Run 1843, 24 January, Fo Tan

A Thousand Runs

bobby-vee-with-the-johnny-mann-singers-the-night-has-a-thousand-eyes-1962-3 copy

Fourteen runners, a thousand different routes. Or that’s what it felt like.The pack set off in high spirits from the cul-de-sac between a school and a residential block, turning right to encounter a check, whereupon there was much milling around, until hare Geriatric emerged to tell us to go back past the cul-de-sac and try the opposite direction. This should have given an inkling of what was to come.

Trail was duly found and followed around a wide sweep until it turned downwards towards Fo Tan, then seemed to peter out. Gaelle Says No and myself, suspicious that Liberace simply hadn’t gone far enough, continued down the road, but upon reaching the highway we had to admit our mistake. Then we came up with the bright idea of running along the highway until we came across the trail, which we also decided would head downhill somehow. We got to a village and split up. This was the last I was to see of GSN for a while as I rooted out numerous dead ends among the warren-like environs. Eventually, after perhaps 10 minutes, I came across a T facing away from me. Aha! “Trail!”

Following this backwards I eventually found myself on a concrete track leading up into forest. Past a solitary house whose residents were out in force looking suspicious (clearly the pack had already been past), through a gate and up into a shiggy scramble, eventually emerging at a grave. Down to the far end of the village then up a long long flight of steps, passing the snarling dogs that Stingray had warned about when he set a run in the same area three years ago. Eventually I reached the walled houses of the wealthy at Kau To Shan, turning right until hitting a check back about a kilometre to the right. I eventually figured out true trail lay back beyond where I’d emerged from the steps – unmarked – and on into the Kau To Shan conurbation. Still neither sight nor sound of a hasher.

At the end of the road there was a park and a check, and as I blundered here and there looking for trail some bloke having a pee said in a Welsh accent, “Don’t I know you?” I replied, “You must be Mike Ashton.” And indeed it was the self-same taff I’d played football with in the Poly team in the mid seventies. “Got to go, everybody’s waiting for me,” I garbled, but Mike wouldn’t be denied until we’d had a good five-minute yak about forgotten boredoms. Then he said, “If you go down those steps you’ll come to the main road.” Good enough for me, I thought, but I’ll never catch up now. So down I went, finding trail leading via twists and turns to the huge linear estate above Ho Tung Lau depot where, to my surprise, Gaelle Says No came at me from the rear. “Some guy at the top asked me if I was looking for Steve Reels,” he said.

We ran together for a bit until I couldn’t keep up any more. After that it was an interesting route through village and forest up to near the start and a simple run-in. There was Gaelle Says No, short-cutter One Eyed Jack, non-runner Radio 1, Giveupee Velcro Lips and Liberace with his shirt off claiming to have done the whole trail. Where were all the others in front of me? It turned out most of them had come back to the start, having been unable to find trail where it petered out at the beginning and had been sent on their way, with each individual doing part of the trail. It would appear everybody had done different parts and some had been out three times. Under cross-examination, Liberace’s claim of wholesome goodness was found to be false as he was bewildered by descriptions of certain parts of the trail. It emerged that Golden Jelly and Back To The Future, returning as the circle drew to a close, were the only ones who managed the entire trail, albeit over three attempts!

An interesting trail and a good night out enlivened by the hare’s provision of “crap discount biscuits from U-Select” (Velcro Lips).

Hare: Geriatric

Runners: Creme Brulee, One Eyed Jack, Velcro Lips, Gaelle Says No, Liberace, Golden Balls, QT, Vibrator, Bunter, Serbian Bomber, Dingaling, Eunuch, Golden Jelly, Back To The Future

Non-runner: Radio 1

Run 1842, 17 January, Tai Lam Tunnel Interchange

No Country for Gentle Men


Some things don’t change: death, taxes and the stench from the bogs at Tai Lam Tunnel Interchange car park. This pervasive bouquet greeted the pack as it assembled for what may well be Big Moany’s last run as hare before he heads for his Hampshire retirement in Jane Austen’s village. Ms Austen would have been appalled. Big Moany simply sniggered.

It turned out the reason for this snigger was the cunningly concealed split not 50 metres from the start as trail led out the usual way up the trail towards the ridge. Spotted by only Eunuch, Vibrator and Golden Balls, who quietly ghosted into the trees, this split had the effect of splitting the pack in two right from the off.

Eunuch and Vibrator disappeared up the dark and wooded shiggy trail, while GB was shortly joined by Dingaling. Up all the way to the catchment road and left for the best part of 2km, until a check brought the pack together. The two front-runners had totally ballsed it up by staying on the road and were followed blindly by Liberace until they turned back, suffering Libs’ “you fucking guys” endearments.

Trail went over a narrow, shoe-width concrete bridge across the nullah. So narrow, in fact, that most of the pack crossed it on the seat of their pants, including mountaineer Vibrator, who was heard to admit that he had a crap sense of balance – not the greatest quality in a climber.

It was here that GB turned back, unable to negotiate the dizzy two-metre heights, accompanied by Golden Jelly. The rest of the pack went up steep steps, under a pylon, and onto a nice ridge trail, dropping back down to the road just before where trail had come up to it. Vibrator said to Eunuch, “You go in front because if I run too fast downhill I fall over.” Then he fell over. Radio 1, meanwhile, had invested in neither a good torch nor proper trail shoes, with predictable consequences. First, her torch ran out, then as she tried to keep up with Serbian Bomber and his commando-standard headlamp she slipped and twisted her ankle.

Meanwhile, at the front Eunuch missed the arrows directing hashers to the end of the road and dived down the trail he’d come up for a significant short-cut home. Vibrator, some distance behind after his fall, had no problem following trail and as he ran along the contour path at the end of the road he could see what he thought was Eunuch’s torch ahead of him getting close and closer. With a gut-busting effort he finally overhauled “Eunuch” on the final downhill stretch only to find to his disgust that it was GB.

Long after everybody else was back, Serbian Bomber, who is up there with the best Austen cads, emerged from the gloom with Radio 1 hanging onto his arm, claiming that her saviour was a gentleman. Mistake!

Hare: Big Moany

Runners: Eunuch, Vibrator, Golden Balls, Dingaling, Golden Jelly, Geriatric, One Eyed Jack, G Spot, Stingray, Liberace, Radio 1, Serbian Bomber, Creme Brulee

Non-runners: Luk Sup Gow, Walky Talky, Hard Up, Beer Tits, Mango Groove

Run 1841, 10 January, Tsuen Wan West

A Short Run


There’s something about January 1841, isn’t there? Oh yes. Hong Kong was declared a sovereign territory of Britain. Whether or not Liberace had this in mind when he set his “short” run from the Tsuen Wan West pier (a run that had been done twice in recent weeks by other hashes, with Vibrator a hare) is unknown, but if exacting revenge was on his agenda he succeeded admirably.

“Short run, chalk and paper, no flour, don’t follow other markings, only mine,” he announced to the small pack shivering in sub-10 temperatures with wind chill to boot. So off we set west along the waterfront amid the multitude of joggers and strollers. Suddenly, about 400m from the start, there was Creme Brulee marching determinedly towards us carrying a large pot and muttering in a strangely gallic manner about being unable to find the start. Then there was a check in front of the industrial area. I was lagging behind with Vibrator and everybody had gone by the time we got there. After checking in vain to the north I returned to the check to find that Vibrator had also vanished – I didn’t know he had set the same run a few days earlier, and in fact he was the only one apart from Eunuch to do the whole trail. I continued milling around and then, near the Tesla showroom, I found an “on home”. So I decided to follow trail backwards. This is much harder than following it forwards as, naturally, hares are not expecting harriers to approach markings from the opposite direction. After numerous sidetracks and dead ends I eventually found myself at Allway Garden, where trail led backwards through the unlocked gate to the labyrinth of staircases on the hillside. Here I encountered One Eyed Jack on his expected short cut, who said he knew where the trail went but was doing his own thing. He then proceeded to describe the trail he hadn’t done, which I later found to be accurate. Hmm. So up the steps it as to the catchwater road, turning left and passing such strange inscriptions as “OEJ woz ere” on the road. It wasn’t long before Eunuch came bouncing gaily towards me. We exchanged a couple of insults and carried on our merry ways.

Now the trail had actually continued west along the waterfront from the industrial area, then cut through the residential and over the highway on a footbridge before going up to the catchwater. This in itself would have constituted a fairly standard one-hour-plus run back to the start (not “short”), but Liberace had decided to take everybody up Ha Fa Shan as well, in case the run was too short. Where trail descended to the catchwater was where I now found myself. But I spied a staircase leading down and decided rather magnanimously not to delay the circle by doing the whole run, but to cut down the steps and sniff my way home. After some descending I’d somehow sniffed my way back to my out trail – the actual in trail – when I sensed a familiar bouncing behind me, followed by a stream of imprecations. Yes, it was Eunuch.

When I got back – in 1:30 – only Eunuch and One Eyed Jack had returned. But there were several others in attendance: Mango Groove (I feel a bit iffy), Velcro Lips (I couldn’t be arsed) and Creme Brulee (I couldn’t find the start), as well as the hare, who kept looking at his watch and peering anxiously along the waterfront. All of a sudden Stingray arrived from the wrong direction , followed over the next few minutes by Radio 1, Serbian Bomber and Golden Jelly. Finally Vibrator fronted up, this time from the right way.

It turned out that Creme Brulee’s pot contained some delicious mulled wine, and that Velcro Lips had brought a lovely chicken curry, and two burners were running, a most welcome spread on a cold evening. Just as we were winding down the circle a mad Italian turned up. We gave him a beer and fobbed him off with Serbian Bomber.

Hare: Liberace

Runners: Eunuch, One Eyed Jack, Golden Balls, Stingray, Radio 1, Serbian Bomber, Golden Jelly, Vibrator

Non-runners: Mango Groove, Velcro Lips, Creme Brulee

Run 1840, 3 January 2018, Wun Yiu Road

OK, Radio


There was a good turn-out for virgin hare Radio 1’s run above Tai Po, with a visitor and a few first-time runners to boot. The start, from the big shelter on the Wilson Trail heading up to Leadmine Pass, was also a new venue, at least for me.

Markings led down the road back towards Tai Po, punctuated by a couple of gratuitous checks that went into dead ends but nonetheless caused a lot of mayhem among the pack, who naturally expected to be heading into trails or shiggy on the lower flanks of Tai Mo Shan. Instead, we went right through a village area, had a brief off-road moment and then emerged on Shan Tong Road, following this – with a short off-road diversion – all the way to JC Castle at the top. Here trail tracked round the property fence then went downhill on a forest track to an unnamed road. From here it went through a village area, emerging on Wun Yiu Road just below the start.

The hare was ready and asked front-runner Gaelle Says No as he ran in, “How was it?”

“It was OK,” came the lukewarm response.

Runners and walkers trickled in over the next half hour. Antiseptic walked in. “How was it?” asked the eager hare.

“It was OK,” came the lukewarm response.

To her credit, the hare refused to be crestfallen, and as her SP I can report that she spent hours getting lost with me on abandoned trails in the hills above Siu Lek Yuen, her first choice of venue, before abandoning that and trying Wun Yiu Road. We reccied for two afternoons only to find that trails shown on a 1:5000 map no longer exist or have all been illegally fenced off by villagers. It turned out that the trail we eventually set is the only feasible 6km loop around the area. This was revealed by local resident and sometime Shek Kong hasher Captain Quick, who lives there and came to the run. We had done his training route.

Captain Quick was accompanied by other first-time NNT hashers Cindy, Brenda and Mr Law, as well as visitor Ash from Taiwan, who arrived on a motorbike and finished third. Captain Quick’s wife, Joanna, dished up delicious local delicacies: a curry pot of fishballs, beefballs, radish and tofu and a fantastic glutinous rice with Chinese sausage. Please come back!

Hare, SP: Radio 1, Golden Balls

Runners: Gaelle Says No, Liberace, Ash, One Eyed Jack, Gunpowder Plod, Geriatric, QT, Bunter, Mango Groove, Eunuch, Brenda, Captain Quick, Cindy, Mr Law, Serbian Bomber, Antiseptic, Hard Up (list may be incomplete; please advise for update)