Airscrew's last run for quite a while - H5's Loss is Baltimore's Gain
A view from behind the FRBs
Yurts in Beds - shame Twiczer wasn't around to appreciate them
Wow! Can it be? Yep! It's the words for run 1078. ALREADY!
A pretty good turnout, with over thirty runners and quite a few dogs. Five Baah summed this up best when he commented "Did everyone get a dog for Christmas or something."
It was going to be a long one as it took me two and a half hours to lay the day before. At least the gods were kind as the temperature was pretty mild and it looked like the rain was going to hold off. The route took in some unusual scenery around Shefford. Even those that lived in Shefford were unlikely to have trodden some of this trail.
Elephant spoor, and a couple of new checks were the order of the day.
As the pack set off, Walnut Whip Willy cycles by on his brand new hand-built bike. Everything was going well, with the exception of a loose saddle which was soon rectified.
Thongo thinks that there are only two runs in Shefford (actually four). There is Run A, Run B, Run A backwards and finally Run B backwards. Well oh yee of little faith, let's try Run C for a change.
After a little dilly dallying, the real trail was found past the church towards Top Farm. Mekon was first at the ladies check and sets off on the correct trail, but somehow does not manage to detect any of the markings and promptly returns. This confuses everyone for a bit, but the pack eventually do decide to take the trail past top farm towards Clophill. The numbered checks do the trick and the usual FRB reprobates (Zebedee, Underlay, Shufflecock etc) get turned back.
Happily everyone gets safely across the A507 and we strike off into the countryside towards the former home of the 1,443 feet diameter AN/FLR-9 Wullenweber antenna array which formed part of the Iron Horse HF direction finding network. This antenna array, dubbed the Elephant Cage, was dismantled in 1996 and was used to listen in to Russian radio communications during the height of the cold war. Where was our antenna anorak (aka Shagpile)? By all accounts he had to exit the run early with an injured foot. It's a shame as he would have loved his photo taken on one of the 'old elephants footprints'. Well that's quite enough of AA (Aerial Anorak) stuff for now methinks.
Oh, one other thing. I know you all think I love Yurts (Turkish) & Gers (Mongolian) and all that, but was it really necessary for all (at least three) of you to ask me whether or not I thought that the straw silo was a Yurt? Ummm!
Whilst it might have been interesting, the problem with this particular this trail is that there were very few opportunities for false trails and there was no possibility of a short cut either. The consequence of this is that the only way of keeping the pack together is by over use of the numbered checks. That's why there were so many of them and that's why Zebedee could be seen ricocheting backwards and forwards between the front and the back of the pack.
Playing "How many Hashers can you get on an Elephant Footprint"
The Count's Ankle Biter torture clearly fails
Skidmark can relax after turning the rest of the family into wooden mushrooms
Other events of interest were when Edwina's dog [lets call him chester for now .. scribe] decided to re-enact a recent viral on You Tube by chasing down a deer that it had spotted in the distance. FENTON the second strikes again!!
I also learnt what those metal bins that you commonly see scattered around the countryside are actually for. My learned friend and pheasant beater Bangers informed us all that they are actually pheasant feeding bins. Who says you don't learn things on a hash.
Apologies for the length of the run , but here are some stats to contemplate. It was a huge 6.8 miles (over 7 for some of the FRBs) and took a minimum of 90 mins (nearly 120 in some cases). On the flip side however, it was an opportunity to see some rarely trodden countryside and also to see a little piece of history.
Back at the pub, cookies were provided by Frau, sausage and faggot was supplied by Bangers and some rather chewy (but very nice) nutrition bars were provided by Atomic Titten. Yum yum and thanks to you all.
Down-downs were awarded to Capt F (hare), Capt F and Bangers (for educational enlightenment), Kisses Anytime (lost property), Count Roadkill (lawd knows what [techism .. lawd]), Mekon (no idea), Lost Cause (cos it's a new tradition). Plus a very important one for Airscrew, who is disappearing off to Baltimore for a wee while. There were plenty of others, but my memory had faded into a hazy drunken mush by the end.
On-On to run 1079 from the Bright Star public house in Peters Green.
Yours affectionately - Capt F