Run 1843, 24 January, Fo Tan

A Thousand Runs

bobby-vee-with-the-johnny-mann-singers-the-night-has-a-thousand-eyes-1962-3 copy

Fourteen runners, a thousand different routes. Or that’s what it felt like.The pack set off in high spirits from the cul-de-sac between a school and a residential block, turning right to encounter a check, whereupon there was much milling around, until hare Geriatric emerged to tell us to go back past the cul-de-sac and try the opposite direction. This should have given an inkling of what was to come.

Trail was duly found and followed around a wide sweep until it turned downwards towards Fo Tan, then seemed to peter out. Gaelle Says No and myself, suspicious that Liberace simply hadn’t gone far enough, continued down the road, but upon reaching the highway we had to admit our mistake. Then we came up with the bright idea of running along the highway until we came across the trail, which we also decided would head downhill somehow. We got to a village and split up. This was the last I was to see of GSN for a while as I rooted out numerous dead ends among the warren-like environs. Eventually, after perhaps 10 minutes, I came across a T facing away from me. Aha! “Trail!”

Following this backwards I eventually found myself on a concrete track leading up into forest. Past a solitary house whose residents were out in force looking suspicious (clearly the pack had already been past), through a gate and up into a shiggy scramble, eventually emerging at a grave. Down to the far end of the village then up a long long flight of steps, passing the snarling dogs that Stingray had warned about when he set a run in the same area three years ago. Eventually I reached the walled houses of the wealthy at Kau To Shan, turning right until hitting a check back about a kilometre to the right. I eventually figured out true trail lay back beyond where I’d emerged from the steps – unmarked – and on into the Kau To Shan conurbation. Still neither sight nor sound of a hasher.

At the end of the road there was a park and a check, and as I blundered here and there looking for trail some bloke having a pee said in a Welsh accent, “Don’t I know you?” I replied, “You must be Mike Ashton.” And indeed it was the self-same taff I’d played football with in the Poly team in the mid seventies. “Got to go, everybody’s waiting for me,” I garbled, but Mike wouldn’t be denied until we’d had a good five-minute yak about forgotten boredoms. Then he said, “If you go down those steps you’ll come to the main road.” Good enough for me, I thought, but I’ll never catch up now. So down I went, finding trail leading via twists and turns to the huge linear estate above Ho Tung Lau depot where, to my surprise, Gaelle Says No came at me from the rear. “Some guy at the top asked me if I was looking for Steve Reels,” he said.

We ran together for a bit until I couldn’t keep up any more. After that it was an interesting route through village and forest up to near the start and a simple run-in. There was Gaelle Says No, short-cutter One Eyed Jack, non-runner Radio 1, Giveupee Velcro Lips and Liberace with his shirt off claiming to have done the whole trail. Where were all the others in front of me? It turned out most of them had come back to the start, having been unable to find trail where it petered out at the beginning and had been sent on their way, with each individual doing part of the trail. It would appear everybody had done different parts and some had been out three times. Under cross-examination, Liberace’s claim of wholesome goodness was found to be false as he was bewildered by descriptions of certain parts of the trail. It emerged that Golden Jelly and Back To The Future, returning as the circle drew to a close, were the only ones who managed the entire trail, albeit over three attempts!

An interesting trail and a good night out enlivened by the hare’s provision of “crap discount biscuits from U-Select” (Velcro Lips).

Hare: Geriatric

Runners: Creme Brulee, One Eyed Jack, Velcro Lips, Gaelle Says No, Liberace, Golden Balls, QT, Vibrator, Bunter, Serbian Bomber, Dingaling, Eunuch, Golden Jelly, Back To The Future

Non-runner: Radio 1

Run 1842, 17 January, Tai Lam Tunnel Interchange

No Country for Gentle Men


Some things don’t change: death, taxes and the stench from the bogs at Tai Lam Tunnel Interchange car park. This pervasive bouquet greeted the pack as it assembled for what may well be Big Moany’s last run as hare before he heads for his Hampshire retirement in Jane Austen’s village. Ms Austen would have been appalled. Big Moany simply sniggered.

It turned out the reason for this snigger was the cunningly concealed split not 50 metres from the start as trail led out the usual way up the trail towards the ridge. Spotted by only Eunuch, Vibrator and Golden Balls, who quietly ghosted into the trees, this split had the effect of splitting the pack in two right from the off.

Eunuch and Vibrator disappeared up the dark and wooded shiggy trail, while GB was shortly joined by Dingaling. Up all the way to the catchment road and left for the best part of 2km, until a check brought the pack together. The two front-runners had totally ballsed it up by staying on the road and were followed blindly by Liberace until they turned back, suffering Libs’ “you fucking guys” endearments.

Trail went over a narrow, shoe-width concrete bridge across the nullah. So narrow, in fact, that most of the pack crossed it on the seat of their pants, including mountaineer Vibrator, who was heard to admit that he had a crap sense of balance – not the greatest quality in a climber.

It was here that GB turned back, unable to negotiate the dizzy two-metre heights, accompanied by Golden Jelly. The rest of the pack went up steep steps, under a pylon, and onto a nice ridge trail, dropping back down to the road just before where trail had come up to it. Vibrator said to Eunuch, “You go in front because if I run too fast downhill I fall over.” Then he fell over. Radio 1, meanwhile, had invested in neither a good torch nor proper trail shoes, with predictable consequences. First, her torch ran out, then as she tried to keep up with Serbian Bomber and his commando-standard headlamp she slipped and twisted her ankle.

Meanwhile, at the front Eunuch missed the arrows directing hashers to the end of the road and dived down the trail he’d come up for a significant short-cut home. Vibrator, some distance behind after his fall, had no problem following trail and as he ran along the contour path at the end of the road he could see what he thought was Eunuch’s torch ahead of him getting close and closer. With a gut-busting effort he finally overhauled “Eunuch” on the final downhill stretch only to find to his disgust that it was GB.

Long after everybody else was back, Serbian Bomber, who is up there with the best Austen cads, emerged from the gloom with Radio 1 hanging onto his arm, claiming that her saviour was a gentleman. Mistake!

Hare: Big Moany

Runners: Eunuch, Vibrator, Golden Balls, Dingaling, Golden Jelly, Geriatric, One Eyed Jack, G Spot, Stingray, Liberace, Radio 1, Serbian Bomber, Creme Brulee

Non-runners: Luk Sup Gow, Walky Talky, Hard Up, Beer Tits, Mango Groove

Run 1841, 10 January, Tsuen Wan West

A Short Run


There’s something about January 1841, isn’t there? Oh yes. Hong Kong was declared a sovereign territory of Britain. Whether or not Liberace had this in mind when he set his “short” run from the Tsuen Wan West pier (a run that had been done twice in recent weeks by other hashes, with Vibrator a hare) is unknown, but if exacting revenge was on his agenda he succeeded admirably.

“Short run, chalk and paper, no flour, don’t follow other markings, only mine,” he announced to the small pack shivering in sub-10 temperatures with wind chill to boot. So off we set west along the waterfront amid the multitude of joggers and strollers. Suddenly, about 400m from the start, there was Creme Brulee marching determinedly towards us carrying a large pot and muttering in a strangely gallic manner about being unable to find the start. Then there was a check in front of the industrial area. I was lagging behind with Vibrator and everybody had gone by the time we got there. After checking in vain to the north I returned to the check to find that Vibrator had also vanished – I didn’t know he had set the same run a few days earlier, and in fact he was the only one apart from Eunuch to do the whole trail. I continued milling around and then, near the Tesla showroom, I found an “on home”. So I decided to follow trail backwards. This is much harder than following it forwards as, naturally, hares are not expecting harriers to approach markings from the opposite direction. After numerous sidetracks and dead ends I eventually found myself at Allway Garden, where trail led backwards through the unlocked gate to the labyrinth of staircases on the hillside. Here I encountered One Eyed Jack on his expected short cut, who said he knew where the trail went but was doing his own thing. He then proceeded to describe the trail he hadn’t done, which I later found to be accurate. Hmm. So up the steps it as to the catchwater road, turning left and passing such strange inscriptions as “OEJ woz ere” on the road. It wasn’t long before Eunuch came bouncing gaily towards me. We exchanged a couple of insults and carried on our merry ways.

Now the trail had actually continued west along the waterfront from the industrial area, then cut through the residential and over the highway on a footbridge before going up to the catchwater. This in itself would have constituted a fairly standard one-hour-plus run back to the start (not “short”), but Liberace had decided to take everybody up Ha Fa Shan as well, in case the run was too short. Where trail descended to the catchwater was where I now found myself. But I spied a staircase leading down and decided rather magnanimously not to delay the circle by doing the whole run, but to cut down the steps and sniff my way home. After some descending I’d somehow sniffed my way back to my out trail – the actual in trail – when I sensed a familiar bouncing behind me, followed by a stream of imprecations. Yes, it was Eunuch.

When I got back – in 1:30 – only Eunuch and One Eyed Jack had returned. But there were several others in attendance: Mango Groove (I feel a bit iffy), Velcro Lips (I couldn’t be arsed) and Creme Brulee (I couldn’t find the start), as well as the hare, who kept looking at his watch and peering anxiously along the waterfront. All of a sudden Stingray arrived from the wrong direction , followed over the next few minutes by Radio 1, Serbian Bomber and Golden Jelly. Finally Vibrator fronted up, this time from the right way.

It turned out that Creme Brulee’s pot contained some delicious mulled wine, and that Velcro Lips had brought a lovely chicken curry, and two burners were running, a most welcome spread on a cold evening. Just as we were winding down the circle a mad Italian turned up. We gave him a beer and fobbed him off with Serbian Bomber.

Hare: Liberace

Runners: Eunuch, One Eyed Jack, Golden Balls, Stingray, Radio 1, Serbian Bomber, Golden Jelly, Vibrator

Non-runners: Mango Groove, Velcro Lips, Creme Brulee

Run 1840, 3 January 2018, Wun Yiu Road

OK, Radio


There was a good turn-out for virgin hare Radio 1’s run above Tai Po, with a visitor and a few first-time runners to boot. The start, from the big shelter on the Wilson Trail heading up to Leadmine Pass, was also a new venue, at least for me.

Markings led down the road back towards Tai Po, punctuated by a couple of gratuitous checks that went into dead ends but nonetheless caused a lot of mayhem among the pack, who naturally expected to be heading into trails or shiggy on the lower flanks of Tai Mo Shan. Instead, we went right through a village area, had a brief off-road moment and then emerged on Shan Tong Road, following this – with a short off-road diversion – all the way to JC Castle at the top. Here trail tracked round the property fence then went downhill on a forest track to an unnamed road. From here it went through a village area, emerging on Wun Yiu Road just below the start.

The hare was ready and asked front-runner Gaelle Says No as he ran in, “How was it?”

“It was OK,” came the lukewarm response.

Runners and walkers trickled in over the next half hour. Antiseptic walked in. “How was it?” asked the eager hare.

“It was OK,” came the lukewarm response.

To her credit, the hare refused to be crestfallen, and as her SP I can report that she spent hours getting lost with me on abandoned trails in the hills above Siu Lek Yuen, her first choice of venue, before abandoning that and trying Wun Yiu Road. We reccied for two afternoons only to find that trails shown on a 1:5000 map no longer exist or have all been illegally fenced off by villagers. It turned out that the trail we eventually set is the only feasible 6km loop around the area. This was revealed by local resident and sometime Shek Kong hasher Captain Quick, who lives there and came to the run. We had done his training route.

Captain Quick was accompanied by other first-time NNT hashers Cindy, Brenda and Mr Law, as well as visitor Ash from Taiwan, who arrived on a motorbike and finished third. Captain Quick’s wife, Joanna, dished up delicious local delicacies: a curry pot of fishballs, beefballs, radish and tofu and a fantastic glutinous rice with Chinese sausage. Please come back!

Hare, SP: Radio 1, Golden Balls

Runners: Gaelle Says No, Liberace, Ash, One Eyed Jack, Gunpowder Plod, Geriatric, QT, Bunter, Mango Groove, Eunuch, Brenda, Captain Quick, Cindy, Mr Law, Serbian Bomber, Antiseptic, Hard Up (list may be incomplete; please advise for update)

Run 1835, 29 November, Kowloon Tong

Plod Remembers 1967

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There is an oft used expression in military officer performance reports: “His men will follow him anywhere – if only to discover how he’ll cock things up.” This is the only explanation I can think of for the large turnout for Plod’s special A to B run from True Light Lane (2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness…” NOT his arse as oft misquoted!) next to Kowloon Tong MTR.

Here the faithful but misguided loaded their bags into Plod’s car along with the injured Dram and after the usual Plod briefing about stolen HK Police barrier tape and bits of string, they were off.

Despite Plod’s directions to run straight through the park (mindful of Gestapo removal of hash markings), the pack screwed around in the park for a while upsetting canoodlers (apparently including 9 Ignorant Cocks taking Guttermouth out for a slapitupanddown dinner of M&S sandwiches – Plod) (not to be confused with dragonboaters who generally ALL get wet…) before finding a check at the top near the squash centre.

The pack was brought back together here until the cunningly hidden trail at the back of the courts was discovered leading up to Cornwall Street and another check. The trail then led into and around Shek Kip Mei Park (no canoodlers here, only frustrated gropers and muggers) and a check leading down some steep steps to a main road. Trail led 500m up this road to another check leading left into a lane and then on a dark and misleading loop not for the timid or tremulous (Penile Dementia and Radio 1?) back to further up the lane and another check.

From here a path led around the fenced Shek Kip Mei hilltop reservoir. Lesser hash markings were observed here, leading the opposite direction which Stingray, Mango Groove, One Eyed Jack, PD and Liberace may have recognised from a feeble Monday night joint run) but that did not detract from the joy of rope assisted climbing and swinging until a small dark park at the hilltop was reached with the lights of Sham Shui Po and beyond twinkling far below. (If there were canoodlers here, they were well hidden and stifling their heavy breathing.)

Another check and then the pack, mostly still together with Velcro Lipsacting as rear-gunner, starting descending the many steps. Dram and Plod reported later that the torch lights appeared in a string like UFOs, greatly alarming the local natives who buggered  off screaming, leaving the two geriatrics alone on a bench with a terrified teenager (terrified of being abused by the two old codgers, not any aliens alighting from their space ships).

In this Berwick Street Park, a solemn toast or two of Jack Daniels or plonko rosso was drunk by the pack to commemorate the stabbing death and revolver robbery of PC SIT Chun-hung of the Royal Hong Kong Police 50 years ago to the day in the vicinity of the park. He was apparently the 9th of 10 police murders during the 1967 Leftist Disturbances. RIP.

Then it was on on down Berwick Street, scattering the SSP hoards, and to a check at the bottom of a thickly wooded hill. The trail then led up and around and over and down via three or more checks on unlit trails large and small, causing QT to tumble but, unperturbed, to trundle on trumpeting loudly.

The trail eventually emerged at the back of the Police Club at the top end of Sai Yeung Choi Street, the pack still together although depleted by the desertion after the libation stop of short-cutters Golden Balls and Velcro Lips. Velcro was last of all on home after managing to get lost/go shopping in Sham Shui Po.

Here Plod, Dram, Eunuch and Golden Jelly had set up a rickety bar made of discarded junk on trestles incorporating Jack Daniels, plonko rosso, cheese, German ale and a dark German beer called Cockshootster in casks from U Select – all three were eventually consumed.

On-on-on was at a Sichuan food dai pai dong in Fuk Wa Street (much fuk wa going on…)

Hare: Gunpowder Plod

Runners: Creme Brulee, Velcro Lips, Radio 1, Back to the Future, Liberace, Stingray, Golden Balls, Vibrator, Mango Groove, Penile Dementia, QT, One Eyed Jack

Non-Runners: Golden Jelly, Dram, Eunuch

Report by Anonymous Mystery Pen



Run 1831, 1 November, Kam Ho Road

Peasants’ Revolt Revisited


Hare Big Moany was full of his impending pedal cart marathon and the probability he would shortly be retrenched. “Does Bukkake live anywhere near Alton, the boring Hampshire village I’ll be taking early retirement to?” he asked in a surprisingly upbeat manner. “Does he shoot rabbits? Can I borrow his air rifle?” Then he set us off on his self-confessed “crap” run: some checks, one check back, and “there’s something unpleasant in the shiggy”.

So off we all capered the 100m down Kam Ho Road and across the railway bridge where the run always goes, except for Creme Brulee, who, not suffering the contempt of familiarity (eh?), carried on down Kam Ho Road. Well, he was wrong, as was everybody else. After a good 5 minutes Liberace – amazingly – called trail through the yards and shacks towards Ho Pui village, site of a recent peasants’ revolt against the NNT. Aaaghhh!

As I ran towards Nemesis Village, I felt a stone in my shoe insistently annoying the sole of my right foot. Little did I know this was to be the end of my trail. Trail? Yes, it went through the village without incurring any sort of wrath, and then up through some nice shiggy to the catchwater road. Here trail led right along the road until the staircase that leads to the mountain marathon course, then left to the reservoir and down the road towards Ho Pui before a sneaky right onto a nice dirt path home, around 6km total. The likes of Mango Groove, Liberace, Creme Brulee and Penile Dementia managed this simple, uncomplicated and perfectly pleasant trail, perfect for a Wednesday night, while One Eyed Jack and Geriatric did their own creative shortcuts and Eunuch came late to do the trail backwards. Golden Jelly and Back To The Future took their time and almost triggered a revolt of their own as GM Serbian Bomber kept delaying the circle until they returned.

Creme Brulee produced “French jaffa cakes”, or florentins, claiming to be Florent himself, but the astute among us couldn’t help noticing he’d found them on the HLY bargain trolley, $58 discounted to $20. They were rather fine so I went in the next day and cleared out the discounted stock.

And what of me? Who cares. But after trying to empty the “stone” from my shoe three times I found a nail in my shoe that took 20 minutes to remove. So I short-cut blatantly and found two interesting things: first, a many-banded krait on the catchwater road, a snake that will kill you; and then a brazen gate across the catchwater road where it passes the village, thrown up by villagers and their new village house development, preventing traffic on the Shek Kong-Tai Lam route from passing. I checked, and there was another gate on the other side of the development, which you could reach only by zig-zagging through the village. It’s clearly illegal.

And maybe that’s why the peasants revolted against us a couple of months ago, we busybody outsiders, when presumably they were constructing it all?

Let’s not forget the hare. We saw Big Moany three days later. “I was fired the very next day,” he beamed. “Then I went to the pedal cart 24-hour marathon, where I started for my (ex)-company, and blew away all the fit young cyclist / trail runner types who comprised the opposition. This fat, cigar-smoking, alcoholic old fart is now a god among men!”

Hear, hear! – Golden Balls

Hare: Big Moany

Runners: Liberace, Penile Dementia, Creme Brulee, Mango Groove, One Eyed Jack, Eunuch, Golden Jelly, Back To The Future, Geriatric, Golden Balls, Serbian Bomber


Run 1830, 25 October, Sai O


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It was an auspicious start to this weeks’ run; a decent turn-out, in the right place and in good time. The season had recently turned the corner and there was a gentle cooling breeze ruffling the leaves beneath the sulphur glow of the streetlamps. All stood assembled, in eager anticipation of what might just turn out to be the best run of the year!

Then Liberace arrived.

The pack set off at leisurely pace, with committed FRBs Eunuch and Liberace up ahead, with Golden Balls and Velcro Lips ambling along at the rear. Hare Geriatric was taking a conservative route, all well lit and hard paved. Serial shiggy shirker Stingray was in high spirits. His happiness was relatively short lived, however, when the trail went decidedly off-piste; first with a steep stepped path leading to a checkback, followed soon afterwards by a stream bed and some stone hopping. The oft quoted phrase “he’s a Wanchai hasher, he’ll never set a run with any shiggy” was starting to sound somewhat inaccurate. Fortunately, a love of the urban returned and Geriatric had us all back on well-lit firm ground. Despite adequate lighting and very few obstacles, Liberace, still acting as FRB, claimed to have seen a “T” at the summit of a long flight of steps. The pack turned about and headed back down the steps, with Creme Brulee the only one looking comfortable in full retreat. Searching as far back as under the Ma On Shan bypass for any sign of the trail , someone remembered who had called the T. With an accuracy of information record close to that of Hong Kong Observatory, it was noted that Liberace’s calls were often dubious, so back we all went up the steps again only to discover that there was a check, and no sign of a “T” anywhere. Trail was soon called further on up the path, and so the run continued.

A little further along, there came the rambo/wimp split. The wimps continued on the made path, while the rambos hopped up onto a small retaining wall and followed the steeply stepped incline of a Drainage Services Department registered slope structure, and on into the hills. Somewhat unusually for Hong Kong, the forested hill consisted initially of pines and made a nice change from the usual close thickety shiggy we are all more used to. That didn’t stop the gripes though, and Stingray’s nasal bleating (“Bollocks to farting around in the shiggy”) could be heard wafting through the trees and scattering any wildlife lucky enough to escape from the depredations of the local population.

Talking of which, on the wimp trail, taken by One Eyed Jack and Golden Balls (with some OEJ-worthy short-cutting by Velcro and Dingaling), no sooner had OEJ observed that you quite often see boar in this forest, than a kerfuffle on the trail ahead revealed not one but two not boars but porcupines, one of which ran along the trail ahead for a good 30m, quills rattling, before disappearing into the trees.

Back on the rambos, it is a rare fact that Liberace keeps his sense of direction, never great to begin with, in his little finger. Seemingly not content with causing the earlier T clusterfuck, he continued to charge about in the woods like a demented spaniel, rushing in the opposite direction every few minutes claiming that he’d lost trail and must have taken a wrong turn. This feat of inept navigation was achieved despite being on a single track path with clearly no other routes to take.

After descending from the foothills of Ma On Shan, navigating yet another boulder strewn stream bed, the trail began to rejoin civilisation once more, and so it was a brief jaunt through Lee On estate and out onto the Wu Kai Sha coastline, before heading back to the start. Geriatric’s coastal trail was a masterpiece of deception, with checkbacks everywhere and not a litlle wading as the tide had come in since he set it. It ended up at about 10km for the rambos and 7 for the wimps.

Before the circle could get started, Dingaling suddenly had to leave claiming “work commitments”. This left the rest of the assembled skivers, vagrants, OAPs and Frenchmen to scratch their heads and ask what this “work commitment thing” was all about. With one down, GM Eunuch wisely decided to charge Liberace with the duty of standing in for anyone absent as a reward for totally cocking up the T that wasn’t. Several swift down-downs followed for the one and only professor of Chinglish.

During his time in the middle of the circle, Liberace had the gall to suggest that Mango Groove had been stood in front of the check, which was why he hadn’t seen it. This did nothing at all to explain where the mysterious “T” came from, that no one else found. However, some mysteries are enduring and best left that way, like the Marie Celeste, the Loch Ness Monster and where all the odd socks go.

Honourable mentions go to: Mango Groove, who does the best impression of Stingray anyone has ever heard (including Stingray, who looked surprised to hear his own voice despite having his mouth shut). Creme Brulee gets a mention for having the most flexible hash name ever, having been variously referred to as Creme de Menthe, Creme Diulay and Creme de la Creme, without letting it affect his stride. A heavily pregnant Din Dins made an appearance at the circle, although chose not to run on this occasion for undisclosed reasons. – 9 Ignorant Cox

Hare: Geriatric

Runners: Mango Groove, Velcro Lips, Eunuch, Stingray, Creme Brulee, Liberace, Goldenballs, Dingaling, 9 Ignorant Cox, One Eyed Jack