps one of the more popular distances competed over is 100km. It is a whole number and the first in triple-digits, after all.

So crazy is the demand for century races that Hong Kong is set to have its fourth this year: The North Face 100 Hong Kong on Dec 14. It joins theVibram Hong Kong 100Lantau 100 and Oxfam Trailwalker on the territory’s increasingly packed trail running calendar.
The course profile makes it the hilliest and most challenging course in Hong Kong on offer yet. Starting and finishing at Tai Mei Tuk in the New Territories, runners face over 6,300 meters of cumulative elevation gain on the 100km course, and 3,075 meters on the 50km course, including Hong Kong’s highest peak Tai Mo Shan.
“On a pro-rata basis, the course is hillier than the Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji(9,000 metres cumulative elevation gain over 161km) and significantly hillier than the Oxfam Trailwalker (estimated to be 4,500 meters of elevation gain),” says race director Keith Noyes, who also organises the King of the Hills, Hong Kong’s longest running trail race series.
 Set on mostly single-track trails, runners will enjoy stunning coastal views over Hong Kong as they race along coastlines, ridges, rivers and through bamboo groves. Highlights of the course include running over the scenic Plover Cove Country Trail, passing through the historic Chinese villages Lai Chi Wo and Kuk Po, and dramatic views along Hong Kong’s longest ridge, Ping Fung Shan and over the “Eight Immortals” (Pat Sin Leng) – a set of eight peaks – to the finish.

The North Face athlete Kami Semick, a top American ultra-runner based in Hong Kong, believes runners can expect “a challenging course that best represents the area”. “In Hong Kong, this means demanding climbs, scenic vistas and interesting off-the-beaten-path trails,” says Semick, who won the 2012 TNF100 Beijing.
The event is part of the eight-race TNF 100 series, which first race was held in Australia’s Blue Mountains in 2008. In the same year, races were also launched in the Philippines, Japan and Singapore. China launched the first TNF 100 from the symbolic landmark of the Great Wall in 2009. Taiwan and Thailand joined in 2011.

Registration begins on Monday July 1 at, with the 1,000 slots for the 100km and 50km events expected to sell out very quickly.

Having done the Trailwalker, Hong Kong 100, Lantau 50 and Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji, I am obviously a sucker for pain and will most likely be signing up to TNF 100 Hong Kong. To find out more about the race, I gave Keith a call.
Here, our conversation over the phone, with Keith having just done a 40km trail race in the Japanese Alps at Shiga Kogen in an impressive 5hr 40min. His wife, Aya, came in second.

How did you come up with the TNF 100 route? It’s very different from anything we’ve had before for a trail race in Hong Kong.
I’ve actually been thinking about this route for about seven or eight years. I first proposed almost exactly this route to The North Face around 2006 or 2007 as something different from Trailwalker, taking in a bit of different scenery and challenges, and more trail. But at that time, they hadn’t really started with the TNF 100 series.
The idea for the course goes way back. As you know I’ve been organising King of the Hills races for some time. I wanted to make a race more like that – invent one of our own courses rather than use one of the more established trails such as the Maclehose, Wilson, Lantau or Hong Kong trails. This course allows you to take in and link up what I think are the prettiest sections of the trails in Hong Kong.
The Maclehose Trail is a great course, but it also means you have to do long sections on pavement. Instead, by linking to some other country trails in Hong Kong – and some of the trails that aren’t even named as country trails – you get to do quite special courses that hopefully not many have raced on.
For TNF 100, all I did was updated the course a bit, because there were a few sections we used to be able to do that AFCD (Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department) no longer allows us to run on.
One of the signature characteristics of your King of the Hills races is bushwhacking. Are we going to see that at TNF 100?
I think for King of the Hills, rough and scrappy is seen as something that’s part of the adventure. For TNF 100, I’ve tried to stay on most of what I call “well-defined trails”. There are a couple of very short sections that right now are overgrown, but probably after November when they clear the trails, it won’t be. There’s only one section coming off Lung Shan (Dragon Mountain) that’s a bit rough and tumble. It’s definitely not as rough as tumble as King of the Hills, but more so than Maclehose.
What were these changes that you had to make to the course?
The section going all the way around Plover Cove Reservoir from Cheung Pai Tun to Luk Wu Tung is too rugged out and the AFCD haven’t allowed anyone to race on that since 2007. In my original thinking, we would have started off at Tai Mei Tuk and went round the reservoir. Now we only get 5-6km of the Plover Cove Country Trail.
I originally would have liked to go past the Ng Tung Chai Waterfall at Tai Mo Shan, which is the biggest waterfall in Hong Kong. But there was a landslide there a couple of years ago and the trail has not been repaired. At the upper waterfall, there’s a section of about 200 metres that’s closed and as a result you can’t take insurance on it and the AFCD won’t give you a permit. It’s a shame they never repaired that section. People still hike it all the time – I’d take friends on a day hike there, but it’s different taking a race through it. So the race course takes the direct way up Tai Mo Shan instead and we don’t go by the waterfall.
Then there was one other country trail around Shing Mun Reservoir that I would’ve liked to use but there was a landslide and it has become quite bushy. There’s a drop-off you can’t quite see, so I chose a different contour trail, the Lung Mun Country Trail, instead. But the original plan was to take a slightly more exciting upper contour trail.
TNF 100 is the fourth 100km race in Hong Kong, after the Oxfam Trailwalker, Vibram Hong Kong 100 and Lantau 100. Do we really need another 100km race in Hong Kong, especially just a month after Trailwalker?
Obviously the challenge in Hong Kong is that the calendar for ultras is very short. You wouldn’t want to do this race in July, so you’re really compressed to a very short winter season for the trail races. Given the way these races have sold out – I know people who are number 900 on the waiting list for Trailwalker – it shows that there’s still so much demand for races, and so obviously there’s plenty of room for more. The sport has really exploded in Hong Kong and Asia. I’d also like to think that TNF 100 is new and different.
Is that why you also introduced a team event for TNF 100 in a format that’s new for Hong Kong?
Yes, that’s the way that a lot of cross-country races are done in the US at the college level. You have a university team, but everyone also races as an individual. In the US they generally calculate the team result by the individuals’ rankings, but I thought it’d be a nice to do it by timing, because that may add extra strategy – for example, to run with a teammate who is lagging a bit might give a better cumulative time than running separately. So teams have to decide whether they go for individual glory, or try to provide more support for a teammate in order to get a better cumulative time. The other thing is that one of the questions a lot of people ask at the end of Trailwalker is, if I didn’t need to wait for my teammates, how fast could I have gone?
Have you done the entire TNF 100 route and how long did it take you?
I’ve only done it all in sections because, number one I’ve got two kids to attend to, and second is I’ve got an injury, so more than 30km at a time for me right now is a bit painful. I have done two to three sections at a time, and a few times over. What happens is you go out and do these sections, and when you add everything up, you’ve done 110k. The hard thing is getting the race course distance right.
How fast do you think you could complete the course in?
For me right now, I would probably try to go steady around the course and try to get 5km an hour average in, for a total of 20 hours. I think the winner can probably do about 12 hours, because while the cumulative gain and loss is quite a lot, there are only three big climbs. A lot of it is very undulating, 300m up and downs. People like top runners Jeremy Ritcey and Stone Tsang will be able to run a lot of it.
There are only four really tough sustained climbs – by this I more than 300m, where you put your head down and really grind it out.  There’s the Tai To Yan climb from Fanling, Tai Mo Shan’s obviously very tough, Cloudy Hill, and getting up to Pat Sin Leng. The other climbs are short and so you get respite.
But in the end it’s still a cumulative gain of over 6,300 metres and it all goes to the legs.
For me as a runner, I find the long sustained uphills are where you really build up lactic acid. If you can flush it out with a jogging section and use some different muscles, I find that I can find flush out the lactic acid better. My weakness is the long sustained uphills.
Compared to the cut-offs for the Trailwalker (48 hours), Hong Kong 100 (32 hours) and Lantau 100 (30 hours), the cut-off for TNF 100 at 26 hours is relatively stingy?
This is the first time we’re doing it, and I think we want to make sure that we have the logistics to support the race properly, hence we’re being fairly conservative on the cut-off. It’s a 4km per hour pace. I think rather than having a situation where people are strung out for two days and nights, it’s better to make sure people can keep up the pace, if not get them off the course.
One thing that’s unique is that if people running the 100km race are struggling at checkpoint 4 (Hok Tau BBQ site, 38km mark), we will allow them to drop down to the 50km category, because that’s where the 50km and 100km races split. We won’t disqualify these runners; we’ll just reclassify them as 50km runners. I think that if people aren’t able to do the first 38km in 10 hours, they’re going to struggle to make the cut-off later – if anything, the second half of the course is tougher than the first.
The ultras in Hong Kong so far has seen quite a lot of overseas participation, in particular people who have never run Hong Kong trails. What advice would you give them for TNF 100?
Having just done a trail race in Japan, Hong Kong trails are rockier, rougher and more technical. They’re definitely tougher on your feet. People who are comfortable running downhill gain a  big advantage in Hong Kong. I’m not fit right now, I’m carrying an injury, but I’d say I could comfortably do 5km per hour on the course by walking the uphills and jogging the downhills. The downhills are really where you can make your time, but if you’re having to walk the rocky downhills and try to make the time back uphill, you’ll be in trouble.

Run 1589 / report Run 1588

Run 1589

Wednesday, July 3, 2013
7.30 pm
Hung Shui Kiu park (Lai Hung Garden)
Hare: Fartypants

Comment: As Farty doesn’t get back from his travels until July 3, it’s a safe bet that he’s “delegated” this run to the missus. In other words, a splendid Walky Talky run!

We’ve run from here before, the little park behind the daipaidongs.

Run 1588
By Big Moany

This is the report that should have been put out, not the liner notes by Plod. Good to see Big Moany living up to his name

Hare: Dram
The hash met at the Shek Kong daipaidong (Leafy Glade), the first time BM had been to an N2TH3 hash for months. Again he was reminded why, with the usual half-hour wait for some tosser having a cuppa at home.  

With the arrival of around 12 people the GM insisted on everyone waiting until half past seven (this is the run start time! – GM) before the run commenced. Mango and Mr Ray had the right idea and started the run without the GM’s permission, the first thing Sting Ray has ever done right.

The hash cocked up within the first 50 yards as the hare had given the wrong direction. The Scot denied it but let’s face it they are a bunch of lying buggers anyway. The trail was found by the GM and the hash went off confused as usual. Onto the first 6-way check by the river to reunite the pack. Big Moany checked the usual path right but turned back as it was overgrown! Plod tried again later, found trail and then BM pushed past the GM (insulting expletive deleted – GM) only to be re-overtaken as he didn’t like the spiders. On this first and only bit of shiggy, BM had a WTF moment as this was the first night run he had done in a year.

Soon Dingaling led the way with Salesman, BM and Mango doing their best to catch up. Plod got lost at the second check finding multiple circles with crosses in them; official hash markings? Then Mango and Salesman swearing by all things holy promised to call trail. BM went off looking for trail only to discover that Mango the check-hanging bastard had gone off on the correct trail and did not call On On; is he Scottish?

None of the FRBs marked checks or called (leaving this to the GM, by now far behind). BM decided to call it a day and went back to Leafy Glade heartbroken.

All in all a good run for a trail that had been hit a thousand times.

Down downs – who cares, but the GM produced the SKH3 GM’s accoutrements (helmet and doggy basher) and returned them to Salesman in time for his lesser hash AGM on Sunday.

Report by Big Moany edited by Plod

Hare: Dram
An excellent fast, flat run by Dram around all the old familiar places which somehow still managed to confuse Eunuch who got lost for the second time in 2 weeks.

Brilliant Circle by GM who again offered to resign but was was persuaded unanimously to stay on by the adoring pack.

GM however again forgot in the awolness of the blogger to appoint a Run Reporter sooooooo….

All Runners and the Hare are hereby required to submit a minimum of  50 words about the run starting with “I shall not….” and concluding with “All hail the GM!”

The entry judged to be most complimentary will be rewarded by a free copy of “The Little Red Swear Book” signed by the author.

Ed: Mystery guest in the guise of some former Jap GM of a lesser hash, whose ground we once again stomped. Accompanying him is the newly elected GM of said lesser hash.

Next run (July 10): Big Moany