Mighty Dread Had Seized Their Troubled Minds
Approaching Sheung Tsuen from the Kam Tin side, we spied a stressed-looking One Hung Low laying trail outside what we used to know as Borneo Lines, a good 2 kilometres from the start and with 5 minutes to go. Apparently the hare used to be a handy runner in his day but a world record-breaking performance was hardly on the cards on this hot August night. Seamus O’Pressed was in the car with me fresh from the airport on one of his visits from Blighty, and when we got to the start, where once again throngingness abounded, he started to announce the hare’s plight, only to be silenced by a surreptitious kick from yours truly. If you have intelligence of the trail, keep it to yourself for later hashcrafting.
Tim from Dublin was also in the car, Golden Jelly’s 15-year-old nephew. He looked a bit scrawny. Knowing the lamentable physical fitness of some of GJ’s other nephews, I was concerned he might not be up to hash muster. “What sports do you play?” I enquired casually. “Gaelic football and hurling,” came the reply in an almost unintelligible brogue. Should be all right then. And indeed he was.
Another virgin appeared on the scene: Cecil, an earnest and eager young man who’d got intelligence of the run from this very website. I introduced myself. “You’re Golden Balls!” he said. “You run the website!” If this wasn’t disconcerting enough, he continued with “One Hung Low is the hare!” At this point, Hard Up had recruited Liberace to help order pizza by phone. I indicated that Hard Up was the hare’s wife. “So that’s Mr One!” deduced Cecil, pointing at Liberace. It was then that I noticed his footwear. Not a shiny new pair of Inov8s, not an dilapidated pair of Nikes held together with masking tape and badger entrails, not even a pair of old-school plimsolls. “You’re not running in those are you?” pointing at his sandals. “Oh yes,” he enthused. They’re my trail running sandals!”
Meanwhile, the rumour was that there was a problem with the beer. Stingray had succumbed to some flesh-eating disease and had very ungraciously declined to turn up. Not only that, but most of the “regulars” were absent. Moonie was in a fine funk. “Noooo beeeer?!?! What kind of a hash do you call this???? Last time I run with this shower!!!” spluttered the GM of the lesser Shek Kong Hash.
Then Eunuch arrived in the manner of Greeks bearing gifts – or in his case, eskies. Large eskies full of ice and delicious beer. Moonie put his arse away and Hard Up gave the briefing: short run, flat, lots of checks. No on out direction given, so hashers milled about the various park exits looking for trail, which was eventually found leading out past the temple. A clever T off a split kept the group from fragmenting early, but then…the dreaded airfield perimeter road. A leading group formed comprising Eunuch, Moonie, Tim, Cecil and Liberace, with the others (Ah Duck, Seamus O’Pressed, Golden Balls, Catch Of The Day, Golden Jelly, Tangerine Dream, Jackie and Dram) all spread out. As we neared the Kam Tin end of the airfield, trail went south across the nullah towards Kam Sheung Road for a village loop, where Ah Duck got lost. Meanwhile, there was some serious hashcrafting going on as Golden Balls and Seamus O’Pressed cut straight to Kam Tin Road, where they’d spied the hare earlier. Sure enough, trail was picked up and followed home as GB related how the first Hong Kong Marathon was held at Borneo Lines in 1978, comprising four loops of tonight’s trail – and included a pig-hurdling challenge on each lap. A huge dead pig lay across the pavement at Shek Kong, a revelation to the invited 2:14-level marathoners from the States, who couldn’t believe their eyes (and noses too probably).
Cecil, he of the winged sandals, came in first of a fairly solid top 5. Moonie kicked off the circle with input chiefly from Eunuch, Liberace, GB and Dram, and after the hare had been roundly lubricated for his sins, and Cecil called Cyril, Cuthbert, Cedric, Cyrus and everything but Cecil, the pizzas were broken out alongside Hard-Up’s salad. Another fine night on the Northern.