Run 1877, 20 August, Sheung Shui

Served Cold

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Heading north. Robert Peary. Roald Amundsen. Ian Botham, Thomas Dolby. None of them had experienced a storm like this. I’d arranged a lift to Sheung Shui with Gunpowder Plod, but he bailed. “There’s a MASSIVE storm system coming down from China and it’s stuck over Sheung Shui,” he blubbed. “The wife doesn’t want me to go…”

Hare Mango Groove’s initial bravado had evaporated. “This lightning is putting the willies up me,” he opined, perhaps revealing a Freudian adoration. “I am a bit scared now. Where is Eunuch when I need a cuddle?”

SAS-trained frontiersman Serbian Bomber was even more rabbit-headlighted. “Torrential rain. Is there still a run?” And Luk Sup Gow, heading in from Shenzhen, added, “Bring your handy lightning protectors… absolute World War 3 broken out here in China.” Even the normally stoic shortcutter One Eyed Jack was moved to comment: “Mango, you have just gone up in a puff of smoke.”

But it turned out Mango was made of sterner stuff, and issued his own thunderstorm warning: “Members of the public are advised to take the following precautions when thunderstorms occur: 1. Stay indoors. Seek shelter in buildings if you are engaging in outdoor activities. The hash is ok though cos you are a bunch of morons and deserve to be struck by lightning. 2. Do not stand on high ground. Keep away from highly conductive objects, trees or masts. Unless Mango sets a trail to the top of a big fucking hill. 3. Wear a condom.”

Arriving late at Jockey Club Park in Shek Wu Hui, I was surprised by how many had actually made the effort to run in these shit conditions. A pack of about a dozen had turned up to the back of beyond in an enormous thunderstorm (it blew trees down near my gaff nearby), including the unbearably smug Velcro Lips, who now has a posh address in Stanley. That’s quite a journey!

Mango had set off to re-mark the trail – it turned out to be A trail, not THE trail, and off we went into the parallel-trader universe of Shek Wu Hui, running down streets and alleys lined with pharmacies and dodging the wheeled suitcases of mainlanders.

It didn’t take long for the front-runners to get through the melee, but they were stymied by a crossroads check. Liberace had done the straight-ahead direction and come back wih his usual plaintive “no marking”, but I managed to find trail down the same avenue within five metres, and delighted in the customary haranguing that followed me as I trundled on. “You fucking moron Liberace!” was one of the more charitable comments.

Then something weird happened in my calf and I walked the rest of the trail with Back To The Future, Golden Jelly and Liberace. ‘Twas clearly an abridged route as we never got more than five metres above nullah level, and in fact followed a nullah for 2km of mind-numbing numptiness – but at least there was a run. Let us commend Mango for going out into the unknown when his painstakingly set original trail was blasted from the face of the Earth by the wanton forces of nature, that kill us for its sport… or something.

There were Marmite biscuits at the finish courtesy of Geriatric, and a lively circle dominated by the RA, who claimed that he missed out on the Jaffa Cakes provided by Mango at the run two weeks prior, when Mango gave the RA’s designated Jaffa Cake to Serbian Bomber, who wanted a second one like the gutsy chubber he is. The RA intoned: “Revenge is a dish best served cold … and wet … Nuff said. – RA

Hare: Mango Groove

Runners: Liberace, Eunuch, Creme Brulee, One Eyed Jack, Back To The Future, Geriatric, Golden Jelly, Golden Balls

Pussies: South Side Pushover, Velcro Lips, Catch Of The Day

 

Run 1876, 15 August, San Tin

Gone Fishin’

fishponds

A good sized pack of enthusiasts (and Gunpowder Plod) assembled in a dark lane under a looming archway guarded by two large mythical Chinese beasts (or perhaps they were Golden Balls and Serbian Bomber – difficult to distinguish in the gloom).

The Hare, Golden Jelly, announced that she had held hands with Back to the Future setting this run which promised a single hill with a “slippery descent” and only one trail of “about 5K”. (It was more like 8K!!)

She then pointed up the steps into the park and we were off. Well, not Plod who likening not the prospect of said slippery descent, ran off around the hill intent on a premature interception.

He failed and, at about the same time that Liberace ran back down the steps complaining “No twail, NO TWAIL!!”, ran all the way around the hill back to the Start.

Sent back out with typically obscure feminine instructions, Liberace tried the hill again and Plod found Dram wondering aimlessly on the main road before they encountered Back to the Future sweeping who pointed them in the right direction and then buggered off in pursuit of the pack.

The trail led us off northwards towards the alluring neon lights of the Motherland around a succession of fish ponds, although Dram went off trail for a while and Plod found a wandering Mango Groove who had lost touch while picking Mangos and admiring the Jackfruit. (“Loves Fruits” might be a better name for this poor lost soul…).

The three then managed to short-cut to rejoin the rear of the pack heading back towards the start. But the start was a long way off and despite catching the pack again after a long, cunning check-back that brought the whole pack together, Plod was last home behind Dram and a charging Golden Balls who’d started late in an hour and a half – except for the even later arriving Eunuch family, all eight little legs pattering in shortly afterwards.

In the meantime, Mango and GB got lost in San Tin village (one village wag offering to call them a taxi) and by my reckoning nobody managed to follow trail 100 percent in the last half mile except perhaps said Eunuch family.

The Circle, in the absence of most of the mismanagement, was run by Serbian Bomber and Golden Balls with contributions by Richard Billingham @ Liberace, Gunpowder Plod and others.

A hard core of Golden Balls and Jelly, Mango Groove, Gunpowder Plod and Radio 1 then assembled at a daipaidong across the road for a spicy scoff and Blue Girl. – Gunpowder Plod

Hares: Golden Jelly, Back To The Future

Runners: Serbian Bomber, Radio 1, Mango Groove, Liberace, Dram, Gunpowder Plod, Golden Balls, Piss In Bucket, Eunuch, Antiseptic, Ruth, Liberace, One Eyed Jack, Penile Dementia

Run 1875, 8 August, Sheung Shui

mmm

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In a world where Winnie the Pooh is considered a subversive element, one man is willing to stand up and set a hash in Sheung Shui.

Watch in disbelief as Liberace takes on the establishment, setting a trial around the tower blocks, roads and rail lines. Enjoy the comradery of the pack lost and confused at each check, comforting each other with cries of “are you” and ultimately, “on trail”. Revel in the beauty of the natural environment as the pack explores the overgrown riverside and road embankments. Swoon as Gaelle Says No rips off his top to expose his toned body. Be shocked as the ground gives way below the GM, leaving him perilously  suspended above a bottomless pit and abandoned by the pack.

Suspend your disbelief and wonder how Golden Balls finds himself at the front of the pack only to drop back again as he struggles up the road embankment. Witness the return of Mango Grove, following his enforced absence due to unfounded allegations about his poor calling and and sense of direction.

Share the joy of the Eunuch family, as they introduce their children to the dark area of Sheung Shui. Will the boys survive, or turn to plastic toys to stave off their craving for crisps and computer games?  Enjoy the slapstick antics of QT as he runs off in the wrong direction and comes in first, completing the 8km run in only 7.5km. A star in the making, and one who will not show up on Serbian Bomber’s new app, “Babes in Bathrooms” (available for download from the hash store); just point at a house and the app will show you a babe of your selection in the bathroom.

Its not every day that a trail is set; its not every week that a good trail emerges from the dark, and its not every year that Dram enjoys himself!

The papers described the trail as “unimaginable” (South China Moaning Post), “eye opening” (The Standard) and “nice tits” (Apple Daily). – Dingaling

Hare: Liberace

Runners:

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Run 1874, 1 August, Sha Lo Tung

Sabotage!

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Billy Jizz set the tone when hare Creme Brulee announced his “wet” run at Sha Lo Tung:

“Beware of the water snakes. Anyone remember Dingaling’s run from a few years ago, same start location? GB swimming torch in mouth, Mango and Eunuch screaming SNAKE, SNAKE, panic in those following, oh the memories…”

There was also the incident on that run where One Eyed Jack fell three metres off a slippery rock into the engorged river. So with this sort of pedigree it was little surprise to meet a Sha Lo Tung native driving down the road as I went up, demanding what we were doing and asking what the “white powder” in the village was – powder that he’d just washed away, thinking it was dog poison. After the car reversing palaver on the narrow ascent I missed the start, runners and hare alike unaware of the missing section of trail. This looked set to be another disaster.

The hare warned of extreme shiggy on the rambo route, and to go right around the new house, not left. As I set off, fellow late starter Golden Jelly moaned that her torch was dying and opted to do her own thing. So off I set into the dark, but it wasn’t long before I caught the small pack at abandoned Lei Uk village (not the one near the road head – more on that later). They were coming back from something or other. Gaelle Says No plunged down a slope and yelled “Trail!” We were on.

Easy trail followed until we reached a new house fenced off in the middle of nowhere. Was there a check? I can’t remember, but hashers were thrashing around in various directions. Liberace had gone to the right of the house, as the hare had advised me, presumably to help me catch the pack. Very soon Liberace returned with the inevitability of night following day. “No markings!” He’d gone about 30 metres. I continued following the fence until I came to a washed-out blob of flour. “Trail!” At this point I hadn’t revealed my inside knowledge to the pack, and they chased me down the access road of the new house until we reached a check on the dirt road that connects the roadhead with Cheung Uk Village. Golden Jelly was there.

At this point I called the pack together and told them what I knew. There were only two ways to go and one led left back to the bucket, so we all headed right towards Cheung Uk, except Liberace, who insisted volubly that we’d just come from that direction.Who scrambled the compass in his head?

Nobody could find any trail. We split into two teams, with QT, Liberace and Dingaling checking through the village and Gaelle Says No, Eunuch and myself taking the trails towards Hok Tau. After almost a kilometre we finally admitted we weren’t on trail and split three ways, GSN running the whole Sha Lo Tung loop, Eunuch probing east and me heading back towards Cheung Uk. The village unit hadn’t fared any better, and after being out for around 40 minutes we followed the on-home arrows back to the roadhead, having missed the promised extreme shiggy.

The GM had a spread waiting for us: salami, pickled onions, crusty bread, a large sort of camembert whose name eludes me, and a magnum of rose. He also explained that we’d short cut the run at Lei Uk and got ourselves onto the wimp trail, so being good little hashers Dingaling and Eunuch set off again while we scoffed their nosh.

A carload of young people arrived to see the fireflies and we bade them good evening in a civil, friendly manner and helped them on their way. We didn’t see them again until the end of the superbly raucous circle. They emerged from the dark to the sight of the entire pack, who had been given a gloating down down by GB for not winning the Tour de France, throwing their rancid suds as one over me, in the end the only hasher to be soaked.

Eunuch and Dingaling produced a “go home” sign they’d found in eerie circumstances in the shiggy, but it wasn’t part of a pernicious village plot  – it was the work of Creme Brulee’s son. As the circle wound down the GM suddenly shinned up a tree to fetch a light he’d hung there earlier. Competition for South Lantau’s Tree Climber at last!

And so the run was sabotaged. Some will see it as due comeuppance for another instance of Sha Lo Tung sabotage a few years back. But we don’t talk about that…  – Golden Balls

Hare: Creme Brulee

Runners: Golden Jelly, Gaelle Says No, Eunuch, Golden Balls, Dingaling, QT, Liberace

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