NH3 @ The Ship Inn, Benton – 26 Feb 2020

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Okay, you’ve got the idea. If you don’t get the reference you’re too young to drink.

And now here they are! The most haredevil group of hooched-up hashers ever to hash their heels in the A-to-B-sies! R*nners are approaching tonight’s A pub, the Ship Inn, led by The Count Hill Mob in his Bulletproof Beerwagon. Next, Floppy Flopfect in the Sandal Supreme, Pimpus Buzzcut in the Baldwagon, and Pop Pending in his T-shirt and shorts. Here’s the Slippery Slag Brother in his Speed-O-Car. Stalking him is the Gruesome Gripsome and manouevering for the toilet, the Lubri Surplus Special. Late to the line is Max Red Balls in his Chafing Chariot – he’s gone for an early bog break, cunningly crowding out Lubri’s attempt to take a dump. And here we have the lovely Cindy Sinstop, the Hot Harriet of the Hash. There’s still no sign of the hare, Krazy Kuai in his Chinese Chuggabug – and where, we all ask, is the double-zero Totes Totelly with his sidekick Bellski? Up to no good, I’ll wager!

Five minutes before starting time, the r*nners are raring to go and the hare finally arrives. They’re outside for a chalk talk. It looks like delaying tactics – Kuai is introducing new markings, including titty and cock checks where only harriets or hashers are allowed to seek trail. Looks like Cindy Sinstop will have her work cut out for her tonight! There’s also three different colours of chalk, because the halfbrained hare forgot to bring enough flour.

They’re under starter’s orders. The Count Hill Mob has already gone – with his underworld connections he’s learnt the location of the B and blasted off in his Bulletproof Beerwagon on the most impressive shortcut of the year so far!

They’re off! It’s an early lead from Cindy Sinstop as the trail loops right round behind the Ship then back onto the Front Street. Crossing the road it’s Floppy Flopfect, then Pimpus Buzzcut, then Pop Pending simply laughing at the 2º weather conditions. They’re into the back streets where the Slippery Slag Brother challenges for the lead. Out onto Coach Lane they hit the first of the titty checks – all the hashers stand around while Cindy Sinstop goes looking for flour.

“Why, ah do declah! Wheah evah will li’l old me find some li’l old flour?”

Pop Pending invents an idea.

“Let’s have some honorary Harriets,” he lightbulbs. “So Cindy doesn’t have to do all the checking.”

He’s rubber-stamped the Gruesome Gripsome and Max Red Balls. But it’s too late – Cindy has already found true trail and is out in front, heading south! The rest of the Hash skedaddle after her.

There’s a right, then a left, then a right, then a left, then maybe another left. Krazy Kuai has these Hashers all over the show. Onto a stretch of grass where they find a set of balance beams for kids – they’re straight on there. Floppy Flopfect shakes a sandal right off the side. The Chafing Chariot stutters across the steps – sounds like an engine misfire. The Slippery Slag Brother bashes his club across the balance bar, then slips on off. Cindy Sinstop is in last place right now but catches up with a point-perfect tiptoe traverse.

More back streets – another left, a right, right, left, left – these hashers have no idea where they are. FRBs are coming thick and fast, now it’s Pimpus Buzzcut out in front, then Floppy Flopfect, then the Slag Brother. They’re onto a carriageway and suddenly they know what they’re doing – Pimpus is leaving them all behind, they’re steaming along with the Chafing Chariot in last place.

They’re amazed to find themselves already at the beer stop. It’s the Newton Park – the surprise is scintillating, but there’s no hesitation in the charge to the bar. Krazy Kuai is first to get there, but – it had to happen sooner or later! – they find Totes Totelly and Bellski already lying in wait for them!

“Aye, we got here before the Count Hill Mob,” Totes sneers.

“Hhhhhe-he-he-he-he!” snickers Bellski.

The Lubri Surplus Special is propping up the bar, pint in hand. He eyes the r*nners as they straggle in, then goes out for a fag.

This pit stop takes some time. The barmaid almost seems unhappy at how many of them there are, until they start handing over money for beer. Eventually the Chinese Chuggabug is on the move again.

“Two minute warning!”

“We’ve only r*n about a mile,” rumbles Pimpus Buzzcut. “How far to the B pub?”

But the hare isn’t telling. He just points an elbow, and they’re on out heading west.

On the carriageway again with Pop Pending in the lead, shoes straight into the shiggy, Floppy Flopfect dallying behind him.

“These shoes are practically new,” he protests.

“Mine stink of ze shit,” announces Max Red Balls as he slops past in his Chafing Chariot. “Cannot get any vorse…”

They’re on through the shiggy beside the carriageway, then across it to the south. Back streets again, the looming shape of the Freeman Hospital beckoning them to Freeman Road and across to the green above the Dene for a stop check. The Chinese Chuggabug pulls up.

“Check it out, it’s there somewhere,” Krazy Kuai tells them.

There are hashers all over the place. It’s almost as if Totes Totelly had laid the trail – or removed it! But here’s the Slippery Slag on flour and in the lead, following trail down into the Dene! It’s steep and steppy in there, slidey and slimy underfoot. Nobody’s sure who’s in the lead for a while. Pimpus and Pop Pending hold an FRB conference on a humpback bridge to figure it out.

They’re following trail through bushes in almost total darkness now. Here’s a big rock in a clearing – Pimpus has stopped, is he going to bash it into a car?

“Does that say Beer Near?”

Indeed it does! The hashers are hunting around in the brambles now, torches essential. The Chinese Chuggabug is blowing cold-warm-hot as they get closer to… a red placca bag full of beer!

This is amazing, race fans. A simple bag of cans has put a big smile on every face and brought the entire Hash to a dead halt. Totes Totelly has sure missed out on this one. The Chafing Chariot has doused his headlights and is calling for others to do the same; they’re enjoying the starlight in a moment of hasherly love.

Soon the beer’s finished and they’re on out again. Pop Pending is in the lead, he’s found true trail leading – uphill? Between trees? OVER trees?

“Just when we were really starting to like your trail,” puffs Pimpus, “you pull this shit on us…”

The Hash struggle uphill through sticky shiggy including actual tree trunks. The Chafing Chariot is in its element here and flies briefly into first place before hitting an FRB. Then Floppy Flopfect seizes the lead, closely followed by Pimpus, Slippery, Cindy, Gripsome, and Pop. It’s mud and darkness for the next five minutes until they find themselves crossing the little footbridge at the Dene’s north end.

They’re onto Matthew Bank. Max Red Balls has gone the wrong way and is now bringing up the rear. The trail leads them into the back streets of South Gosforth – Slippery Slag Brother thinks he knows the B now and he’s off like a flash. Flopfect’s behind him, Gripsome on his heels, Pimpus and Pop closing in, so only Cindy and the Chafing Chariot follow Krazy Kuai through the cobbled back streets to the correctly-initialled Brandling Villa.

Crossing the line, they find Totes Totelly and Bellski lying in wait for them! What do the dastardly GM duo have in store for our racers?

“It’s okay, I got here first with the beer,” announces the Count Hill Mob. The blessed Bulletproof Beerwagon has indeed won this race, with the Lubri Surplus Special coming in second, fag in hand!

Krazy Kuai pulls a set of bunny ears out of the Chinese Chuggabug. They’re forced upon the incoming hare, Max Red Balls, as he attempts to convince the Hash that he’ll be sober enough to lay trail on Sunday morning. Pimpus then announces the winner of the T.W.A.T. contest – it’s the Chafing Chariot, with the Ship’s Cat r*n for including the Shields Ferry Terminal!

That’s right folks, it’s now official – Chafing is the biggest T.W.A.T. in Newcastle!

Hot Hash House News 1604 – The Badger, 19 Feb 2020

Pub: The Badger, PontelandR*nning hares: Grasshopper & Knee HighWa*king hare: Mary Poppins

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Our hares set us up with a spacious corner in a lovely old pub which is ideally placed for commuters as it’s right under the flightpath of Newcastle Airport. The pub was fine with both dogs and shiggy so the Hash worried not about the promised dark, damp conditions. Not all Hashers had brought torches; the Hares provided ample glowsticks to aid in recognition, particularly of Tripwire.
While Mary Poppins led the sensible detachment the r*nners jaunted along and over some quite big roads, some very muddy fields, and some country lanes which were charming by daylight. Inncontinence did the residents of Darras Hall a favour by relocating a mysteriously-transported road sign (was the wind really that strong?). Five Kuai led the charge through shiggy and therefore got the blame for all the missed FRBs.
On the way into Darras Hall the Hash were buzzed by Serious Athletes doing hill sprints. Nobody seemed to have told them that you only have to go as far as the Hare on a morley.
The Hash all agreed that the house p*rn was some of the best they’d ever seen. Suitably distracted, multiple hashers ran straight past the clearly-marked turn off Middle Drive and were instructed to wipe the drool from their chins as they came On Back.
Scenic carriageway led into the village where another Hash Flash was papped at a distinctly spooky old tower. Several hashers then mistook OBS for Obligatory Beer Stop and went for a half in the Diamond Inn, whilst the more sensible members returned to the Badger for the circle. All in all, an excellent r*n with the addition of a Nigerian Wild Rover (both visitor and returnee) who donated T-shirts!

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Hash stats
Visitors (returning): 1Returnees (haring): 2Hash hounds: 1Hashers with torches: not all
Mislaid road signs: 1  
Giant shiggy fields: 1Falsies in giant shiggy fields: 1Missed FRBs in giant shiggy fields: manyMorleys: 3Serious athletes: ~10Pele towers (vicars): 1Obligatory Beer Stops: 1Very pneumatic barmaids: 1
Next week is a point-to-point r*n perpetrated by Five Kuai Headjob, followed at the weekend by a Saturday Leap Hash Crawl to mark the quadrennial 29th February and a hangover Sunday r*n hared by Bedtime Story and Chafing Bollocks.
On OnCB (with apologies to GH)

The Holy Grale, Durham – 12 Feb 2020

Foreword: in the finest bardic tradition your scribe began the night with a pint of beer twice as strong as he thought it was. Take note – Tonkoat is not Tonkoko, though it is just as nice. The subsequent run was more of a blur than usual. The chalk talk should have been this:

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in fact Frogsporn gave us this…

“Right everybody, thanks so much for coming along to the first anniversary of my virgin Hash. We’ve already found the Holy GrAle so I’m not going to do any Monty Python.”
“Good thing,” said Chafing. “I’m nowhere near funny enough for that.”
“On out is that way.”
“No chalk talk?” asked Kwai. “Hang on, I’m already here, what’s going on?”
“No chalk talk needed,” Frogsporn assured us. “All you need to know is DOUBLE!”
Everyone looked at him.
“Y’what?”
“DOUBLE! DOUBLE!”

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Up Allergate we went, then down to North Road via Sutton. Here we found a check at the foot of a stairway.
“What do we here, Hare?”
“DOUBLE!” screamed Frogsporn.
Up the stairs we went, then up some more, and then some more, until we reached the lovely little bijou battlement on top. A beautiful view of the Cathedral greeted us.

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“Three ways, check ’em out,” said the Hare.
Pimp, Cinderella and Chafing began chatting.
“DOUBLE!”
They dashed off in the wake of the Hash. Playtime was being had by the coffee shop, but nobody did the scribe any favours by falling off stuff.
Next thing we knew we were running downhill through muddy woods with no light. Innconts hit a running check, Chafing just behind.
“D’you want the steep slidey bit, or the really steep slidey bit?” asked the veteran Hasher.
“Think I’ll go the wrong way for a change,” said Chafing. And so he did.
Further downhill lay a three-spot FRB. Three wise monkeys were performed.
“CLEAN THOSE UNIFORMS!” screamed the hare.
“Hang on,” said Treasure Chest. “Does anybody actually know this film he’s going on about?”
“Sure,” chorused all the Hashers and Harriets over 50. “It’s an early Sean Connery.”

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“But what’s that got to do with…” she looked back the way we’d come. “Oh.”
We hit the road on Framwellgate Peth, turned through the grounds of St Cuthbert’s Church. Less Cargo was found on a FRB in the little wooden portico on the other side of the churchyard; the stop check lay not five feet beyond.
“What’s this stop check doing so close to the FRB?” wondered Counterfit.
“DOUBLE!” screamed the hare.
So up Obelisk Lane, then Albert Street, then Back Western Hill we went. The roads got steeper and steeper. By the time we hit Valeside it was so steep even the tarmac had got tired and given up. We were onto shiggy paths again.
“This lovely little tumulus beside us is known as Hangman’s Hill,” Frogsporn informed us.
We looked at the hill, then at the running check.
“Do we..?” asked Gripper.
“DOUBLE!”
Flass Vale woods were very dark, very shiggy, very steep downhill. We all appreciated Frogsporn’s efforts to make the downhills at least as hard as the uphills. After all, who wants an easy Hash?
In fact we hit the longest straight downhill at this point, only scattered tree cover allowing enough light in that we could almost see what we were doing. Halfway down was a fence with stile.
“Shit, that’s barbed wire!” exclaimed Slippery.
Just over the barbed wire we found a five-spot FRB. A lovely opportunity for a Hash catch-up.
“What are you ‘orrible lot doing? DOUBLE!”
On down we went, turning right at the foot of the slope to a check in front of the Kingslodge Inn. Hashers cast about for a while before Omm found flour leading through a back lane past the NUM building. This led – uphill, of course – onto Redhills Lane where we continued to go uphill until we crossed beneath the railway and doddered quickly downwards through the back streets.
Across Hawthorn Terrace Pimp flagged drinks.
“Here we gan,” he said. “Wa*kers have got in here, let’s have a beer stop.”
Seconds later the hare was there.
“This isn’t the beer stop! What are you doing?”
“Which way is it then?” Pimp asked.
The hare pointed uphill.
“DOUBLE!”

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Up onto Margery Hill Lane we went. Trail along this road was littered with running checks promising a shortcut left.
“It’s got to be down here through these allotments,” Kwai asserted.
“ON BACK DOWNHILL!” screamed the hare.
On up the hill we went.
Trail eventually left the road. We found ourselves in the grounds of Durham School, where steep downhills were so dark that, well…
“Who’s missed this FRB?” Pimp shouted. “Premature evacuation!”
“I’m standing about a foot away from it,” Slippery pointed out from his perch on the tree trunk.
“Christ, didn’t see you there…”
After the downwards stagger to Prebends Bridge (where even Innconts was too tired to summon up an innuendo) we began to cross, only to be called back.
“ON BACK!” screamed the hare. “The flour leads…”
Sure enough, we ran a bit further uphill. We did manage a quick break for a Hash Flash.

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This turned out to be the final climb. It led us onto a footpath which fed straight into the back of a pub, Ye Olde Elm Tree. For an olde tree it was pretty packed, a boardgames night mixing with students trying to claim tables for the impending quiz.
“Can ye not stand in front of the door please?” snapped the barmaid at Floppy.
“What’s the problem?” Floppy wondered. “Is she worried the place is too empty, given that the only free floor space is that bit in front of the door?”
A number of hashers had already sacked it off in favour of the Holy GrAle, which was spitting distance down the street. Once the rest of us had finished the obligatory pint we followed on for a very chilly, very brief circle.
“Frogsporn, get in the middle,” said Pimp.
“Aw, what for?” asked the hare.
“HILLS” screamed the entire Hash.

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Epilogue: your scribe proceeded to get pretty much arseholed on strong stout after this point – excellent bar, that Holy GrAle – and had to ask the hare for a map of the run to remind himself of where we’d been. The map came complete with a profile chart.

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If you stretched it out into a straight line it’d be at least five miles…

NH3 @ The One Eyed Stag – 5th Feb 2020

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Next on the floor we have Cinderella and Gripper performing a double routine. It’s the first time for both of them in Newcastle, Gripper’s very first time as a hare; nerves will be a factor here, but they both look very poised, very calm.

As ever, they have to start with choice of bar. They’ve gone for out-of-town, a bold move in February – still very cold out there – but it looks like they’ve pulled it off as that’s a decent turnout, almost 20 in total, most of the usuals along and two dogs, so no slips there. It’s the One-Eyed Stag in Whickham they’ve gone for, not a routine we’ve seen before and a bit set back from the main road, but the beer’s good – full marks for that section.

Now we’re at the start of the r*n. Total concentration from Cinderella here, Gripper’s looking very serious. They’ve started with a running check – it’s a strong opening move, moderate difficulty, not as adventurous as Bedtime Story’s five-ways check back in December, but it’ll catch the judges’ eye nonetheless.

Looks like Floppy and Chafing have gone the wrong way. Apparently Chafing couldn’t even find the bar at first so there’s no surprise there.

They’ve navigated the Front Street and they’re now attempting a right turn – it’s going to take them up towards Chase Park. Oh, and look at that! Very early in the routine and there’s already a Hash Playtime. Perfect execution. Slides, swings – they’re going for the balance bar. Chafing’s slipped! He’s attempting it again but the damage is done, he’s already lost points at the start. Slippery When Wet’s having a try, now Ion Dick, and they’ve both fallen. Now it’s Cinderella – very poised, across in one, no points deducted there.

Gripper’s leading them further into the park. There’s a tower – they’ve set a circle of arrows around it, a very unusual move! Pimp’s hit an FRB next to the tower and he’s just standing there while Slippery, Dick, Chafing, run past him repeatedly. They’re moving on now after the pack – really it was only funny for the first minute or so, they won’t impress the judges with that sort of performance.

Smooth dismount to the Front Street and then a quick series of side streets: Broom Lane, Lansbury, Arthur Cook, Southfield. Five Kuai’s doing something unusual at an FRB, he’s behind the lamppost – jumped out on Chafing, surprised everyone there. Especially Chafing, looks like he’s shat himself a bit.

Looks like a stop check next. Innconts has found the route, it’s a right turn into the woods; he’s very calm at the front as always, even in the dark. Pack is straggling behind and oh dear, they’ve dropped to a walk due to shiggy, that’s going to cost them points.

Now they’re into country lanes and they’re picking up the pace again. Gripper looks very confident here, this is his training ground so he knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s been very sparing with the markings, which will raise the difficulty but could cost him points if the execution isn’t perfect. Luckily most of the Hash have remembered their torches, just a couple of wobbles as they find their way.

The hares have sent them through some extra shiggy – quite a difficult move, it’s led them into a stream, Speedbump’s straight through it but some of the Hash don’t seem to want to get their feet wet, and it turns out Kuai’s got new shoes on! That’s a bad stumble, he’ll see that in his score at the finish.

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Stop check next. Bit slow to finish, the hares did a little headcount there. And now – this is remarkable, Cinderella has called a 360º check! This is unprecedented and very difficult, that hillside’s in total darkness. The judges are holding their breath. It’s worked! She’s pulled it off, someone’s found the flour and it only took about a minute. Perfect execution there, not a wobble at the finish.

More shiggy now, moving along well. Looks like there’s another stream coming up, there’s the footbridge. Stop check here, it looks like they have something elaborate planned; apparently it’s a Geocache, the hares have challenged the pack to locate it. Lot of splashing about, I have to say most of the Hash aren’t really trying, they can’t impress the judges with that sort of performance. Here we go – Sab’s found it, little capsule stuck under the bridge itself, bit of notepaper inside. But nobody’s brought a pen! That’s a wobble which will cost them points, though it’s another unusual and ambitious move in itself.

Did Slippery suggest putting a pube in there? That’s not going to help his score at all.

Dense woodland next, difficulty level staying high. Cinderella’s found a fallen tree and designated it a balance bar – less challenging than the one in the park, Chafing’s crossed it, Floppy’s had a go. Most of the pack have carried on and hit the FRBs scattered through the woods.

Now they’re in the open, roads visible in the distance. It’s another unlit hillside, Misled’s at the front but she’s not very confident about the route. Looks like Chafing’s found it – he’s off towards the fence line. He’s found the check and here’s the double fence manouevre that the hares promised at the outset. Counterfit’s got ahead of them, he’s already over the five-bar gate. The pack take the fence – the hares are really enjoying themselves here, they know they’ve got a lot of points in the bag already.

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Following Sunniside road now, then Whaggs Lane. They’re doing a housing-estate routine here, safe ground after the difficult off-road section. Lots of flour missing here though; looks like the locals have been out trying to scuff up the marks in some kind of mistaken belief that it’ll stop their dogs from getting poisoned or their children from becoming devil-worshippers or something like that. The hares still look confident. There’s a morley there, well executed, just at the foot of a flight of steps.

Pack are starting to ask about a beer stop now – and there it is, they’ve reached the Fellsider. Trees Are’s not sure about the look of it, the words “estate pub” are being bandied about. But they’re all in, no serious stumbles along the way.

Only one barman. Beer’s acceptable. They may lose a mark or two there, depends how generous the judges are feeling. Cinderella’s handing out sweets to keep spirits high. Looks like Omm and Less Cargo are going for a quick dismount here. Beers all round otherwise.

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Now they’re out on Fellside Road, over to the playing fields. More shiggy here, and the trail’s parallel to the main road; Pimp’s noticed this, I think he considers it a flashy move. A check at the end and then on – looks like Sab and Chafing have gone the wrong way as they’re all back into the side streets.

A few quick somersaults and they’re through Glebe Avenue and back to Front Street for the circle. And what a performance!

The circle applauds. Some of the locals are shouting a bit about the noise. What will the judges think?

Well, it’s Totem as GM handing over to Pimp, and he’s called Gripper on his choice of flour receptacle. It’s an orange juice carton, not very stylish, but perhaps appropriate for a virgin hare. High scores all round for the joint effort. Pimp’s raising sartorial issues now, he’s called Floppy in about his sandals and his lack of Hash gear, and then of course it’s Kuai’s new shoes.

He’s drunk beer straight out of them. Perfect execution. A great finish to a great routine. The judges have scored it a 15 – can’t wait to see what else they’ve got in store for us.

Run 1600 @ The Full Circle Brewery

What a privilege it’s been to participate in this crazy malarkey. A bit more than 50 runs in, and I feel like Hashing has changed my life; definitely for the better. Between the friendships, the exercise, the experiences, and the beer, I’m delighted to have spent so much time with NHHH. To think that I’ve missed more than one and a half thousand runs makes me envious; to think that I might see the two thousandth, and beyond, makes me a very happy Hasher.

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Sunday’s run wasn’t the best attended, nor did the weather promise much at the outset: wind and a bit of drizzle greeted the Hash. This of course didn’t matter, because you don’t worry about the weather when you’re going to the pub, do you? Nor when you’re attending a piss-up in a brewery.

The wa*king contingent was unusually large this Sunday, ranks swelled by usual r*nners Ion Dick (bad knee), Trees Are (fell down the stairs), and Mary Poppins (joined in partway through). The r*n attracted some rare appearances: Nickerless was dragged along by the dog, and Kamikhazi showed his face as well. Pop and Treasure Chest were the hares, and between the choice of venue and the trail I’d say they played a blinder.

On out was through the back streets of Byker, teenage stomping ground of Inncontinents. We’d only been going for a few minutes when Hash Playtime was declared.

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This remains one of my favourite things about the Hash. The sheer quantity of daft, childish shit which we chuck in every week makes me inordinately happy. If you stop a civilian in the street and ask them when they last had a go on a climbing frame, they’ll look at you funny and then, as they walk away, a part of them will wonder why it’s such a long time since they did anything like that. And they will find no answer within themselves other than “I’m not allowed”.

Past the back of Byker we found ourselves on the bike tracks near St Anthony’s. By this time (12:05pm to be exact) we’d given up on Five Kuai, so of course he turned up having chased us down for almost half an hour. Kuai’s diligence in being consistently and comically late is true-blue Hash bullshit of the finest sort; good work that man.

The clouds began to lighten as we ran out east, then doubled back west along the banks of the river. I thought I’d learnt a lot about this town and its funny little corners since I began training for races, but Hashing has opened up a whole new world. When the competition is not to run the furthest, nor the fastest, but via the most interesting route, that’s when ingenuity really shines. Pop and TC did so well that Hash Sab didn’t even manage to find any decent shortcuts.

The hares had found some stairs between the diverging arms of the bike tracks. On one of these they laid a morley, about halfway down – followed by another at the bottom. This innovation opens up great vistas of opportunity; how many of those goddamn things could you get away with laying in a row? Could you get three, maybe even four in a row before the rest of the Hash pulled your shoes off and beat you to death with them?

There were sweaty shirts and high spirits as we came back up through St Peters, and that was just me. I lost count of how many FRBs I’d hit – I didn’t care, I was on one of those wonderful booze-boosted r*nner’s highs that kick in after a few miles of dashing about. The weather was getting better as we pulled up at the Tyne Bar, one of Newcastle’s oldest and best pubs, to find the wa*kers already installed. The pub had Stay Puft (salted caramel version) on tap. I’ve rarely been happier at a bar, and that’s saying something.

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This was where the first shortcut was offered. Another excellent element of the Hash, and of NHHH in particular: it’s modular, it’s inclusive, and if you decide three miles is enough and you want to bugger off back to the bar you can do so, no bother, because the hares have planned their route with that in mind.

We cracked on across Walker Road bridge and up to where St Ann’s Church reminds the area of its heritage. In the churchyard we had a nice little history stop to recall Pop’s wedding and Innconts’ baptism in the church (or was it the other way round?). During this lovely little misty-eyed moment one of the churchgoers stuck her head out of the door, gave us a worried look, then ducked back in, so we buggered off sharpish to avoid disturbing whatever celebration was taking place inside.

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Along the main road for a quarter mile, then down Sandhill we headed. As you’d expect from Sunday afternoon, the Quayside area was busy with foot and car traffic, and the drivers were really very good about sitting still while we straggled across the road in front of them. I love watching the Hash do this; it’s like the bison on the great plains, or maybe the zebra on the Serengeti. Okay, it’s more like those flocks of sheep that surround your car in the Lake District with seemingly no idea where they’re going and no clue what a car really is – basically a force of nature which the normal folks just have to sit and wait for.

Since a Newcastle run wouldn’t be a Newcastle run without bridges, we did a loop over Swing Bridge and Millennium Bridge. FRBs here gave us some nice tourist interaction opportunities. Linking the two was a hike up onto the heights of the Sage where we found a sobering and imposing installation: a statue of knives, erected in memory of teenagers murdered in stabbings.

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Striking, potent and thought-provoking imagery.

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This picture was taken moments before Less Cargo and Sab both stepped in the same smear of dogshit.

There was the inevitable Hash Flash spot on the Millennium Bridge – so inevitable that six Hashers (including me) ran straight past it without realising. Once almost all had been called back we had a photo taken by an obliging chap who made no attempt to run off with the camera.

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At this point we had beer in our minds and home in our hearts. The hares had arranged us another beer stop, something we’d all been fervently hoping for, and I’m glad to say it wasn’t much further…

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..in fact it was the Brinkburn St Brewery, a stone’s throw from the Tyne Bar and less than half a mile from our point of origin. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the modern Quayside, and reassure ourselves that, Grey Street notwithstanding, the best parts of Newcastle are yet to come.

Brinkburn St provided yet more excellent beer. Time became an issue here, as we were expected to go Full Circle and circle up before 2:30pm when the rugby would start. This we managed to do, even though there was considerable confusion over pizzas and the vibrators they came with. Retired RA Omm officiated the circle due to Pimp’s absence. Despite not being an RA I managed to hog the circle for almost two minutes with some hastily-prepared bullshit and a crudely-drawn picture of a cock and balls. I’m delighted to say that this actually got laughs. Where else but the Hash could I get away with that?

In all, it was a tremendous day out. I’ve not attempted to dress this account up like I usually would as I think that run spoke for itself. I’ll push my luck by saying this on behalf of the whole Hash: it was bloody good fun, let’s have sixteen hundred more.

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