Hash Reports- yes, need to catch up with these from long back, but trying to add them now...so

RUN No 203: Friday 6th April 2012 (courtesy of Plum Tart)

A Good Good Friday SET BY HIGHWAY through LUNE VALLEY H3

7 Cockermouth Hashers & Maisie (Mitch the pirate being injured) ventured south over Dunmail Raise to join the Lunies at the Mortal Man in Troutbeck for their 417th hash…puts us to shame doesn’t it, especially as they hadn’t even been conceived when CH3 was born!

Apologies for absence from Half Dome.

A pleasant dry day, much better than the weather forecast. The hare for today was Highway. Thong, having spent the last two days on the fells was hoping for a short run but little did he know that Highway was out for revenge from his last outing with CH3 when it was one of Huggy’s long (well we had to make it long to get up a hill) hashes.

The pack set off south then west then northwest…along tarmac & track where wild flowers were abundant. Where was Pavlova when we needed her and her botanical knowledge. Fritillary, dog violets, wild strawberry flowers, primroses. Onward to a beautiful National Trust viewpoint at Jenkins Crag.  The panorama took in the Coniston Fells where Thong was the day before. There was a tarn on the other side of Windermere which no one knew the name of. We later found out it was Blelham Tarn. Retraced our footsteps for a tad then down to a road to a welcome beer stop. We’d been out for 90 mins by then and still hadn’t had the Rambo/Wimp split!!

Eventually the split arrived and the pack split equally. Down down to the valley bottom went the runners and then up up and away from the direction of the Mortal Man. Up a road….along a track…down a track, past Troutbeck Church where the daffs were in full bloom and then up at last to the pub! A fantastic area to hash in and we would love to hash there again Highway….but..

7.66 miles….1514ft of ascent…2 hours 20 mins..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Run No 202: Sunday 4 March 2012

Despite a cool and misty start, following heavy overnight rain, a number of hashers and walkers made the start opposite the old Wheatsheaf pub in Brigham, Nr. Cockermouth.  (Despite the Hon Sex attempts to confuse people by mentioning the old Lime Kiln pub – in the original directions – prior to swift amendment by Mr Sheen).

A brisk start down the old A66 (Low Road) towards Cockermouth, was just a diversion before turning back up Cockermouth Lonning into the middle of Brigham Village.  The grockles from Cockermouth did get distracted outside the village store – looking at the delights through the windows – before a quick reprimand and we had a meander round the village centre before realising that we might be heading on familiar territory for the hare towards Greysouthen.  Sure enough after a quick excursion along back lanes and fields we hit the outskirts of Greysouthen, and then continued to skirt round the edge heading down towards the Bridgefoot / Brigham road again – before shortcutting across the old Brigham / Greysouthen road to come out at Broughton Cross.  Thinking we were heading home, “On In” – after the promise by the hares of a short hash we were surprised to suddenly be heading down Stoneybeck, under the A66 towards the River Derwent.   After a very civilised detour along the riverbank we returned to Broughton Bridge, before heading back to cross the A66 to return to Brigham village

A level route – very welcome on a sunny but crisp Spring morning.  Thank you Mr Sheen.

RUN No 201: Sunday 5 February 2012

Ice, rain and impending blizzards could not keep them away, and 16 intrepid hashers, including 3 guests, assembled at GR294231 at the parking area for St Bega’s church. But where was the hare, and why was he rescued by other hashers driving to the site? Was he lost; was the run so long he  needed help; was he having a swim?   So,  a little late, the pack set off towards  St Bega’s and Bassenthwaite Lake.  A false trail caused some disarray before the trail headed North through woods and fields back to the road and a loop along the shore of the lake. This was the wildlife section of the route with sightings of geese and ducks and a line of muddy waders (ie hashers ). More fields and bog (much thankfully frozen)led to Mire Side and the runners / walkers divide. Runners then headed towards the main road and the run home – or so they thought!  But the hares had other ideas. You can’t have a run without some hills, so instead the route turned North again before heading up the side of the fell. Mutterings were heard  -‘if I find flour on the top of Ullock Pike – I’ll sue’.  A stiff climb to the ridge and Skiddaw was in view. Surely not!  Could it be? The bastards! But it wasn’t. To much disappointment the route levelled off and descended to Ravenstone and another wallow (or is it waddle?) across fields to the cars.  Hares: Slasher and Huggy.

ON ON  Huggy


RUN NO 199: December 2011 Hash Report (courtesy of Cocktail)

Hares Rocky Rocky & Plum Tart

The sun blazed down as the hashers assembled, glinting off the azure blue waters………….. unfortunately these two events happened in DIFFERENT locations, the only thing glinting off Loweswater as the hashers assembled was hail – LOTS and LOTS of hail. Still, hashers being hard souls at heart they leapt from the warmth of their cars and trotted up and down the road in eager anticipation of the start of the hash – or was it to avoid imminent hypothermia. Rocky and Plum Tart explained the rules of today’s hash whilst the assembled hashers looked at the tidemarks of mud just beneath the armpits of the hares waterproofs and universally concluded that this was unlikely to be a COMPLETELY dry hash………… Still a couple of hashers thought that shorts were the best option for the conditions…………

The usual scurry of random activity to find the start of the route commenced and in no time the packs were descending to the stream and then climbing the valley side via a couple of spectacularly muddy fields. Just when the pack had concluded that the route was climbing up to the corpse road above Loweswater, the trail broke right and headed back down the hill! Hashers were mentally celebrating the shortest hash EVER and, more crucially, the attendant extended drinking time in the Kirkstile when the route turned left and headed towards Mosser. By now the hail, or as it had became known ‘hurty dry rain’, was but a fond (if slightly painful) memory. A slithery assent strung the pack out but a well placed fish hook at the top of the climb restored cohesion and the search for the Walker/Runner split commenced.

The runners headed off to the left with some good open running over fields that contained almost 50% SOLID GROUND!! WOW!  A regroup just after a gateway where Midge had sunk up to his chest in the mud re-compacted the pack and saw the start of a section of mature woodland and stream crossings which in slightly more clement conditions would have been truly delightful. Then EUREKA! the pack  made a discovery that has eluded science since time immemorial  - a truly frictionless surface! and just lying there on a wooden bridge over a small stream near Mosser!!! The pack delighted in doing penguin impressions across the frictionless bridge before the route headed down to Mosser and then………..the hurty dry rain returned……………. with a vengeance!

A right turn at least put our backs to the high velocity windblown ice balls and then……. LO a miracle!!!………….. behold in our hour of need!……….  a church…………. In the middle of a field……… with no houses in sight…….. weird!............ as one the pack developed Religion and a deep DEEP interest in ecclesiastical architecture…. which lasted almost exactly as long as the winds were at their peak……….. strange that………….

Leaving our new found religious faith behind us, the pack headed on uphill and re-joined the walkers. By now the weather was clearing and spectacularly atmospheric views of snow (well hail really) covered fells were revealed.

The last fish hook of the day pulled everyone back together and the decent down the Mosser Fell Road started. A couple of well place check backs stopped everyone getting too spread out and the route concluded with a long ‘on in’.

Arriving back at the cars the ‘shorts crew’ both ended up in the lovely warm stream for a ‘legs wash’ whilst others restored vital calories with Hash Tuck.  A short journey to the Kirkstile ensued, where the open fire, great beer and warming food were much appreciated!

All in all a SUPERB route, some spectacularly harsh weather, ground conditions that sank Midge the dog up to his armpits, a miracle AND a scientific discovery all rounded off by a homely pub and some ‘good crack ‘  -  TRULY A MEMORABLE HASH!!

WELL DONE ROCKY & PLUM TART !!!!

RUN NO 198: November 2011 Hash Report (courtesy of Plum Tart)

A beautiful clear sunny day when the hashers left their respective homes but on reaching the start it was foggy  cold and  damp. The hares transport was there but where were the hares? 10.55am….no hares   11..00 am….no hares   11.05am….no hares.  Had the hares mixed up their weeks and were having an extra hour in bed? So at 11.10am and still no hares Huggy decided he was tired of waiting and having found a blob made a call of ‘On On’ and the pack was off!

 A gentle uphill start through the woods to the Forestry Commission offices. The pack was hoping for an ascent of Sale Fell thinking that a cloud inversion would be brill….but… then a sharp right back to the road by Routenbeck.  Along the road and down through Riggs . Jo and her collie Binsey were on their first hash. Binsey was impeccably behaved and we hope to see them return.  After a few fields the fog was clearing so the crossing of the A66 wasn’t too dangerous… Along towards Embleton then back over the A66 to find….. yes….a hare …in fact 2 hares…in a BMW.  Now I know we decided at the crisis meeting that Hares needn’t accompany the pack.  But I thought that was by foot….what’s the ruling about accompanying the pack by motorised transport? Down Downs!

Anyway…through a few fields and back to Wythop Mill…up the road by the side of Ling Fell then down and up over the shoulder of Sale Fell… plenty of regroups along the route TO KEEP THE PACK TOGETHER.  Down the road what we’d come up hours ago to the Pheasant where Slasher, Jo and Plum took a short cut through the back garden..

A beautiful route….6.45 miles (about)…  1070ft of ascent (about)…90mins (about)..

Apparently the hares when laying the trail had got lost in the fog!!!   No Comment!!

30 May 2010 Kelton Fell
Hare- Happy Sac

The heat of the previous weekend had left us and on a bright but breezy morning
the six faithful hashers and their hounds assembled near Kelton Fell with an air of
trepidation. We need not have worried- Happy Sac was there trying to make amends
for not turning up last time he was a hare. This time he made sure he was there an
hour early and was just finishing his lunch when the pack assembled. His relief was
obvious when he found out there were no walkers so he did not need to dash off and
complete the walker’s route.

I was good to see the return of Alistair (Scar foot) and his four legged accomplice
Scar face both fresh from the wars. Mitch the Pirate greeted his new pal with a quick
sniff then totally ignored him , having been upstaged by Scar face’s speed.
Any flour and you are on was the instruction so after a quick sprint along the old
mine road at Harris Side we slowed to a walk up Low Pen and High Pen. The ‘we’ did
not include the Scarred ones who had both sprinted up to the top of Blake Fell where
the stupendous views included the Isle of Man and Robin Rigg which was powering
our homes and recording the England-Japan match. Some things just aren’t worth it.
Happy Sac conserved his energy by not accompanying the pack, having nominated
Highway to be sweeper upper. He appeared magically on a bike with a Beer Sac at
Sharp Knott. San Mig as never tasted so good.

Refreshed and gassed up, life was near perfect on a downhill trot to Cogra Moss. A
few well placed checks confused the pack allowing Scar Foot to make a break away
up hill back to the mine track. At this regroup Plum Tart discovered a couple from St
Bees who had hashed in Kuwait, but somehow did not seem to like he look of us.
Happy Sac tried to encourage them to Google us before pointing us back to the start.
A few Geordies en route were a bit suspicious of the floury trail and were not happy
that their dog had been eating it. They eat stotties and pease pudding, so what’s the
problem? A jog down the hematite road brought us back to the start where Layby
was doing the sensible thing relaxing in the sun.

With either football or work beckoning there was no pub outing and the June hash
weekend was agreed to be cancelled. Mr Aphrodite was conspicuous by his absence,
having sent a sick note with Mrs Thong. The older hashers amongst us might have
recognised much of the route which had been used many flour bags ago. This is a
great area for hashing- the Western Lakes at its best. That is without Grockles.
Thanks to Sac for a good, well marked route. Next month should be a bit flatter for
the whimps amongst us. You know who you are as they say in the Baftas.
Rocky


Whinlatter – 28th Apr 2010
Hares- Rocky and Plum

Had 2 write-ups through this month- thanks to both Highway and Thong!

The Case of the Disappearing Birthday Cake

 What a great occasion!

Two birthdays in one hash and a Darling Run at Darling How with Darling Hares?What’s more we had a VIP visitor from Glasgow named Assualty Dog who was perching run-less in Ambleside and looking for the nearest hash. Who could disappoint her?

Apparently many people could as only 8 hashers and one dog turned up, including the hares! The turnout was:
Hares: Rocky Rock, Birthday Tart and Mitch the Pirate making 8 legs in all.
Hounds: Birthday Thong, Huggy, Slasher, Doc and Highway.
Visitors: Assaulty Dog
Walkers: None
Non-Walkers: Layby

The huge crowd set off through the pinewoods searching for the trail and immediately got lost. No flour here! Check back and remember not to follow blind Huggy! Flour found at last so it’s up through the woods and more woods and more woods until we couldn’t see the trees for the woods. There were the usual ups and downs and as usual there were more ups than downs. (How can that be? Hashing disobeys the laws of Physics!)

The hares had set a marvellous trail and another for the walkers, so half the trail was unblemished and is available for future hashes if anyone is interested. After several hours of forest bashing we reached a clearing in the forest where champagne, beer and birthday cake had been promised for an expected turnout of thousands of hungry hashers.

The beer was there but the cake had vanished – stolen by persons unknown in the mere five minutes since the hares set the run. The only clue was a dead fox found nearby. Where had the cake gone and had the cake poisoned the fox? The plot thickened! All the birthday hashers sadly drank their beer while contemplating the unfairness of life, then Huggy emerged from the thick undergrowth having consumed all the cake himself, thinking it was all for him. The only good news was that he was in roaring good health, so it was obviously safe to eat the cake. Fortunately it was a very large cake, so there was some left.

We all scoffed the remains then ran very slowly off with full stomachs to resume the search for the trail.

Walkers’ loops omitted, we walked together back down the runners trail and finally reached home to find more cake, more drinks, and a welcome trip to the Coledale Arms for more food and drink – in case we were hungry.

A brilliant trail and the forecast wet weather never came, so brilliant weather too.

A pity about the poor turnout!

On On to the next birthdays,

Highway

Followed by...

A dubiously elite gathering of rejects from the London marathon assembled at the Darling How car Park Whinlatter in weather that could only be described as not as good as the last fortnights mini heatwave, as the hares managed to find the only dull day in a traditional glorious Lakes Spring.

The gathering had far greater significance being the occasion of the joint birthdays of two of the younger Hares, how the earth must have trembled on that auspicious occasion 40 plus years ago.

The event was equally remarkable for the lack of any walkers, was it the fear of birthday presents, birthday cake or maybe gate crashing another major running event that day. The result was that the day assumed Olympian proportions in the absence of the Hashgroupies.

In anticipation of a beetroot/garlic/sprout birthday cake at some point in the proceedings the mob charged off into the Lorton fells & up the obligatory first hill. The Pack was strengthened this week by Salty dog from the Glasgow Hash who didn't look the least bit salty to your correspondent, & good ole Highway from the Looney Valley Hash.

Plenty of woodland trails fences to clear & streams to cross but sadly no water holes for Huggy's traditional maniacal dip, Whinlatter is certainly fertile Hashing territory & with Muscle's eccentrically markings the pack was able to keep together & even manged a smile or two.

To mark this auspicious occasion a beer & birthday cake stop had been organise by the poxy lady with the goodies secretly hidden away in a hidey hole which would never be find by anyone, including Muscles who had hidden them in the first place. Shock horror says Muscles they've gone, meaning he couldn't remember where he had left them. Probably nicked by those pesky bikers we saw ten minutes earlier - if I ever get my hands on them etc. etc. And then lo! a miracle, the goodies appeared under a completely differant but thankfully not burning bush. Poor old Muscles, beginning to lose it we thought until a mischievous Huggy emerged from the shiggie with a triumphant grin on his face, will he ever grow up. The beer was opened, a remarkably traditional & delicious chocolate birthday cake was ripped apart & all was sweet in heavan.

Some more soggy bits followed as the pack blundered around Darling How until arriving at a check were a big decision was required, do we take the trail extension for another half hour of ecstatic pleasure or take the short cut back. Five minutes later the pack arrived back at the car park after a good 75 minute yomp. Just long enough to be fun in some really good hashing territory right on our doorstep, we really should run there more often.

On On was at the Coledale where there was a depressing lack of birthday cards or presents for the anniversary couple but the company & the beer where the best presents anyone could ever ask for, still, a pressie wasn't too much to ask for was it??? .

ONONBirthdaythong

Kirkstone Pass/Inn – 28th Mar 2010
Hares- Highway and Chemical Ali
Hello peeps, Baldbrick here, scribing as instructed by our wonderful, gorgeous GM Twisted, bless her holey socks.
 If you have never been through the Kirkstone pass then I recommend you do soon, what rugged beautiful terrain it is. The hash, we met at the car park at the Kirkstone Inn, and were joined by 8 hashers from Cockermouth. A freezing gale was blowing so we were keen to be off. Highway told us about the run and the markings and what dangers to watch for, at least I think he did cos he mumbled something. I have just remembered that within 5 minutes of arriving at the car park Upperskirt fell on her arse gouging a chunk out of her hand and bruising her elbow, crash number 1, Off we went over the road and up a BIG hill, near the top we were on all fours and in danger of being blown off the edge, it was whilst on all fours that the hash horn decided to swing round on its string and bash me in the bollocks nobody noticed because we all had tears in our eyes. On the top was a viewpoint and if it had not been so cold I could have spent ages enjoying the views. Down we went from this lofty spot, into tne valley beyond and then what seemed like miles of running on a wet bath sponge, in this soggy valley one of the Cockermouth hashers went a right cropper just in front of me, and I can tell you rather him than me, shortly after this Sir Tom Tom went on his arse big style and he exclaimed oh bother or words to that effect. at the end of this boggy valley was a bit of rosd running and then the beer stop. I must state that up to now the marking had been relatively good, nobody had gone seriously wrong, but that was all about to change. Highway thew in one of his famous highway spanners,after the BS there was to be a wimp rambo split, when we finally arrived at said split after much milling around in huge field, Rambos went over the wall and up the hill, I and Upperskirt,Tom Tom and Bitter, all being a bit under the weather decided to wimp, but almost straight away lost the trail and were caught up by the Rambos coming back down the hill before we got anywhere, the Rambos passed us and tried to find the trail that we missed, so we said sod that and headed for the road back to Kirkstone Pass and the On Inn and after a while found the trail by pure good luck, we were at this point well ahead of the Rambos but that did not last long and they beat us back to the pub. The Cockermouth walkers had gone straight back up the road from the BS to the pub and were in there already half cut, no circle was held so all sinners went unpunished. The On Inn was ace with good Cumbrian local Ales and good Pub grub, well mine was great. Good day out, great scenery,gods country, nice one Highway and Chemical Alley, pity about that last big field I thought we were done for in that one. Our friends from Cockermouth were Mr Sheen, Sloppy, Santiago, Brother Henry, Cocktail, Happy Sack, Cuddles and Pavlova. If I have missed anything you must forgive me, as I said earlier I am not very well at the moment and have dosed myself up with medicine from Scotland and it is starting to take effect, HIC. Goodnight all, my pillow is calling.
Yer auld mate Baldbrick.  ON ON.   

Calebreck – 28th Feb 2010
Hares- Santiago and Brother Henry

February Hash News – I wish I’d brought my toboggan!

It’s both a leap of faith and an insight into what goes on in somebody else’s head when someone sets a hash for the first time.  This time it was David and Santiago that bravely ventured forth into the Caldbeck Fells armed with little more than a bag of flour and a sense of adventure.

David was clearly straining at the leash to set off on time – as it turned out, this wasn’t so much driven by a mania for punctuality, but rather the fact that he knew fine well that if we didn’t get a shuffle-on we’d need the OS Map for Caldbeck in Braille to find our way home, such was the adventure that he had in store.

Usually when a hare tells you, ‘bye-eck, I was up at 3 O’Clock in’t mornin’ setting this trail’ you instantly know that (a) it’s a wind up, and (b) they have a fascination with Hovis adverts of the 1980’s.

However, when it’s a new hare you never quite know whether to believe them or not, and so it was when David started telling us that he set out at 8am, at which point the runners nervously looked at each other, as if to say, surely it’s a wind up…no really, I really hope he’s having us on!

The runners brief started with a speech, the like of which Laurence Olivier would have been proud – indeed, it was a scene from Shakespeare’s Henry the fifth – it goes something like, ‘and if you’re mad enough to run for over 2 hours through knee high snow, then you shall be my brother etc.’  Standing there shivering looking up at the snow clad fellside, I must admit to wondering whether brotherhood is all it’s cracked-up to be, but it was really compelling stuff, so off we went.  Oh’ by the way, this performance surely merits a hash handle of ‘Brother Henry’…

Anyway, we started from the cattle grid at Calebreck (note: not Caldbeck).  It was yet another snowy hash where we tested the visibility of flour to its limits and beyond – it was ‘two blobs and you’re on’ and both Happy Sac and I headed upwards on separate tracks (hashes nearly always start going up don’t they?), and having counted one blob in 200+ metres of climbing, we both started looking across at each other as if to say ‘have you given up yet’.  Brother Henry finally called us back and we headed north west on a gradual incline through sodden reedy fields – we’d barely been out for 10 minutes and ‘trench-foot’ was already taking a hold!

Finding blobs of flour on low lying fields mottled with snow proved to be somewhat of an art form – indeed it called for tracking skills that Ray Mears would be proud of since the footsteps were more visible than the blobs, unless you’re of Eskimo blood and have eleventy twelve different shades of snow that you can tell apart.  In a way the tricky conditions were a bit of a blessing, yet again we had a ‘proper runner’ in our midst - Peter from Cumberland Fell Runners had joined us, and thankfully, rapid progress was hindered by the need for close attention.

We continued to ascend and the snow became thicker and a few snowballs just had to be launched, well it would’ve been rude not to.  Being the Caldbeck fells, we weren’t exactly having to squeeze through the crowds, but it does have a wild beauty about it, and I’m sure that had we been on Latrigg, we wouldn’t have been met with the fine spectacle of a hare in full flight at such close quarters.

Having been on the go for a good three miles or so, and still heading away from the start, it was dawning on us that this really was going to be a long one.  It must be down from here?  But Brother Henry had different ideas, at this point I think Happy Sac’s dad Barry (Daddy Sac?) was wondering if he’d rather be back in the flatlands of Bedford!  But the five brothers departed the security of the pleasant track we’d found ourselves on and headed directly up the seemingly ever steepening sides of the fell – in the general direction of High Pike I think. [Shortly above chez Huggy and Slasher who had the good sense to leave Cumbria for the weekend] Spirits stayed high though, there were clear views out towards the Solway and the pace of ascent was keeping us warm enough despite the snow.  Finally, at around 1,400 Ft, we stopped ascending (directly anyway) and started a traverse in the general direction of Calebreck which was actually very pleasant especially after having climbed for so long.  The snow was knee deep in places and we moved at quite a respectable pace, with Brother Henry pointing out at one spot that just over the brow we’d be able to see the cars…sounds a little thing, but after miles of running without really knowing where you’re going it never fails to be uplifting to simply see your car parked in the valley below.

Peter picked up the pace down the fellside towards the cars with myself and Brother Henry in pursuit.  It was great to be greeted with a little round of applause and some beer on arrival back at base, and it was impressive that David (now Brother Henry) had set this epic route earlier that morning, and had the stamina to do it all over again.

All in all, this hash (for runners at least) was not one for the ‘softy hasher’ and I’d judge it as a great success.  Thanks go to Santiago and David for entering into the spirit of things and setting this hash, and we hope it will be the first of many!

Mr Sheen (aka Jock Strap, and formerly Clint)

Nannycatch Road, Wath Brow – 31st January 2010
Hares- Mr Sheen, Sloppy & Topoff with creative planning from Unhappy Sac

Prologue
VERY big thanks to Mr Sheen, Sloppy and Topoff for stepping in to set the route as I'm not sure I would have managed to hop all the way round that...  and thanks to the hashers for going round hareless to spare Mr Sheen a 2nd lap running.
Hoppy-Sac (Armchair mastermind)

Volume 1
A week earlier, ‘Sac and Sheen Esquire were doing the recce’ for the January Hash – it was really Happy Sac’s route, and I blindly followed uphill, down dale and into the depths of Fangorn Forest – you get the picture.  We had a lovely day out, but if you asked me to do the same route again by myself a week later, I’d be struggling to get it right.

Sure enough on the eve of the hash, the phone rang and Top-Off explained that Happy Sac had done himself a mischief in the metatarsals and I’d have to set the trail because no other poor sod knew the way…if only I did know the way.

Sloppy and Top-Off joined me to set the walkers route and poor Happy Sac was left alone with two antisocial cats and no beer…because we took that too!

Anyway, the trail setting started well enough and as we crested the flanks of Dent, a quick phone call to Sad Sac (well he must have been a bit down on his lonesome etc.) clarified the location of the walkers split.  So once split I trotted along on the runners loop, only to get slightly lost in Fangorn Forest with not a Hobbit in sight to help steer me clear of the swamp, and Top-Off was the only one of us with ‘comms’.

Having spent 15 minutes contemplating 5 different alternative routes, I finally made my mind up on which was the right direction, and decided that I’d better get a move-on since the hounds would be gathering.  Eleventy-twelve miles later I arrived back at base (10 minutes or so late!) feeling slightly bedraggled and with frost starting to form on my buzz-cut – at least the hounds were still there though.  No sign of Liz and Di a.k.a. ‘Slop-Off’ – true to form they’d got ‘proper lost’ until they finally picked-up the flour trail I’d laid and got back to the car park well after the hounds had left.

You may by now be wondering why I’m scribing all this drivel and I haven’t written a shred about the Hash itself yet.  Well, I felt so exhausted after my efforts to run back in walking boots, that I decided to take the walking option with Santiago and Sky the dog.

By all accounts, the runners had a fantastic time until making the mistake of welcoming along a pukka fell-runner who was glad of the company – apart from our very own super duper athlete ‘Rockington Rock’, there were several of our number having flashbacks to scenes from the Moscow Olympics with Steve Ovett straining every muscle to stay on the heels of Sebastian Coe.

The route worked-out well though with runners and walkers converging within sight of the cars – good planning Happy Sac.

Thanks to Ian for planning the route, and for having the generosity to donate, not only his other half, but his beer too!

Mr. Sheen

Volume 2
What better thing to do on a bright icy morning than to go on a scary drive through the township of Frizington and the wilds of Wath Brow to the hash starting point. The hashers assembled at the entrance to the forest, but where was the hare? By 11.20 the pack was getting restless and was about to set off when Jock Strap appeared sprinting from Flat Fell. The nominated hare, Unhappy Sac had sustained a hash-reccying injury and had to endure a day of pampering with his foot up watching Andy Murray. Such is life.

 Strap doubled the walking pack joining Anita Santiago and the hareless pack set off through the forest of the Dent Massif. Just below the summit the runners collected Alistair, an unsuspecting runner and Nip his cross terrier who both proved to be ace checkers. The trail wound down to Uldale and after an absence of flour (saboteurs?) [suspect check dropping down to stream missed?] and much confusion, the runners joined the well marked walkers route in the sunshine.  Another new hasher, Poppy the Labrador enjoyed her first hash and was kept on trail following the drips of blood from Rocky’s nose. The route headed back through Nannycatch to the starting point where Liz and Topoff had just finished setting the walkers route. We were very close to having CH3’s first live hash. If the runners had known this they may have a few less regroups, or perhaps a few more!

 The stand-in hares excelled themselves by setting a route at short notice from a map which they had not reccied, not to mention the good choice of beer at the end. Topoff cast some doubt on her hash name by providing a bottle opener rather than using her traditional method.

 A good route with spectacular views of the fells, Isle of Man and Sellafield. If you were not there you missed a treat.

 More hare volunteers urgently needed for the rest of this year. Contact On-Sec.
Rocky-Rock


Run 175 – Cockermouth
Hares – Half-Dome and Miss 
Demeanour
The December Hash that was sort of the January Hash too?

I don’t think anyone expected this Hash to take place in Cockermouth after the recent floods and associated devastation, but strangely, with the onset of our very own mini ice-age, it became one of the few viable options for all manner of different reasons.

Starting from behind the Bitter End, there was little problem getting the hounds moving – standing about in sub zero temperatures for too long would have left us quite literally petrified in a tales of Narnia sort of style.  It took a little while to find the trail, and at times wondered if flour was really the best thing to be using in a white-out?

Luckily, Miss Demeanor had the foresight to use some red food colouring which worked a treat, although on a very quiet Sunday morning in the back streets of Cockermouth, there were a few places where the casual onlooker would have assumed there’d been a gruesome stabbing!

The group stayed together very nicely, which must have been something to do with the fact that any more than gentle jogging speed was likely to result in some fairly balletic slip avoidance techniques.  Having said that, there was a point where Highway and I were in danger of getting lost, but surely the Hallmark of a proper hash is that at some point someone starts to contemplate wandering up to a total strangers front door and asking “I don’t suppose you’ve just seen half a dozen people wearing dodgy Ron Hills running in the general direction of a Pub?”

I’m far too lazy to get the map out and interweave street names and geographical landmarks into this brief, but what I can delight in confirming is that the refreshments stop at Chez Reuters (sounds like it should be listed in Les Routieres) was of the most spiffingly excellent variety.  Deliciously hot Mulled Wine and mince pies were served, and generous seconds might I say…

It’s amazing how an interlude like this (and imminent on-in) lifts the spirits, and I’m sure I speak for many when I say that this was a great antidote to the Cabin Fever that tends to set-in over the Christmas period.

Many thanks go to Miss Demeanor and Half Dome for not only pulling this one together, but for making it a great success when it could all too easily have been called-off.  Thanks must also go to those who braved the ice and snow. [...although it was still 'Shorts Weather' in the Happy-Sac Handbook]

Mr Sheen (ironically, writing from a very dusty house). 
[So "Hoovering" was a euphemism then...?]


Run 174 – Embleton Church
Hares – Rocky-Rock and Plum-Tart

With the flood water subsiding, a determined group of hashers arrived at Embleton Church, with my personal commitment to shorts offering a goose bumped preview of Christmas turkeys to come...

The pack set off meandering vaguely uphill, with the hare only getting slightly lost- as ever the sign of a quality route.

An early split had brought the runners back up with the walkers in time for a check over a small, but cold looking stream. Much standing about with craned necks left the memorys of plunging through the River Duddon firmly behind. Eventually, Thong bit the bullet and risked a wet ankle for a lead, which proved fruitful.

A further split found the runners taking the steepest possible line up Ling Fell, slowly levelling out as the pack fanned out to find flour. A welcome descent back down to Wythop Mill, saw the walkers once again caught, and once again, the walkers provided little help in finding the route, wandering off in a likely looking direction deep in conversation. Flour was found on a well hidden footpath through an immaculately manicured garden, the On-In was beckoning.

Another demonstration of the power of the recent deluge was seen as a tiny stream had punched a large gulley underneath a road scattering tonnes of earth over a field.

The pub at Embleton was descended on, with a disappointed Mitch-the-Pirate confined to car, even after having been round the route twice. 

A thoroughly enjoyable run over terrain that I only normally see from the A66!
Happy Sac

And Highway's write up that got lost in the post....
Run 175 –Embleton Church- part 2
Hares – Rocky Rock & Plum Tart

Having regretted missing being thrown out of the Shepherds Inn last month because of a prior Hashing engagement in the wilds of Wensleydale (for which please refer to my account of the Rainbow Run at Askrigg on the rival website: www.lvh3.org.uk ADVERT), I couldn’t miss the next CH3 run, even though the TV weather man was telling me that the whole of Cumbria was permanently closed until further notice.

I looked out of my window in Windermere and saw no floods – very much as Nelson saw no ships. There were certainly no ships outside my window, so off we went to Embleton.

Unlike the fun I had the previous weekend, there were no exciting pools of water for me to splash my car through, so: no shiggy for cars, then!  What about hashers? 
Yes, plenty!

Instead of setting an underwater run with frequent river crossings, the hares had made a last minute change to their route, so they told us, and no swimming would be required. So off we set!

True to their usual form the hares sent us straight up the nearest Wainwright. Walkers managed to short-cut the easy start and got ahead of the runners somehow, then it was uphill and uphill and uphill again for everyone, while the higher we climbed, the worse was the weather.

We could see fine sunny weather over the distant Scottish Bens, but wherever we ran, there were the last of the hailstorms. Cumbria’s record breaking November was keen to continue right up to the end of the month.

Then, just to cheer us up, was a split, with an easy downhill stroll for the walkers and straight up the fellside for the runners at the usual 1 in 1 slope.

I have no idea how many runners and how many walkers we had, my glasses being drenched in fresh sleet, but somehow I found flour and finally the slope ended and down we went.

Then suddenly we were on flat ground and the front runners were searching vainly for the On Inn. Arriving late at the final check, I overheard the hare mention a finger post just yards away, so I checked it out and there was flour, all the way home to Embleton Church.

So we repaired to the nearest pub to worship beer as we do every Sunday.

On On to 2010

Highway

Run 173 – Little Salkeld
Hares – Doc and The Thong
After the successful Duddondale tour in June, CH3 hit the road again for another foreign sortie, deep in stockbroker belt Eden Valley (stock as in cattle, horses, ponies and other expensive livestock). This time it was only for the day, the pressures of being on the road, non stop barbecues and honeymooning couples having taken their toll on the predominantly ageing band.

It was billed by the hares not only as having their first walkers route but also one that took in some old ruins and national treasures. I was fortunate enough to chauffeur 3 of them (national treasures, that is, for the avoidance of doubt) to Little Salkeld. We were expecting a thin turnout what with the distance and all and the siren call of the Cumbrian Run but there was a healthy contingent setting off from the Green, numbers swollen by Anita Santiago’s complement of little Indians and the last minute arrival of Happy Sac and Mr Sheen, domestic duties done.

An inadvertent hint from Thong after a cunning query from Godiva set us off anticlockwise towards the first of the landmarks, the impressive stone circle of Long Meg. Flourescent Ron Hill gear rather spoiled the mystical atmosphere for a few happy snapping grockles before we on on’ed towards a fiendish check by a church, where tiny blobs of flour has been balanced on top of very thin fenceposts.

After the split, we were on intermittent markings as the previous night’s rain had laid waste to Doc’s hard work the afternoon before, but the odd blob of flour remained to give us hope. We eventually turned off road into pheasant heaven. There were hundreds of them running around - this was probably a sanctuary as there was the sound of heavy gunfire not too far away. It was a measure of the average speed of the pack that the birds managed to keep ahead of us for some time - on foot. One particularly incompetent beast suddenly remembered those wing-type things and thought that might be a more effective means of escape. Mirror, signal, manoeuvre. Up it went. Straight into an overhanging branch. It dusted itself off, looked around to say, ‘I meant to do that’ then ran straight into a fencepost. Why waste ammunition on them? Sooner or later they’ll top themselves and land in your lap of their own accord.

Kirkoswald Castle and Frenchman’s Hill (smelling strangely of elderberries) soon passed in our Cooks Tour of East Cumbria, and we trundled along the road to the river and a regroup with the walkers pack, somewhat earlier than the hares had anticipated. Miss Demeanour opted for a change of pace and yomped along with the runners for the remainder of the route which included a delightful detour into Lacy’s caves after some of the most treacherous duckboards known to man. 

A redistribution of national treasures saw us arrive at the Shepherds in a strange combination of vehicles. An underwhelming Sunday lunch was salvaged by a stunningly good banana cake, whipped up by Plum, in short notice in honour of Miss Demeanour’s birthday.

Not exactly the Royal Geographical Society but a fine foray into uncharted territory. We should get out more.
Half Dome

Run 172 – Cockermouth
Hare – Mr Sheen & Happy Sac

The word on the streets is that on Sunday 27th September,  Police were inundated with calls from confused Cockermothlians.  Apparently, a herd of brightly coloured ‘randomers’ had decided to hang out outside the old Grammer School and were casually daubing graffiti on the pavement and there were also allegations that Jams and Chutneys were being illegally traded from the boot of a car…what an outrage!

It didn’t seem to matter how hard we tried though, the ultimate Hashers badge of honour (the ‘ASBO’) had eluded us once more.

The fun began well before the pack set loose though.  Happy Sac and I had set off to lay the trail, and in a place like Cockermouth, I can assure you that even the slightest dab of flour attracts suspicion – the tell tale signs of twitching net curtains were certainly in evidence.  When asked by one of the many dog-walkers ‘what are you doing?’, Happy Sac replied with a polite and sensible answer ‘setting a trail for a run’, to which I couldn’t resist adding ‘…why, did you think it was Banksy?’ 

Anyhow, after worrying countless dog-walkers and do-gooders, the pack was set loose – but those tricksy hares had already created mayhem by not marking the initial check with a circle…this was to set the tone of the Hash since Happy Sac was on flour rations, and any dabs that were made were concealed underneath leaves, behind trees and generally out of the line of sight.  Fortunately, our top hounds have a good nose for flour and can smell the Co-op’s finest self-raising from 50 yards.

Having brought a bit of colour and life to Cockermouth cemetery, we headed for the old railway footpath.  The FRB’s were initially reigned-in by a string of devilish fish-hooks, although Leopard-Thong soon suffered a bout of selective blindness.  The pack weaved its way down to the Cocker and into Harris park where the runners were caught-out by the arrival of some of the ‘elite walkers’ – the combination of fish-hooks and stealth flour dabs really seemed to be working – which was just as well since the hares had decided to break from tradition, and out of pure lazyness (and a little bit of mischief) had decided that everyone would have to make-do with a single route.

The walkers and runners soon started to split once we made our way along Brigham Road, and dropped-down through the immaculately block-paved ‘Bimmer Mansions’…we then headed across the river and past the old shoe factory.  Rocky decided that the park toilets would be a great On-In, although the whole detour set some of us wondering about whether this was inspired by the exploits of George Michael, or should that be Baden Powell?

A very pleasing loop through picturesque fields followed, revealing rare vistas of Cockermouth Castle as we trotted through the park, and eventually back over the bridge and through a warren of side-streets which eventually led to a ‘beer and birthday cake stop’ at the Bitter End.  (Thanks to Sloppy for the cake).

The walkers weren’t far behind, but it soon transpired that they’d opted-out of what must’ve been the best part of the last third of the route, but they didn’t seem to have enjoyed it any less for that!

Anyway, that’s all folks…see you in October.

Mr Sheen


Run 172 – Thirlmere (ish)
Hare – Happy Sac

You can tell that you are in for trouble when they warm up first!

It was clear that the usual CH3 pack was going to have its hands full with the bright young things that had joined it for the celebration of Sam’s/Superman’s/Little Lord F’s 30th birthday weekend. (The man with too many names?)

Despite having celebrated seriously the night before, these spring heeled youngsters were tiggershly bouncy and raring to go. It was depressing.

Miss Demeanour started the morning in style, flogging the Nash-Hashing Plum’s wares on a commission basis, and then it was On On. The smart money was on a romp around High Rigg given the start point but we’d have lost, as usual, as the flour took us into the oncoming traffic and over the road towards Thirlmere.

The route disappeared into the woods with the youngsters bounding on ahead. There was a knowing smirk from the older hands as a call of On On was rescinded after detailed forensic investigation showed that the blob of flour was in fact, guano. Hare and Tortoise we thought, they know nothing. A series of fishhook checks kept the pack together as we contoured across the edge of the woods but it was starting to be a worry that the fastest young pup, known as the General (General? Maybe a Sixer at best?) seemed to get every check right.

We hit tarmac on the road up to the dam and then turned off uphill. And boy, was it uphill. According to Memory Map, it was a kilometre of ascent, taking us up 211 metres. By my reckoning that’s in excess of 1 in 5. No wonder Thong had migrated south – even visiting relatives would have been preferable in his eyes. Insult and Injury sprang to mind as the General trotted downhill after another fishhook , saw us gasping and then trotted back up again. 

It was an odd sort of trail as we neared the cloudline. We could just about make out the ridge not far above us but the ascent just kept on going – it was physically impossible to keep going up that far – and a bit like being in an Escher drawing of an endless uphill spiral. 

To our immense relief, we found Happy Sac with his Knappy Sac of beer and waited for the walkers on the old Hill Fort and contemplated the view down Shoulthwaite Gill. It transpired that the walkers were somewhat lost down in the valley and the Hare did his best rescue dog act and went to find them. As the cloud rolled in the runners were already trying to find the route down as the walkers eventually crested the ridge. As they settled down with the beer, it eventually dawned on us that they had come up the way we were to go down. They had carelessly removed all the fixed ropes, pitons and belays required to get up, leaving us to the tackle the precipitous descent unaided. It was a masterpiece of trail setting with flour sprinkled on trees, fences and anything else that was sticking its head above the bracken.

Finally, we reached the valley floor and followed the beck down towards the road, over some ankle breaking territory. A regroup by a bridge saw Themanwithtoomanynames take the plunge, twice, cape and all. Unlike Duddondale a couple of months earlier, there wasn’t the enthusiastic rush to join him this time. Wonder why? Wonder if he’ll make 31?

Walkers and Runners joined up briefly on the On In and Happy Sac trotted past confident of a job well done. Quite how he had set that route single handed, then carried the beer up, then gone and found the missing walkers (OK his parents were with them, so there may have been some sense of obligation) and was still moving, all after the night before, is something of a marvel. One for the annals – a really good’un.

Run 171 – Caldbeck
Hares Half Dome and Miss Demeanour

Well the forecast was lousy and there might just have been a smidgeon of an excuse for staying in bed. Those hardy souls who did venture into the Caldbeck Countryside were treated to a fine run in some new countryside. Fortunately, as we were poaching on Slasher’s territory, the route was new to her as well.

What of those people who didn’t make it? Breakfast in bed, Sunday Papers and overall indolence sounds like a sound plan on a Sunday but… housework? HOUSEWORK?  The message from one of our number that he was eschewing the attraction of flour and damp grass for a thorough going over with the vacuum cleaner did come as a shock – to the extent that Clint, the Jock with no name, is henceforth known as Mr Sheen.

Caldbeck itself is a hashing haven with a multitude of alleys, ginnels, snickets and footpaths so it was fairly straightforward to start the hash with a bit of confusion and it was good that the lone walker, Lady Godiva, picked up the scent first.

After a circumnavigation of the duck pond, the trail finally headed out of the village and into the surrounding fields, Highway to the fore. Whether it was a combination of subtle trail laying or indifferent trail finding, the pack never really got ahead of Lady G and her escort Miss D. It was not unlike those old horror films where the fair heroine was running away like fury and the bad guy plods after her and still manages to catch up.  

Inevitably there was a bit of uphill, justifying Thong’s morning in bed, and just after the walker and runners split, the pack hit the commons beyond the drystone walls and we got the only really bad bit of weather of the day as the wind howled and the cloud drove in for a spell. Route finding on the fell road proved strangely difficult as all the pack ignored the obvious and disappeared towards Wigton rather than turning for home.

Eventually we did turn downhill but the benefits of gravity were offset by the force 10 headwind.  As we descended, there was more shelter and conditions improved. 

The final on in was along the river into Caldbeck, which is as fine a piece of countryside as you could wish for and certainly impressed Happy Sac’s dad who was more used to pounding the streets of Bedfordshire. Somehow he emerged with the handle of Bloody Sweat and hopefully a feeling of wellbeing.

Wellbeing was further enhanced at the Old Crown, where a couple of pints (Sorry Di, it wasn’t a puncture that delayed them for Sunday lunch) did nothing to diminish Bloody Sweat’s appreciation of Cumbria.

You don’t think ‘going over with the vacuum cleaner’ could be a euphemism for something far more interesting than hashing do you?

Run 169 and 170: Duddondale Hash Weekend 26th-28th June 
Hares: Clint cum Jockstrap, Happy Sac, Rocky Rock and Plum Tart

“This is a Hash.  A What?  A Hash!!!”
Well, by the end of the weekend, the good Grockles of Duddon should have been left in no doubt.  Our ‘Hash Weekend 2009’ commenced on Friday at the initially quiet Turner Hall Farm, and we wasted no time in shifting from the planned corner of the campsite (that we thought we’d arranged) until the ‘Farmeress’ informed us in the nicest possible way that we’d been gazumped by a climbing club numbering fifty or so…

Nevermind, ever organised Sloppy had produced CH3 signs, and Happy Sack and I strategically parked our cars so that we could commandeer as much camping space as possible.

We’d heard that the ‘Lune Valley Chapter’ have a run on the Friday, but frankly, that sounded much too athletic for us, so we headed for the Newfield Inn.  The beer was perfectly good, but their speed of service wouldn’t have got them past the first round of Wimbledon…I began to wonder if the kitchen staff were on free Dickie Doodles?

We arose on Saturday morning to cries of ‘Bogeys’ from the campsite’s resident ASBO Brigade…come to think of it, we tried to get to sleep to cries of Bogeys too!  I digress.  As 11am approached, the sky was looking a little murky, but undeterred Half Dome did a sterling job of organising a brief photoshoot of the group who on this occasion were sporting silly hats in celebration of ‘In the Buff’s’ wedding to her other half, Mark – now dubbed ‘Can Can’ due to his Strongbow inspired cowbells.  Superman made a guest appearance too – bet you never knew that he lives in Harrogate and drives an old Passat, but hey ‘Superman’s a Hasher’ so who cares!

The Hash got off to the ideal start, the Hares had just cried ON ON, at which point, two lady fell runners came through the gate asking, “is that your chalk that we’ve been following all the way ‘round?”  Yes, it was, and off went the pack.  Dormouse set a cracking pace – I’ve still not decided whether he’s a really fast runner, or whether he was just desperate to distance himself from Superman, Rab C Nesbit, and the Mad Hatter who were pursuing him up the fellside.  In two shakes of a tiara, we’d trotted up to Seathwaite Tarn, Huggy couldn’t resist the ‘No Swimming’ sign, and frightened yet another shoal of little fishies.  Meanwhile, the runners made their way across the top of the dam where we re-grouped at the far side for a drinks stop…but the twist was, we had to wait for the drinks to arrive.  Can Can decided to take the opportunity to demonstrate his athletic prowess (is that a down, down?) by running back down the road for the booze, but Happy Sack was having none of it, he was happier with it residing in his own sack thank you very much.
[HAPPY SAC- "You would have had to prize it out of my cold, dead hands... and that is before I’d carried it up the hill."]

The booze did indeed arrive though, and three bottles of fizz later we stumbled back down the fell, eventually arriving at the most exquisite plunge pool for a welcome dip…I tried to set a new trend in swimwear by sporting a Tamoshanter and shades which worked out rather well (I wonder if Jackie Stewart ever tried that?), however leaving my electronic car alarm thingy in my pocket was rather less inspired, but it was nothing that a Swiss Army knife and some drying couldn’t sort.

The pack squelched back ‘cross the fells (and down some potholes), and arrived back a Chez Turner Hall (via the Pub) where we set-up the mother of all Barbecue’s.  The torrential rain hissing on the hot coals provided that authentic Cumbrian experience – thanks to Top-Off and Pavlova for doing a fine job in some rather damp and smoky circumstances .  As the rain eventually ran out of rain, Superman decided to share with us a wonderfully silly game of ‘Woozels and Heffalumps’…yet another insight into what Superman must get up to when he’s whiling away those lonely evenings back in Harrogate.

Sunday turned out to be a bit of a scorcher right from the off.  Rocky Rock and Plum Tart were our Hares for the day, and what a fine route they set, especially given that there was left-over flour over half of Duddonsdale.  As the heat climbed, so did the incline, and without map and compass, the group didn’t have a ding dong where they were heading.  The highlight of the hash was yet another very welcome dip in the icy cold river which was shortly followed by an unexpected visit to the Newfield Inn, aka ‘Dickie Doodle Towers’ where we enjoyed al fresco refuelling and inspected assorted bites and rashes.

And so ended another slightly surreal Hashing experience.  Thanks to all who came along and joined in with the spirit of things – hopefully your assorted sunburn, bites and rashes will have died down before our next outing.

ON ON, Clint (Jock Strap).

The thoughts of Rockington Rock Esq.
What a honeymoon! Talk about hot! The happy couple stopped up as late as 8.53 pm one night. The Turner Hall holidaymakers gave a round of applause when the wedding parade clanked past in formation looking for flour. Later in the day he groom showed his true colours by sprinting off to retrieve the booze from the Hare so that he could toast his new bride. He obviously needs some lessons in mugging 6 foot 5 hulks as he returned bottleless. A few more hashes with us should fix that problem.
 There has never been such a well organised barbeque in CH3 history. Half Dome guided the army of 'willing' helpers to erect the gazebo in quick style, showing the benefits of top level management training. The traditional barbeques were put to shame by the modern paper fired smoke machine. Sloppy Hummus got the cooking crew in gear and when the heavens broke Thong protected his sausages with a well positioned brolly.


Run 168: 31st May 2009 - Beck Wythop
Hares: Rocky Rock and Plum Tart

The renaissance of CH3 continued with another fine turnout of Hashers gathering at Beck Wythop, having successfully played chicken with the oncoming traffic at the start of the dual carriageway.

The amphitheatre style car park at the start was chosen specially by the Hares to show off Plum’s chutneys and preserves to fine advantage and a brisk trade was under way as we arrived.

There was a degree of inattention during the Hash brief as Huggy was casting envious eyes at the welcoming waters of Bass Lake, just a few yards away. Attention was regained as the magic words beer and stop were uttered in quick succession and then we were off.

From that car park, it was always going to be up and the only question was how much ‘along’ would there be before the ‘up’ started? We reached some familiar territory from hashes past and made our way up the Bassenthwaite cliffs to the forest road above where the stunning panorama of Bass Lake began to unfold. Just after the trail headed inland towards Ladies table, the walkers route split off down the bluebell valley and for a while there seemed to be no alternative for the runners. Eventually Alistair found flour and we were back en route again albeit briefly as pack and Hare stumbled around in the undergrowth looking for the faintest traces of self raising. 

After much cursing and letting of blood on brambles and specially sharpened branches, a route was found and we were back on forest trails again, mercifully downhill. As we meandered down and rejoined the walkers route, it became clear that this was going to be our triennial dice with death as we ran through the archery range, confirmed by the presence of a crude depiction of said sport rendered in flour in the middle of the trail. A further glutenoglyph showed a man with an apple on his head – admiration for the artistic ability of the hares was tempered with anxiety as to the whereabouts of the bugger with the bow.

Walkers and runners met up at the end of the woods as the trail picked up the C2C and it was downhill to the beer stop, somewhere on the outskirts of Keswick. The distance travelled was soon overlooked as the view and beer together achieved one of those ‘glad I got out of bed today’ moments.

A plethora of markings led to a a degree of confusion after the stop. The walkers actually listened to the instructions and followed a Daley check back, whilst the runners ploughed on regardless, as we do, missing the on in altogether. The walkers then did a sort of fuel protest, blocking all 3 lanes of the path down, before the final jog into the car park.


Run 167: 26th Apr 2009 - Dodd wood
Hares: Doc and Thong 

A motley crew of 11 real & potential Hashers sacrificed the opportunity to gain fame & fortune in the London marathon which, due to a scheduling cock-up, clashed with the April Hash, & gathered at Dancing Gate, Bassenthwaite to participate in the annual 'Dancing with Ospreys' Hash run. Ospreys can be fickle creatures & these little darlings had decided to give up the home comforts of Whinlatter for the excitement of a new pad at Dodd Wood.

This is all very well but this resulted in a serious encroachment into Hash territory & to make matters worse a Hashers exclusion zone was throne around the nesting area. The temptation was to follow non-hash-rule No. 1 & not give a flying thrush about rules & regs. However a distinct lack of bottle, a bit of derring-do & a devil may care 'we'll show em' attitude  was adopted by the Hares in the creation of an Osprey free run.

The pack set off in surprisingly clement weather for the time of year (Spring) along woodland trails disappointingly lacking in the usual top coat of mud & ascending as far as the ring of feathers would permit. It soon became apparent why so many had forgone the opportunity to run a marathon & so avoid an early grave. The pack thundered on towards the old timber mill but were cruelly dragged across Skill Beck & up the steep embankment to the edge of Longside Wood. Naturally a crossing of the dam wall above the mill could not be resisted & having survived this little bit of excitement the pack charged through Mirehouse car park & back into the jungle. A short trespass into Calvert Trust territory was followed by escape over a barbed wire fence which the Hares had thoughtfully protected to prevent Hashers losing their marbles. A quick scramble up the hill led to the Osprey viewpoint & a rollicking from the Ospreygrupenfuhrer for frightening the squirrels & the birdwatchers & which allowed the pack some semblance of dignity in eventually finding someone to upset.

At last the pack discovered mud & enjoyed an extended contour run back to the gate.

This was quite simply a most excellent run in extremely trying circumstances & was a tribute to the ingenuity of the Hares who would not allow a herd of wild Ospreys to put them off their stride.

Onon was onhome to cut the grass & watch the grand prix. Hopefully next year the Ospreys will bugger off back to Whinlatter & leave Dodd Wood for what nature intended, the crash bang wallop of Hashers.

ONTHONG


Run 166: 29th Mar 2009 - Lanthwaite Green
Hare: Ever Ready

A spectacularly fine day brought out a bumper turnout to the banks of Crummock, as the well thumbed book of ‘runners excuses’ got an airing.
 
The On-On brought checking in every conceivable direction to find the start of the trail across open fell. Eventually, flour was found and the tail set off contouring the fell side in the Buttermere direction. Various checks and sheep trails kept the pack together as the trail undulated up the valley.
 
Runners excuse #1: I have a dodgy hamstring and don’t want to put too much strain on it…
Runners excuse #2: Because of ‘recent injury’, I’ve not been out much, so need to keep to a ‘steady pace’…
 
Eventually, the runners and walkers split. The runners had an  impromptu ‘on-group’ waiting for an imaginary hasher some way behind. Despite a hint of frost underfoot, the sun was making it pleasant enough to stand around in shorts and a t-shirt, which was a rare treat! When it finally dawned on us that we should probably get moving, we continued our progress up the valley.
 
Runners excuse #3: Aren’t we waiting for someone to catch up?
Runners excuse #4: I was lagging behind and lost the pack/trail so thought it best to head straight to the pub.
 
The trail eventually headed down into the valley and back in the direction we came, bringing some impressively slippery mud, and a couple of entertaining hash-crashes. At this point, the runners joined back up with the walkers trail, and dropped back down to the road.
 
Runners excuse #5: Wrong type of trainers/mud etc.
 
Another group then brought the pack back together, and across the road into a labyrinth of trails on the shores of Crummock.  At this point, mid pack, I slowed down to a crawl as the back of the pack had gone missing, and hoped that I would be able to assist in helping them find the trail. As I exited the woods towards the On-In, I helpfully informed Ever-Ready that we may have strays somewhere in the woods. As he bounded into the woods after his second lap of the trail of the day to find these strays, I arrived at the cars to find the ‘back of the pack’ had decided to take a shortcut!
 
Runners excuse #6: I’m going slowly to keep the pack together. Particularly effective from the back of the pack, and bonus points for sending the hare on a wild goose chase!
 
Fortunately, Ever Ready (who must be familiar with the book of excuses), realised the error, and headed in before the pack started to panic about delays in getting to the pub for a well earned pint!
 
Great Hash, Great Weather!
HAPPY SAC

Run 165: 22nd Feb 2009 - Portinscale
Hares: Jock Strap & Happy Sac

Was it CH3 or the start of the Great North Run? 
    
A veritable multitude of Hashers converged at Portinscale bridge which gave us a running pack in double figures and a similar number of walkers, boosted by old friends returning and some visitors of ours wondering what on earth was going on.

After a brief Hash intro, which only served to confuse the newcomers even more, we were off. Just like that! I ambled towards Keswick , thinking that the last time I’d checked that path we had just lost young Oliver, all those years ago. The mixture of emotions came back – relief that we eventually  found him and annoyance that the little so and so had wandered off like that in the first place.

By the time that On On was called, the pack was deep into downtown Portinscale and travelling at speed, with Angie and Alastair leading the charge.

Nichol End passed by at the blink of an eye and relief was only found when some philanthropist took pity on us more mature runners by obliterating the trail for a while.  The respite was short lived and we careered on towards the lake, with Catbells becoming a distinct possibility.

A couple of sharp uphills cut the pace down a bit and took us to the Manesty Road, scene of many a Christmas Hash. Those vertical checks up the flank of Catbells  looked promising but we stayed level and trotted back through grockle central (base camp car park for the ascent of Catbells  wearing either: complete brand new kit from Fishers or slingbacks and a pacamac, depending on age and geodemographics) and to everyone’s delight ended up at the Swinside for a mid run libation.

Equilibrium restored it was back towards Portinscale at a canter. The sight of Cocktail and I was obviously too much for a pair of loose (in every sense) sheep who ran away from us as fast as they could. Unfortunately that was about as fast as we were running anyway which presented the world with the unedifying spectacle of two heavy breathing runners chasing two, not altogether unattractive, herdwicks down the road. The glint in Cocktail’s eye and his raucous shout of ‘I don’t fancy yours much’ did little to dispel the illusion.

We parted on friendly terms at the junction (although it has to be said, Cocktail never did ring, despite the promises) and entered Portinscale again by the rear entrance. Most headed left for the Farmers Arms for a civilised end to a strenuous morning. 


Run 164: Maryport Promenade- 25th January 2009
Hares- Half  Dome and Misdemeanour

What a fine day to start the 250th anniversary of Rabbie Burns than to look across the Solway to Burnsland. It’s a shame that the cloud and horizontal rain spoiled the view. The carefully drafted instructions to the start to avoid the road works were ignored by a few hashers who tried their own ‘short cuts’ and arrived fashionably late. 

The weather and thought of Maryport on a Sunday after the night before had not put off the dozen hashers who sheltered in their own and other people’s cars. When Misdemeanour announced that Half Dome was still out setting the route some of us wondered if this was to be a mega hash or if he had been mugged for his valuable flour and chalk. It was in fact to be a carefully planned tour of Maryport’s best tourist attractions and ancient historical sites.

 The route started across the Millenium Gardens and down the Promenade with a following gale. Some desperate runners affected by the wind did an on-in into the public toilets en route before continuing to Bank End. Meanwhile the walkers branched off uphill. Some runners ventured towards the golf course to see if Ever Ready was doing his other Sunday morning activity. After running back south again along a byeway an informal regroup took place outside Camp Farm once Half Dome appeared from the mud allowing the pack to gather. It was a relief to Clint and Dirty Digger that there was no fish hook on this stretch. 

It is worth mentioning at this point that Clint and Happy Sac had entered into the spirit of Burns night with some tartan headwear with Happy Sac having added sunglasses to his Maryport disguise. The Hasher formerly known as Clint has now been christened Jock Strap.

 The runners headed up Pigeonwell Lonning to Camp Road through the discarded cans of energy and caffeine drinks which fuels the local school kids. Spectacular views of the Roman Fort and the Solway gave way to Georgian splendour. After crossing Senhouse Street our route took us past industrial archaeology and pigeon lofts ending on the top of Mote Hill. This was followed by a sprint into the wind along the seafront of Glasson then back along by the Marina and docks.

The runners and walkers merged, split and rejoined in a feat of perfect hash timing by the hares. Arrows near the bridge showed the route back to the start. By this time the sun had come out and whilst photographing the foaming white waves Happy Sac was treated to an early Solway shower. For the hash anoraks among you the runners route was 5.78 miles with 548 feet of ascent- or so says the digi map. (Where was Whingeing Thong? 548 feet qualifies as flat!   Ed)

 This was a classic route around the best bits of Maryport which had not seen flour since foot & mouth year. If you weren’t there you missed a good un.

Rocky



RUN 163 28th December – Rosthwaite 
Hares Half Dome & Miss Demeanour

A crisp cold December day brought out a small yet enthusiastic band of Hashers – the venue was Rosthwaite in the Borrowdale Valley.  Half Dome and Miss Demeanour had set an intriguing route taking us through some magical scenery.  The carpet of frost had turned flour-spotting into a fine art, but undeterred we followed the trail along the River Derwent - a mischievous check had suggested a refreshing morning dip in the Derwent, but since most of us had seen that Derwentwater itself was freezing over, none were intrepid enough to venture further.

Crossing the Derwent, we ascended Lingy Bank with the altitude offering pin-sharp views of the picture postcard valley below.  Then having crossed Tongue Gill, a slippery descent took us to a check point that even the Hare himself was struggling to find – a top tip for the future could be to use wholemeal flour on such frosty outings, but perhaps that would make things a bit too logical and straightforward – this is Hashing after all!

A very pleasant ON ON through Johnny Wood saw several of the runners stretch their legs, but alas, we were reeled in by a cunning fish-hook – we should have known there was something brewing when the Hare dropped to the back of the pack.  Plum Tart was at pains to make sure that Highway didn’t escape the fish-hook though, so the leading runners, having retraced, then slowed to a walk to make sure that Highway had to walk to the back too.

Having descended back down to the road we headed towards Stonethwaite where we met up again with the walkers (nice to see a festive appearance from the Grand Master himself).  Copious amounts of mulled wine, cake and mince pies awaited us.  Unfortunately, Half Dome had suffered a nasty puncture on the way so stayed on to fix it whilst the group pressed on through Stonethwaite and across the beck.  A somewhat ‘balletic’ style was necessitated by the stretches of sheet ice we encountered.  Indeed we later passed some mountain bikers going in the opposite direction and neither Rocky or I fancied their chances.

So having returned to Rosthwaite, we made our way to the Pheasant at Keswick for a hearty lunch.  In the Buff brought along a bag of spare crackers (that’s Christmas Crackers rather than the other sort of crackers just in case you were wondering), and Miss Demeanour treated us to a display of post-hash ‘Turkey’ headgear that Bernard Matthews would be proud of.  Highway’s run of bad luck with hostelries continued – this time the table was reserved, but his trout hadn’t found it’s way on to the order and by the time it appeared some feared that it had swam up-river from Borrowdale just to be there, at least it was fresh though which was more than we could say for the Christmas Cracker jokes,
Clint



Run 162 – The Pink Panther Hash – Dearham, Dearham, Dearum, Dearum de rum de…..
or Highway hits the Road!
Hares: Rocky Rock and Plum Tart

A crisp, frosty autumnal day with the sun glinting off the frozen ground - what better way to spend a Sunday morning than on one of R & P’s adventures in the urban fringe? A feeling obviously shared by a significant slice of the population as an impressive pack gathered by the Went. 16 runners? It was like the start of the Great North Run and not something CH3 had experienced for many a year! There were welcome returns for Two Jugs and Happy Sac plus Chemical Ali and some new recruits. Jan put us all to shame by cycling there before donning her two Buffs for the run.

A healthy (?) pack of walkers assembled as well, all set to explore the dez-rezzes of suburban Maryport. The first part of the trail was set around the nooks, crannies and ginnels of Newlands Park, where all possibility of looking like a macho running group was ruined by the layer of ice over the roads and pavements. Instead we teetered about like that scene out of Bambi, much to the bewilderment of the locals.

At last we hit some open countryside and the chance to stretch our legs. Happy Sac marked his return by stopping to take photos, which can be seen at the link below: http://www.flickr.com/photos/16333334@N05/sets/72157610623905746/ 

They are remarkable for the fact that there is an awful lot of standing around and very little in the way of running going on!

Looking at the map, its virtually impossible to say where we went – there simply aren’t that many footpaths in Dearham. There were woods, rivers, stream, fields and more woods – some bits we did twice and I suspect there were others that we covered even more times.  There was quite a long stretch of road by a farm but I’m blowed if I can see which one it is on the OS.  

It was a masterclass of the Hares’ art, which left us (well me at least) utterly confused and disorientated. A job well  done then!

Finally the running pack hit some familiar territory and jogged the long On In back to the cars. Rocky realised that we were well haed of the walkers, so as our new recuits warmed down by trying to push the cars back to Cockermouth (last picture) Cocktail and I jogged back to meet them to avoid freezing. 

The walkers meantime, had lost Godiva who had taken the struggling Spreadlegs home after having competed a somewhat truncated route, having previously had the virtues of Dearham extolled to her by passing residents. Reports suggest that the walkers pack worked and checked like a well oiled machine.

The real excitement though came at the pub. After transporting In the Buff and her bike to the Belle Vue, and realising the the man with no name was Clint, the party found whatever  seats were available amongst the regular Sunday munchers. All of a sudden, Highway’s negotiations for food and a seat resulted in his eviction from the establishment – a badge of honour that most Hashers would put on a T shirt albeit one that does nothing to fill the void the way that a roast and 2 veg would have done.



Run 161 – Lorton
Hares: No Name, Sloppy, Happy Sack, Top Off, Cocktail 
(and from the sound of it, the cast of Ben Hur – Ed)

Foreign Holiday and Time Travel (all in 2 brief hours).

October’s hash started with clearing out the baking cupboard, of umpteen part used bags of flour. These were placed by the front door for the hares on Sunday morning. The day was clear blue and sunny. Which was strange as the day before a month’s rainfall had fallen. 

I left home around 10.00am with a short stop at Broughton Bridge, to see the River Derwent in spectacular flood across the valley floor. Next stop Lorton with many more minor floods along the way (actually some were quite deep – so I approached Lorton from higher up the valley, towards Whinlatter.)

Met the hares at Low Lorton (none of them had drowned!), but just in case extra hares had been drafted in: top-off, third man/happy sac and cocktail with snorkels at the ready. Fears that the surviving hares would out number hashers were allayed as we arrived back to a fantastic turnout at the start. Talk of thousands of ‘original mountain marathon’ hardened fell runners being stranded on the fells seeming to provide some bizarre motivation?

Sloppy and ‘No Name’ tried to convince two stranded Kendal hashers to join the throng whilst their car was marooned in the valley until the floods subsided but they seemed reluctant to get their feet wet – something that Cocktail would find inconceivable.

The Hash kicked off with a ‘cunning’ false trail to start, leading us to consider the river, which was roaring under the bridge (Cocktail again!) and had caused the nearest property to build defences - perhaps they’d heard that hashers were at large. (No river wading this day though – unless you fancied a white water adventure.) Then it was back the way we had come and off down Lorton Vale towards Loweswater (passing a foreboding road closed sign).

Then left into the squelchy fields, where inspirational checking by the walker’s lead to them to decide that the false trail looked far more appealing than the actual trail, and lead to a shortcut being found. This is the type of ‘Zen Hashing’ that I think we can all learn a lot from. Some eventually trailed back, and others consulted a non-conventional and slightly archaic navigational device – a map ssssshhhh! Luckily this device was foreign to the Hares, and provided no assistance.

Runners were foolish enough to stay on trail. Streams had turned to raging torrents and one could be forgiven for thinking that this was an Alpine rather than Cumbrian hash. Even found an edelweiss (actually it was a thistle covered in flour, the only thing high enough and dry enough to hold flour). Long range and high level flour spotting then ensued.

We headed up Swinside some more than others following a false trail. The trail then levelled off along the valley side with stunning views over the valley no lake – Lake Lorton! towards the sea. Practical geography in action – back 70,000 years to the end of the ice age. At this point the runners noticed that we were one-down. Slasher had taken to the walkers ‘Zen’ approach, and gone missing. Lots were drawn to see who wanted to head back down the hill to search, but fortunately she arrived before this came to blows.

At this stage, the trail was split with the walkers starting their descent back to Lorton, with the runners continuing along the road.

To avoid the monotony of running along the long section following the road, the hares gave a hint that a check that had been passed without investigation might be worth a better look. The hares then watched in amusement as the hashers fell back and checked every sheep trail in a half mile radius, the exception being the actual trail which continued up the road. The walkers saw from a distance, a yellow topped runner heading a considerable distance up the fell side (and then back again!).

The walkers heading down the path (riverbed) back to the valley through High Lorton and joined back on to the running route passing into the churchyard and past a reverent dot of flour on the path. Across the fields and past a large ON IN – the hares hadn’t run out of flour (after all). 

The runners were then swiftly abandoned by the hares, who headed directly to the bar at the Wheatsheaf, leaving the hashers to fend for themselves. Once everyone had found the pub, there were no steins of beer, just good old Jennings, Sunday lunch and a wood burning stove to dry Cuddle’s socks on – poooooh!! Midge was also convinced there was something on the bookshelf – I have since remembered I saw a mouse (well educated) up their years ago.  

Notes to/ from Hares – early Sunday morning good time to spot wildlife – red squirrels, deer and rescue sheep. Plum Tart noted use of wholemeal flour (as well as self raising, plain and strong white bread flour??). Observers eventually have to ask when you have passed them several times laying flour – what ARE you doing? They were rewarded with a practical demonstration several hours later when Cocktail passed them again with runners in tow. We would also like to reassure the Hashers that the large number of Hares has absolutely nothing to do with the pleasant Wheatsheaf pub-garden and the route planning falling on rare sunny days…

A spectacular hash, which was concluded, on leaving the pub, with yes………more rain!  




Run 160: Threlkeld Bridge
The Procrastination Hash – We just didn’t get around Tewitt
Hares: Huggy and The Slasher

Cometh the sun, cometh the Hashers.

A startlingly good turnout over over 20 greeted the first appearance of the sun for what seemed like months. So keen were we in fact,  that we were all there well before the appointed time. Plum’s Bazaar did a roaring trade and it was great so see so many friendly faces after a couple of lean months.

This was a Blue Peter type of run, cobbled together by the Hares from old bits of sticky backed plastic, toilet roll tubes and discarded bits of trail from previous recce’s. There was the usual misdirection at the start, as we (and they) found that Huggy and Slasher were using different marking conventions – this was going to be like playing Mornington Crescent in Braille.

Huggy’s promise of false trails was soon honoured as Cocktail and Mark (the still innominate Mark by the way – this needs to be rectified next time out) needlessly plunged into the Glenderamackin, with the Hares smirking from the bridge above.

The trail was soon found across a waterlogged piece of countryside, generally south towards Low Rigg, Miss Demeanour rolling back the years as she joined the runners until the split. 

We then came to Tewitt Tarn, site of many appalling puns, and then onwards to the Youth Centre. Cocktail enquired of a passing grockle whether she had seen any flour and as she had an honest face we all piled down the (unbelievably false) trail she indicated. Never trust a grockle.

The real route was down the valley side into St Johns in the Vale and then up towards Clough Head and the network of old quarry trails. We competed for space here with a gaggle of Paragliders also relishing the sunny conditions (like Barn Owls they can’t really fly in the wet). 

Runners and walkers came together on the downhill stretch to the railway line. The pace picked up as we all passed some livestock that wouldn’t have been out of place in Pamplona High Street and there was then a gentle on in along the railway.

Brilliant hashing territory, exploited to the full! 

The feeling of wellbeing was somewhat deflated by another indifferent performance from the staff at the Horse and Farrier but nothing can take away that feeling of good company, good exercise and the sun on your back.
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