The Longest Run……A torch for a daytime run?
November 28th, 2015, run number 1723, Luk Dim Boon, Sha Lo Tung: remember this cos it is going down in our anals amongst the most notable of notables. We’ve had a few runs over our 32-year history that have surpassed the two hour mark – who can forget the Sick Old Wanker and Little Stinky runs that always seemed to last that long. The maestro hare Golden Balls has done a few long ones and more recently Plod with his combined Hong Kong Hash markings in Sai Kung. We have also had a couple of little baby runs, Zimmerframe and his 12 minute Luk Keng trail later undertaken by Go West and his nine and a half minute jaunt around Yuen Long. But today, one of our newest runners setting only his second run for the New Territories was going to wipe out all standing records….completely!!!
About 2:30pm web master Golden Balls sent out an email forwarded onwards by the hare Luk Dim Boon informing us that the trail may be a little bit long and if we intend to do the rambos then we should bring a torch. Fine…but this was a Saturday, we start at 3pm in daylight, it is not even December, the hare is just having a little joke. “Bollocks, I’m not bringing a torch, that’s just being silly”, this weeks scribe said to himself as he left home for Tai Wo to meet Liberace, who needed help in getting the drinks and ice. On meeting, a similar response was heard: “Mango, did you get the email? We will start at 3pm, no f***ing way we need torch…impossible…no run can go to dark today….that f***ing hare is trying to trick us because it will be a short run….it is only Sha Lo Tung we never have a long run from there…F***ing guy I not bring any torch!” “Yes, I think Luk Dim Boon is just having a joke…totally impossible to have a run until dark….and I haven’t got a torch either!” Came the response from Mango. “Anyway Mango, let’s get the beer and softies and Luk Dim Boon wants some water because he’s dehydrated…he has been setting the trail since seven o’clock this morning…I don’t think he’s telling the truth, no hare ever takes that long to set a trail.”
As Liberace and Mango arrived at the top of Sha Lo Tung road the pack had already assembled, Red Rump (who had cycled all the way from Shatin), Dram, Big Bonehead, Gaelle Says No, Gunpowder Plod, T-Bird, One Eyed Jack, Ben (a long time friend of the hare) Golden Balls (who looked very unwell and opted not to run) and Salesman who arrived a little bit later. Chatting away to Ben, who was wearing a fancy T-shirt with Tokyo marathon across the front, we soon realised that he had done a trail with us before, the 1700th in July, but only took on the wimps as he figured we were all super athletes. Having realised that we consisted mainly of drinkers as opposed to runners, he proudly proclaimed that he was going to take on the rambos. One Eyed Jack reassured Ben that he was going to have no problems as the hare said the trail was about 11km in length and he would need to do it twice to get something from it. After a quick bit of group photo taking by T-Bird, the hare explained his markings, telling us that there would be a wimp / rambo split and again reiterated his warning about taking a torch. As the pack laughed at Luk Dim Boon’s amusing warning, the on on was called onto the first check at the base of Cloudy Hill.
A few hashers including Red Rump and Big Bonehead climbed up the steps only to hear shouts of on on heading straight toward the open fields near the village and onto another check. Liberace went straight leaving Gaelle Says No to correctly find trail going away from our usual route towards Hok Tau. A few more checks later and the pack were now running behind some deserted houses and into deep shiggy. The FRBs, Red Rump and Gaelle Says No, were heard calling from near a stream bed with a very crafty check that proved to be the undoing of Liberace. At the said check toilet paper could be seen to the right heading uphill. Liberace and Mango, who were together for a while, headed in this direction, but having not seen paper after five minutes of climbing Mango said to Liberace “Err GM, I think the hare has played a trick on us. I’m going back looking for trail over the gully.” No way, I see paper…must mean on on,” came the reply. As Mango went back to the check he did indeed find trail straight over and upwards and after throwing out a few expletives in the direction of the hare he shouted on on but Liberace was long gone. Dram, One Eyed Jack, Plod and Big Bonehead had also found trail in the correct direction and were seen heading up some lovely shiggy onto the rambo / wimp split. The wimps trail went back down the hill following a nice flat circuit before returning home for about a 5 km run. Meanwhile, Red Rump and Gaelle Says No could be seen in the distance, both having removed their shirts and going at a fast pace down into the river bed. Salesman, who had started behind everyone else and was by himself, found a check back off the river bed and eventually managed to find trail heading up a valley eventually into very deep shiggy.
After about 45 minutes and after scrambling through the deep shiggy, the trail opened out at the base of Wong Leng. Red Rump and Gaelle Says No could both be seen heading onto the first ridge and at this point Liberace had managed to catch up again with Mango, but there was no sign of Ben. The trail took us up and up and then down and down until we managed to get onto Pat Seng Leng ridge. By now we were almost two hours into the run and still had a long long way to get home. Liberace sped off once the trail got flat, leaving Mango and Salesman behind. True to his word, the hare was right and we did need a torch as it was getting dark. By the time we descended the steps back down to Hok Tau we were in pitch darkness. By this time Salesman had become completely delusional as he later spoke about seeing a very beautiful American woman dressed in black, who told him she was out hiking. Hang on a minute Salesman…Mango was only five minutes in front of you and he didn’t see any woman dressed in black…spooky! Poor Salesman, his encounter with the woman in black proved too much for him as he twisted his ankle pretty badly, something that took him many weeks to recover from. Returning to the bucket after almost two and a half hours Mango complained that the run was too short before getting down and doing 10 press ups. Red Rump managed to complete the run in less than two hours closely followed by Gaelle Says No, and Liberace and Salesman hobbled in a little later….but where was Ben?
It was now 6pm, we were in total darkness at the top of Sha Lo Tung, it was getting cold and Golden Balls was not looking very well. But we were not complaining as the hare had driven back down into Tai Wo to buy more beer to re-stock the bucket…he obviously knew something we did not. Seeing that Golden Balls was in distress One Eyed Jack offered to cut his evening short to get him home, just as well as later during the following week poor Golden Balls was admitted into hospital suffering from pneumonia, bronchitis and influenza…not caused by this weeks trail though. It was now getting late and a worried Plod took control…has anyone got a decent phone I need to call my wife but can’t get a signal. Mango kindly offered the use of his phone and overheard Plod telling his wife that his sausage and chips would have to wait as we have a new runner still on trail. By now Gaelle Says No had disappeared citing work commitments and Big Bonehead, Dram and T- Bird soon followed. A little while later Plod decided his sausage and chips could wait no longer leaving the remaining five hashers to work out what to do about the lost Ben. It was now over three hours since the start of the run. Liberace asked if he had a phone on him, to which Luk Dim Boon replied yes but how can we call him, I have tried but cannot get a signal. Once again Mango pulled out his phone and contact was achieved with Ben. Apparently he was near the steps on the Pat Seng Leng Ridge. Assuming he was at the Wong Leng Steps heading back down into Hok Tau the pack decided he would be back within 20 minutes and continued drinking.
Another hour now went by and again a phone call was needed, this time by Liberace. It did not sound good, Ben had managed to turn himself around and was now completely lost in shiggy. Salesman and Liberace soon realised that we would have no chance of finding Ben in bush, so Liberace was advised to tell Ben to get back onto the ridge and wait for a rescue party. But who was going to be part of the promised rescue party. Liberace was too tired, Mango had done 10 press ups, Salesman had twisted his ankle. So Luk Dim Boon, who by now had consumed seven cans of beer, and Red Rump, who had cycled from Shatin up to Sha Lo Tung, done the trail in record time and consumed five cans of beer, was also chosen. As the rescue party headed off Mango grabbed another can of beer and entertained Salesman and Liberace with the Michael Jackson original version of “Ben” a song about a pet rat. As we waited in the cold darkness a call was received: we have found him we have found him. Right, let us keep an eye on the time this is going to be a record, Mango called. Exactly at 8pm Red Rump, Luk Dim Boon and Ben came in, for a trail that lasted five hours in total. After Ben managed to rehydrate himself he explained that he had got lost at a check in really dense shiggy, couldn’t find trail for nearly 45 minutes and managed to get himself onto the ridge and headed away from Hok Tau. Never mind Ben, let’s have a circle the other five hashers called. As the group of six formed a circle everyone received multiple downs downs with Liberace being on top form running the circle. Once the circle had finished it was almost 9 pm and we decided to call it a day. Red Rump clearly had not had enough exercise and chose to cycle back home to Shatin…what an athlete. Needless to say this was a superb run, a memorable run, a five hour run and of course a New Territories run! Just remember when the hare says to bring a torch you better listen!!! – Mango Groove