Run 1873, 25 July, Lam Tsuen

Pizza Express

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The pack  of about 15 runners and hangers-on assembled at San Uk Tsai (aka Fong Ma Po? ) park  to be briefed by our esteemed hare, Dingaling, who assured us it was a shortish run – about 40 minutes or so – and  included a section of “virgin trail” cut through shiggy cleared by his own fair hand wielding a machete. The GM – being French – dithered about giving the off pending the arrival of Liberace with the ice, so our geriatric members (Plod and my goodself, D RAM), through long experience of Dingaling’s normal “commando” type runs, decided to jump the gun and set off in advance of the sheep. Shortly thereafter we came upon Liberace hopelessly lost (as usual) who we directed to the start with the ice before running on. Unfortunately we didn’t get far before being flummoxed by the 1st check (by the Super-Toilet). But not to worry, I thought, here comes the pack led by Rogan Josh who I  assumed  would have some insight  into the trail, he being the son of the hare. I thus followed him but after running around exhaustingly  I realised he hadn’t a clue. Fortunately, “on on” was called by  others, albeit taking us in almost the opposite direction. The pack ran across a wide paved area to cross  Lam Tsuen Road but to be  flummoxed yet again by another check, this time near the Hang Ha Po public toilet (Dingaling obviously likes checking public toilets but let’s not dwell on this aspect of his character). Eventually trail was found which took us into a dark and heavily vegetated bog to a further check where the pack milled around for an extended period like headless chickens. I’m ashamed to say (liar!) I chickened out at this point and headed home for a refreshing beer and the promised  pizza, leaving our keener members to run on.

I thus have no personal knowledge of what happened on the trail thereafter but from feedback gleaned from the pack once they arrived back home and a “Strava” map  from Cutie I understand that the trail out of the bog eventually headed up some well hidden steps through thick bush up to a very steep and muddy bank  where GB (or was it Serbian Bomber ? ) loitered about to kindly assist some of our lady members uphill  by placing their hands on rumps and pushing. Unfortunately GB, after pushing Golden Jelly up the by now slippery mudslide was reportedly unable to get up the bank himself and retreated home with visitor Christine in tow, whereas I understand Serbian, with his SAS training, having “assisted” Back To The Future, managed to get up. The trail then went for about 150 metres through the  shiggy (virgin?) trail  cut earlierby Dingaling  and then on to the paved road to the WSD Water Treatment Plant before taking a right turn beside a stream course and back down into Lam Tsuen valley and home.

Trail length 3.2km. Needless to say the first full runner back was our super athlete Gaelle Says No who was back in about 30 minutes, although the majority of the pack took were nearer Dingaling’s predicted 40 minutes.The consensus was a well set run with a good mixture of road, hill  and shiggy.

An entertaining circle was held under master-of-ceremonies Crème Brulee with interruptions from GB, Eunuch, Plod and others whilst the pack gorged themselves on a  splendid selection of very tasty pizzas and dough balls with gravy, all home made by Overdue. Antiseptic was announced as winner of the World Cup competition having correctly predicted France, much to the delight of Crème Brulee.

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 Hare: Dingaling

Runners: Dram, Back To The Future, Liberace, Creme Brulee, Christine, Gunpowder Plod, Gaelle Says No, Serbian Bomber, Eunuch, Antiseptic, QT, Golden Balls, Golden Jelly, Rogan Josh

Non-runners: Overdue, T Bird

Run 1872, 18 July, Tai Mo Shan

The Shame

champagne

The shame was not that France won the World Cup, nor that the French GM was demoniacal in his gloating, nor even that his celebratory two bottles of Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve (creme de cassis, lemon curd and pastry riding a creamy mousse and framed by a crisp, well-knit acidity) were trumped by Back To The Future’s three bottles of Marquis de Rothberg Chardonnay Ice Demi-Sec (fruity with notes of vanilla, smoke and hints of sweet spices). No, the shame lay in the distasteful and grossly unedifying spectacle of hashers begging for down-downs like performing seals or craven cringing dogs. Anything, anything, to get another glass of bubbly. It made you do a little bit of sick in your mouth. Which you then had to wash out with champagne.

But what of Serbian Bomber’s run after the thunderstorms of the past few days? Let One Eyed Jack tell the tale…

Loneliness of an FRB (Alleged)

Well after reaching the pagoda near the car park, we (that is Gerriatric and OEJ) decided to have a look around for the hare. Eventually this apparition of a big drip of Sauvignon appeared closely followed by his SP, Back To The Future. During our preliminary chatter, the hare spun a lot of BS about his trail markings and how good they were. There was then a brief spell of wind and a rain shower at about 7:15. So at 7:20 the gathered pack decided that it was getting cold and that they should commence on the run, albeit by walking!

So off we went, down to the first check, left, on to the second, right, the third, straight, the fourth, left, and on to a wimp/rambo split. Gerriatric went up the steps on the wimp trail and OEJ set off down the pig trail. The shiggy was not too bad, but the freshly watered ground was like an ice skating rink on the side of a hill. The markings had suffered from the rain, not much sign of chalk (obviously), flour was a little better, but very small heaps as if they had been placed with a teaspoon. The toilet paper had the appearance of white streaky, elongated, dripping slime – if it was still hanging where placed – or was seen as a white puddle or blob on the ground. I think the hare had only used two-ply rather than the rather more luxurious and desirable three- or four-ply. Not easy to follow! After numerous more checks, a river crossing and then the descent we began to take head up towards Tai Mo Shan Road. Almost all of the trail thus far had been bushwacking – no path to speak of. It was at this point I heard Eunuch’s shouts of traaaail. So being such I kind hearted front runner, I started marking the trail with green noticeable leaves. Eunuch announced later that he didn’t see them, probably because he wasn’t wearing his colour blind vision-correction glasses. The GM confirmed that he had seen the marks. So at least I wasn’t telling porkies. Speaking of such, nearing the top of the trail a large wild boar was disturbed, which I tried to encourage to run down the trail towards the chasing pack. I believe it came close. Onto the road and up hill, right, then eventually left and back down the Maclehose, passing one cow sheltering from the rain and then KY doing her own thing. First rambo back, not too bad an achievement considering I had to solve every check.

The hare was complaining of a snake bite, didn’t know what type, Golden Balls commented that the snake died afterwards, even though there was no actual poison effect on the hare’s leg, just two small beads of blood that could have been caused by a branch.

The circle was extremely lively, with the GM doling out champagne (kindly donated by himself and Back to The Future) for down downs, at the rate of half a bottle per hasher. All on account of France’s World Cup win. These eventually proved to be too much for BTTF, who fell asleep in the pagoda and then insisted on sleeping for an hour in her car. When she woke up the police had set a road block on Route Twisk so she had to go back to the car park and wait until they’d packed up.  – One Eyed Jack

Excellent shiggy and a well marked trail given the conditions. Great circle.

Hares: Serbian Bomber, Back To The Future

Runners: Liberace, Eunuch, Geriatric, Creme Brulee, Radio 1, One Eyed Jack, Golden Balls, Golden Jelly

Non-runner: Dingaling

Run 1870, 4 July, Shek Mun

How to Set a Run

  1. Leave your recce until the day of the run
  2. Make sure you choose an area where you totally failed to find a route last year
  3. Choose a very hot day
  4. Start at 4.30, giving yourself only 2.5 hours of decent light
  5. Forget your torch
  6. Forget your water
  7. Get hopelessly lost in dense shiggy with no water or torch as night falls
  8. Get a gps trace of your recce that looks like this:

WhatsApp Image 2018-07-07 at 17.16.35Eventually get to the start at 8pm, frazzled, exhausted, and WITH A TRAIL!

Take a bow, Radio 1 and co-hare Golden Jelly!

And what of the run itself? The rambo trail went from the start at On King Street waterfront park past Sha Tin Hospital and up A Kung Kok Road, then into the shiggy below Breakthrough Youth Village. A yomp through tracks made by hares down to Mui Tsz Lam Road and back along the waterfront. Wimps did a similar loop but cut out the shiggy. First back was Eunuch in about an hour, although GB had already returned from the wimp trail, on which he’d set off last, did not pass anybody, and finished first…very suspicious. Visitor Sophie (?) from Kobe was one of the lost wimps, a kindergarten classmate of Catch Of The Day, who made her first appearance since surgery, while Velcro Lips attended armed with the latest hash T-shirt referencing our new French heritage, a T-shirt subsequently seen on the backs of GM and RA Creme Brulee and Golden Balls for the France vs Uruguay World Cup game the following Saturday. The sight and sound of Liberace trying to pronounce “merdouillette” was quite something.

Hares: Radio 1, Golden Jelly

Runners: Eunuch, Liberace, Creme Brulee, Serbian Bomber, One Eyed Jack, Back To The Future, Geriatric, Gunpowder Plod, Golden Balls, Art, Sophie, more?

Non-runners: Velcro Lips, Catch Of The Day

Run 1868, 20 June, Tai Po Kau Forest

A Rump Through Paths Well Worn

OOOF!

Perhaps it was the mist in the air or the water on the ground but as I wandered over to the pagoda lying at the foot of the Tai Po Kau nature reserve it finally dawned on me that it was a bit wet and indeed had been raining. Information that will later be relevant but also the reason I had chosen not to come on the previous two runs.
Eunuch and (name forgotten), having arrived early, decided that the best use of their time was a reccie of the trail, ran off to where no prying eyes could reach them. The pack slowly gathered, readying themselves for a battle with the flying bastards (mosquitoes) and flora of the trail. The early arrivals returned from their rendezvous up the trail.
Arrival of the GM and with his call of what time is it? (7:25) beckoned the back over to the hare for a thorough briefing: The original trail set had been washed out and just as fast the hare set trail anew. Watch out for these arrows that have been crossed out, they were set by a group of hikers, and follow the flour that looks like its been shat out by a diarrhoetic boar.
And with that, off we went up the hill into the deep and dark forests of Tai Po, with the first check within spitting distance of the start. Half the pack decided to continue up the road, the other half trying their luck up the stairs along Tai Po Kau nature trail only to find the road was the right path. At this point I can only assume another group decided they had been defeated by the stairs and turned back to the start, as I sure as hell didn’t see them after that point.
Following the road we eventually found ourselves along the Blue walk, another check solved put the rambos along the Blue walk again, with the wimps at the other side of said Tai Po Kau Nature trail. It was at this point it quickly became apparent that only the brave or stupid (or hashers) would attempt to run along the stone paths that the hare had neglected to mention he poured several litres of dish soap onto. The FRBs being very much the latter took off and left the rest of the pack behind.
As myself and One Eyed Jack walked with gusto along the blue trail, we were caught up by Radio 1 and Back To The Future. Passing a stream it was noted by R1 and BTTF that if we turned off our torches we would be able to see the fireflies that the area is renowned for, indeed they were a wonder. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth One Eyed Jack quickly sped up until he was out of sight so he could shortcut in private and give himself an air of plausible deniability.
After following the river for another km, stopping at every stream crossing to ooo and aaa at the fireflies’ lights, we reached a warning advising us the path was not well kept and a danger to all but the most experienced of hikers. We ignored this in the following of the floured path that marked where we were wont to go. As we started this climb we came across Serbian Bomber, who promptly joined our trio. Upon reaching the top and finding a solved check we continued down to the left, eventually passing the half way mark. Realising that there probably wasn’t much uphill left, Radio 1 surged ahead. Upon noting this, Serbian Bomber likewise raced ahead.
‘Enjoying’ the long, long downhill section, we were caught up by our intrepid GM, who had crashed earlier in the run trying to murder his surrounding countrymen (two casualties with a single small green fatality). At this point I decided to throw caution to the wind and charge down the hill. This ended as you would have expected as I found myself flying through the air and landing on my back and knocking the air out of my lungs. With assistance from the GM, I limped the 200 metres back in to the start point and finishing the run in a gentlemanly hour and a half.
A fair turnout of 18 or so hashers completed the circle, which was notable for a renaming as RA Golden Balls accused Serbian Bomber of telling a porky about him doing a 3km shortcut on Run 1866. His full name was already impossible to remember, but now it’s even more so: Serbian Spammer Bomber Baron Diver Von Porky Mooseheime.
With thanks to the hare for a delightful run.  – Qutie
Hare: Dram
Runners: Eunuch, One Eyed Jack, Radio 1, Back To The Future, Golden Jelly, Creme Brulee, Qutie, Serbian Bomber
Non-runner: Golden Balls

Runs 1867-69, 13-20-27 June

Kings of June

Since that Saturday run of the 2nd of June and its scorching heat, the RA has done a great job in keeping the runs under water and subsequently refilling his own well. How many households in Hong Kong are relying on natural well water for their domestic and gardening needs?

First was Stingray (Run 1867), who had to redo his markings in a last minute effort up above Ma On Shan on the day the sky started to break down after a long dry spell. The few braves who went for it had only good things to say about the run. Some say there was a short cut that kept them 2 more kilometres in deep doo doo, up shit creek if you prefer. Some other said it was only one km. Guess whom.

The next week was Liberace. On that day, average rainfall on HK territory was 109mm – a month record. He too had to redo his markings. Starting from a tyre-killer car park (Eunuch got a bolt through his tyre) at the shit end of Yuen Long Industrial Estate, with a spark in the eye Liberace briefed us: fairly flat , no shiggy, R-W split , chalk, flour and toilet paper after running out of flour.

Off we went and quickly reached a flight of stairs up the mini hill backing I Shing temple, barely overlooking the surrounding concrete mastodons. Easy stuff. At the top, no more concrete trail, we had to dive into a bamboo groove, dripping 100mm of water all over our back. Quickly the crouching position is the only way to go. Some also level the ground with their bottom to move forward under intricate bamboo, bushes, creepers and other snakes.

The marking is excellent, all made of flour, and leading us left right right left right left down all the way to a fence that prevented us slipping down a filthy nullah. Got to go along the fence, no visible path , just patches of flour among creepers that hold your stomach, your neck, your ankles. Among elephant grass that cut your hand , forearms and cheeks. (And poison sumac that blisters you a couple of days later – ed.) We haven’t got to the R-W split but this is far more than Rambo . It is not about killing others, it is about fighting for your own survival. This is Predator trail! Just take a look at GB’s T-shirt! It was brand new at the start!!!

The gate out of all this mad hell is a 20m long canyon of 18ft high bamboos, ready to go scaffolding. It is all intimidating before returning to the concrete light and grey atmosphere of industrial estate. As Mango put it: The rambo / wimp split was at the junction after about half a kilometre from the dense shiggy. The rambo trail took us left further along the main road and then along a nullah. On the other side of the nullah was an interesting looking hillside but alas trail went right, behind the KMB parking spaces and straight on to another check. It wasn’t long before we arrived at yet another lorry park with a dead end. Dead end yes but for Libs this was fun as he marked paper trail through some shiggy, just for a laugh. Once out of the final shiggy we ran along, sighting an on home along the waterfront. Another kilometre or so and we were back at the car park.

Hare: Liberace

Runners: Gaelle Says No, Eunuch, One Eyed Jack, Mango Groove, Serbian Bomber, Golden Jelly, Radio 1, Golden Balls, Creme Brulee, Dingaling, Dram, Geriatric

The 20th of June (Run 1868) is dry all over Hong Kong, bar one spot: Tai Po Kau Forest. Which is where hare Dram chose for his run. The trail is a bucolic wander through the jungle, with the constant noise of water gushing through rocks. Difficult to keep the balance in those conditions and crashes are inevitable. QT performs best of all. Read his report here.

June 27 (Run 1869) is a Golden Affair: Gelly the Hare Raiser got herself to set the run but, lacking time, Balls would craft it for her. It was suppose to be at Tai Lam Chung. But on the morning of the run, Balls had to go into hospital.

There is a hare position to grab and Liberace takes it with only few hours left. The fate is achieved with the help of Gunpowder Plod, starting from King’s Belly. But on another dry and baking day, Tai Po got drenched again.

I’m late and skip the first loop above KB to reach quickly the bottom of Shan Tong Road. The trail shortcuts through the wood to land near the entrance to Paragon. Back to Shan Tong Road the trail passes the playground on the roadside and takes a sharp left to start the climb through the wood. A welcomed short cut to avoid the lengthy Shan Tong up swoops.

But What a climb! Liberace claims during the circle that it was a proper trail. Dude! in the dark, with mud crawling down, dead trees and creepers blocking the way, it wasn’t bucolic. Even the hoover boys (Gaëlle Says No and Eunuch) struggled with it.
No matter the twist the trail is taking, the full moon is just right up there, bright and beautiful, shattering the last remains of clouds, seemingly under our grasp. But she’s still 384,000km away from us. And the elevation above Shan Tong Road barely reaches 240m… Oh well , next time…. this puny quarter km was good enough. Time to go home. The well is full now, get well GB, King of Rain. Thanks Liberace for those two memorable runs in a fortnight, King of Shiggy.  – Creme Brulee

Hares: Liberace, Gunpowder Plod

Runners: Gaelle Says No, Eunuch, Creme Brulee, Dingaling, Dram, Geriatric, Liberace, Luk Sup Gow, Mango Groove, One Eyed Jack, Penile Dementia, Serbian Bomber, Antiseptic, Back To The Future, Beer Tits, Radio 1, T-Bird