A Thousand Runs
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).
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