Today was our turn to be the ‘Hares’ and lay a hash for our cross-country club, The Mendip Hills Hash House Harriers. We chose the Warwick Arms in Clutton on the advice of a friend then set about trying to find a good circular route that hadn’t already been done. The problem was that there were large sections of straight path where very few other paths came off them.
When you’re hashing you want a lot of junctions, so the fast runners can shoot off in all directions looking for the right route, while the slower runners catch up in their own time and don’t feel hurried. If you have long straights with no ‘checking’ then the group can really stretch out and people get separated by quite large distances.
So after one long straight we thought it would be a good idea to add an extra section in the woods, with lots of checks, for those that still had the energy – though we were already at the limit for the length of the run, which is why it was optimal.
The problem arose when we discovered that my markings for the longer run overlapped with the markings for the shorter one – so the fast runners soon found their way out of the woods rather than around it. By the time we arrived at the top with the slower runners, who were taking a short cut, the advance party had already left, so we followed on. However, we were supposed to all regroup and check numbers and this was one of those occasions when you really did need to do that.
It was only at the next regroup that it was noticed we were one down and someone was still running around the woods waiting to meet up with the rest of us. We split up and a search party went back while I went on with the rest of the hash but it wasn’t until after dark that the lost runner arrived back of her own volition, but by that time members of the search party were still trying to find her and we couldn’t find them. A real hash…