In desperate need of relief, I made a dash for the toilet block at Tai Tong just as Dingaling called the briefing for the run, which started at the car park pagoda just outside the Tai Tong management centre. This delayed me several minutes, only to find when I climbed the slope back up to the pagoda that the pack had departed that very way five minutes earlier. Angst was exacerbated by being unable to find my headlamp, which I’d put out handy ready to run, and which was eventually found hidden under my bag (after I’d laboriously unpacked and repacked its contents. Very witty, whoever came up with that little jape. Then of course my shoes needed relacing. Why wouldn’t they? How about a police interrogation or a lightning strike while we’re at it.
Thus it was I set off 10 minutes after the pack. And have no stories of the run except that Radio 1 took a tumble and grazed her hands. And that trail went down the road, over a barrier and into shiggy, sparingly marked by Dingaling’s trademark shredded paper, on a slippery path on which I ended up on my arse. On emerging at the bottom, I followed arrows into the amusement park type place, with hoardings that seemed to promise dinosaurs, then over a bridge to a beautiful trail leading back up into Tai Lam Country Park.
I ghosted eerily yet easily through the paperbark forest and along a sandy track that wound ever upwards into the dark green black. The ridge resolved itself above me, and then came the unmistakable “Are you?” of Serbian Bomber, and a couple of torch beams showed themselves on the ridge. They’re only five minutes ahead, thought I. Then, I can catch them because they are poofs.
When the ridge was gained – next to a sort of wayfarer Buddhist shrine – so focussed was I on catching the back-markers that I completely failed to notice the marked check to one side, my torch beam instead picking out the sign that indicated the one apparent way to go: down towards the reservoir. So down I went, stopping after a couple of hundred paces when it became apparent there was no trail at all. I trudged back up to the ridge, cursing. Two minutes lost. Then I saw the check. DICKHEAD!!!
I kind of “knew” that it was road all the way to the finish with no possibility of a short cut, so abandoned all attempts to catch anybody and jogged along at a nice comfy pace, enjoying the cool night. A couple of cyclists whirred by. Then a runner approached. It was Gaelle Says No, who deemed the 5.5km trail too short and was doing it in reverse as a light jog before the mountain marathon on Sunday.
So another red lantern for me, a really pleasant trail from the hare, and good craic in the circle, as always. On on – Golden Balls
Runners Green Head Penis, Liberace, Gaelle Says No, Golden Jelly, Back To The Future, Serbian Bomber, One Eyed Jack, Creme Brulee, Radio 1, Golden Balls, others?