Twas mild but damp when I laid the trail early on Sunday morning. The dampness was the main reason why this particular run was a smidgeon length challenged. Not many surprises on this run, and if you look at the footpaths around Broom, you will see that trail options are pretty limited.
The usual culprits went off at phenomenal pace (whatever Underlay has for brekkie - I want some). This caused me some consternation because my short run could easily be done and dusted after 30 mins at the rate we all set off. So with hardly any remorse I decide to call the FRB's back when in fact they are on the correct trail (it's called keeping the pack together or creative haring [or pissin off the count .. ed]).
The trail was quite picturesque and was for the most part fringed by forests and/or lakes. Count had forgot his fish-hook exemption card today, which was a good thing as he spent an awful lot of today's run as an FRB.
To keep the pack together the cunning hare decided to pull an unusual stunt and at a particular fork in the trail I had laid and odd/even divide (i.e. odd H5'ers, and there are quite a few, went one way and even H5'ers t'other). This worked admirably, possibly because I discarded the odd/even split for a much fairer fast/slow selection process and sent the faster crew onto the longer trail. The moans and groans that this caused made it the more worthwhile and I reckon this could become a standard scheme on my future ruins (you have all been warned!).
The run was mostly uneventful, with the usual to-ing and fro-ing, numbered checks, ladies' checks, held checks, hare fabrications (or bare faced lying) etc.
The pack eventually emerged from the country footpaths into the Broom conurbation. The short cut is straight back to the pub, whereas the slightly longer, but much more precarious loop is a more circuitous route along roads that mostly didn't have a footpath. I decided to give a quick road safety lecture (hope it wasn't patronising) but I really did want everyone to survive and my recent history has left me somewhat mentally scarred (if you weren't at the run today, then you won't have an iota about what I am referring to) [apparently the poor lad and his bike had a fight with a car and then took on a low bridge leaving them both battlescarred and a tad cautious it wont last long ...ed]. Anyway, it worked and we all got back safe and sound for some of the best beer in Bedfordshire.
There were down-downs awarded to the hare (me of course), the birthday brace (Underlay and Clap Trap), the anniversary couplet (Underlay and Shagpile). Misdemeanours were liberally issues by the interim RA (Rapid) and the RA elect (Blow Felt), I do recall down-downs for Shuffle and Bell End for failing to control their mutts, but I am afraid most of the other down-downs escape me (I am claiming the onset of dotage as my excuse).
On-on to the Sugar Loaf, Meppershall