Run 1933, 21 August, Ho Sheung Heung

Covett Tactics

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Shameful behaviour

Hare Golden Jelly and SP Back To The Future cased out the Kwu Tung area, soon to be replaced by a crispy new town, for their run. “Boring start,” they intoned, pointing us southwards along the nullah from the start at the twinkling toilet block on the bubbly bicycle track next to the nullah.

The first mark was encountered a half mile down the track by visitor Moni, and the slouch turned into a shuffle, then a jog and finally a run at the kilometre mark, where there was a check. “Allow me with my peerless local knowledge to lead the way,” I proclaimed, setting off into the tree tunnel that led away from the nullah. Moni, Jessica and Calvin – visitors all – were the only ones to follow me. After a couple of minutes of arboreal gloom it was galling to hear trail called back down the nullah. Worse, my torch had shrivelled to the faintest of glows. Not really a glow. More like a couple of reluctant light rays trying to hide in the mud. Moni, Calvin and Jessica, with powerful beams emanating from the light sticks yours truly had provided them with, ran off behind me, leaving me to fumble my way myopically back to the light.

There was Catch Of The Day clanking past on crutches with Geriatric in pursuit. Ahead, Plod called trail out to Castle Peak Road. A right turn, then a pedestrian footbridge with a check. Serbian Bomber emerged from its stairs. Radio 1 and the crippled Creme Brulee wombled out from an alley. Mango could be heard plaintively calling Are Yoo. The three visitors popped out of somewhere. Plod called trail from a northerly direction. Off we all trooped into the maze that is Kwu Tung. It was all lit up. Then another gloomy arbour of almost pitch dark. I came out onto a road with Plod and Geriatric following and failed to notice an arrow heading south. Eunuch and Mango Groove emerged. Are yoo? I turned south again while they all rambled north. Trail, I called softly on seeing the arrow. Not softly enough, as a minute later Eunuch and Mango came storming past. We were in light again, but my world was reduced to finding arrows while trying to keep ahead of the opportunists Plod and Geriatric.

Trail went west. There was a check ambiguously marked. To me it looked straight on, although the arrow did seem to veer slightly to the right. Certainly not 90 degrees to the right, which was where trail lay. I jogged blithely on, convinced we were heading for the slopes of Pak Shek Au. And the markings had been few and far between, so it wasn’t a surprise I didn’t see any for a while. In fact I didn’t see any at all, and on reaching Pak Shek Au headed with disgruntled gait back to the check – 600 metres back.

Long story short. Zig zags through the old settlement. Utter disorientation. Rambo-wimp split – better do the wimps, I’m so far behind, and bereft of light. On the run-in I pass Catch Of The Day and Geriatric. Plod’s already back. And here comes the first rambo, Liberace, across the nullah bridge from Long Valley. I made the right decision.

Actually no. Liberace took a monster short cut by believing the trail would go in a particular direction even when there were no markings to follow. What kind of numbskull does that?

Twenty minutes later the lights of first rambos became visible, and then Mango Groove emerged onto the bridge followed by a slow-closing Eunuch. But wait! There’s a third light. It’s Calvin, Son of Bukkake, with a lightning-quick sprint to the finish – the sort that only veggie-scoffing 17-year-olds can produce – that saw him brush away the challenge of Eunuch and then dive past Mango at the bucket for a photo-finish victory. We had to take him aside and threaten him with a battycreasing if he carries on this unseemly competitiveness.

Rambo trail was around 10km. Runners dribbed in, then drabbed. Drink was drunk. There was some sort of brawling ceremony and then we all went home. — Golden Balls

Hares Golden Jelly, Back To The Future

Runners Liberace, Eunuch, Auntie Septic, Travis, Radio 1, Catch Of The Day, Moni, Calvin, Jessica, One Eyed Jack, QT, Creme Brulee, Gunpowder Plod, Serbian Bomber, Mango Groove, Geriatric, Golden Balls

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