Run 1880, 12 September, Tsuen Wan

Life on a Footbridge

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If it’s early September it’s time for a run at Tsuen Wan, or more accurately, Catch Of The Day’s annual Nina Tower escapade. Despite having her leg in a cage didn’t deter the hare from setting a good run (apparently) with a new shiggy section.

It was a run of two halves but I can only report on the first half, where I got lost. Trail made extensive use of the overhead pedestrian footbridge system to get out of Tsuen Wan, but as the hare had set it first thing in the morning a lot of the markings had been rubbed away by the huddled crowds shuffling to and from their catatonia-inducing employments. I mean, there was one bit of footbridge at a shopping centre where nobody could find trail. Finally I went right and kept going for half a mile until I saw a dirty great arrow pointing down some steps to the street. Trail! I jogged along the road in the gleeful delight you get when you know you’re the only one on trail and nobody can catch you, until I went up some steps to find myself where I’d started at the shopping centre. Doh!

Of course nobody else was around, so I went left for ages and ages until it was more than obvious there was no trail. By this point I’d been on footbridges for half an hour. It put me in mind of a recent SCMP article on homeless types headlined “Life on a Footbridge”. Then I came to another footbridge previously checked by Eunuch, who’d come back saying no trail. What did I have to lose? I crossed it into a park and found trail. And No Rough Stuff, who decided to head back.

Up some steps onto a road, a check, nothing uphill, nothing down the steps, nothing down the road…I gave up and went back to the start, where most had already finished. It seems trail from that last check was over the road and into the shiggy. Which was apparently good. Oh well. Last to get home was Mango Groove who was mercilessly taunted by the pack for being a big girl’s blouse. The usual uniform of bow tie and no shirt was sported by most for the circle, and thankfully there was no repeat of the Eric incident.  – Golden Balls 

Hare: Catch Of The Day

Runners: Back To The Future, Golden Jelly, Mango Groove, Golden Balls,Eunuch, Crash Test Dummy, Liberace, One Eyed Jack, No Rough Stuff, Burning Lust

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Run 1879, 5 September, Tai Po

History Lesson

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The Tai Po old market was established near Man Mo Temple during the Ming Dynasty for trading of agricultural and fishing products. In 1893 a new market was established at the northeastern bank (Tai Wo) of Lam Tsuen River by a federation of seven groups of villagers from some 64 villages and brought an alliance between the Hakka and Punti people living in the area. To keep the merchants honest, sets of public weighing scales were introduced and kept, as they are now, in the temple.

A well marked trail from the MTR brought the pack to the designated start, with the hare, QT, bemoaning the grief he was suffering from Her Indoors and having to set the same trail for a third time this week. At this stage, the absence of the GM, RA and RA2 was noted, so Hash Beer (aka Eunuch) took control, and instructed the hare to brief the pack. Trail wandered purposelessly towards the river, with some illogical checkbacks, until a meaningless but slippery side trip through the Old Market Park brought Mango Groove to the floor again. In this park there is a very large (10-metre diameter) sundial which (according to Geriatric) often indicates the wrong time, probably set out by some crusty old surveyor.

Along the river bank, then checks by the Norwegian School took the front runners up towards the Wilson Trail and Kam Shan summit then through the riverside park across the river and winding back through some villages for a finish in 50 minutes or so.  – One Eyed Jack

Hare: QT

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

Non-runner: Catch Of The Day

Run 1878, 29 August, Kowloon Reservoir

Carnage on Planet of the Apes

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The weather this week was as bad as the previous week.  An amber rainstorm warning late afternoon, raised to red at 6.40pm. If that wasn’t bad enough every conceivable warning went up, flooding, landslides, lightning, even Catch Of The Day couldn’t make it home as the road into her village was flooded.  Not a pleasant afternoon and to top it all Eunuch had called the run at Kowloon Reservoir the previous week.  Anyway Eunuch is not one to let  a few bad weather warnings put him off setting a run so at 2.30 off he set, marking trail. Unfortunately the deluge of rain put an end to his carefully laid trail so as he headed back to his people mover he realised something wasn’t right…the rubber seal around the edge of his vehicle roof had been ripped off. Yes, you guessed correct, Eunuch had parked his passion wagon right on the spot where people pull into the car park and dump all sorts of crap for the monkeys.  The monkeys were clearly upset by this and retaliated by ripping up poor Eunuch’s vehicle causing significant damage in the process. But not to worry, little Eunuch still had a run to set.

About 7.30pm when most of the pack had arrived Eunuch declared he will now do a live run. As we waited for Liberace to show up, Eunuch set off followed five minutes later by One Eyed Jack and Geriatric, the rest of us were well behaved giving the hare plenty of time to start setting his trail.  The rain was relentless but at 7.45pm the pack set off, including visitor Lightfoot from Turkey who was following in the footsteps of Marco Polo and thought it would be great to run with the New Territories to finish up his extended tour of Asia.

Anyway, off we went heading left out of the car park, down the little slip road and onto the first check. Oranguwank and Liberace quickly solved this, taking us left and down onto the country park trail, coming onto another check. Not much thinking here as we turned left before climbing upwards to another check, that could have taken us either straight and into Kam Shan Country Park or up and up and more up.  Well we let Oranguwank check left and Liberace up. Very quickly Liberace was calling paper so off we all followed except Oranguwank, who continued into Kam Shan Country Park. We huffed and puffed as we climbed upwards, eventually reaching the top with some nice running. As we headed downwards, we came across the hare shouting at the GM: “You’re doing it the wrong way!” but it was too late to turn back. As we ran a little further Liberace, the GM and Mango Groove met Oranguwank, who proudly declared he was doing the trail in the right direction and we should follow him. One Eyed Jack, Serbian Bomber and Back To The Future may have heeded this advice but the remainder of the pack ran back into Kam Shan Country Park, eventually losing trail and having to work their way down Golden Hill Road, across the dam and back home.

No surprise that at the bucket every man and his dog accused each other of shortcutting – you know something is wrong when One Eyed Jack comes back claiming to have done the full and correct trail, even going through some tunnels.

The circle was a lively affair, with the GM doing his best to control things.  Lots of beer lots of fun, superb effort by Eunuch to set such a good “emergency” trail…can’t wait to do his planned trail.  – Mango Groove

Hare: Eunuch

Runners: Back to the Future, Crème Brulee, Geriatric, One Eyed Jack, QT, Oranguwank, Serbian Bomber, Liberace, Mango Groove, Dingaling, Gunpowder Plod, Lightfoot