It's a late start tonight at the Lonsdale Hashional, several r*nners claiming Metro delays, bit of a hold-up trying to get Cinderella out of the toilet. Conditions a bit more promising now, rain's stopped, but the going is expected to be pretty mixed. There are three hares here trying to get the r*nners in line, some being pretty mulish, possibly spooked by the crowds of students. There's eighteen of them under orders, you can see Misled there wearing about fifteen layers, Jo looking really keen, Cinderella being careful about where she puts her bag this time.
And they're off! They're away in a big pack straight into the Metro underpass, they're hammering past those crowds of students, no collisions as yet. Out onto the streets and they're all over the place, nobody sure who's in front, looks like Chafing has doubled back for some reason. Woof Woof's put them right now, they're into the back streets and starting to spread out, early lead from Inncontinents as they come out onto Highbury for a r*nning check. It's onto the Moor and they're heading for the first water jump.
Think it surprised them a bit, they've not really cleared it, more of a plodge to be honest, but they're across it to the corner with just a bit of minor grumbling. Looked like Frogsporn was leading again there but I think No Relief might have pipped him to the Great North Road. Gripper and Chafing off in the wrong direction again, now they're all being marshalled over the crossing by the hares, no collisions with traffic as yet.
They're onto the Town Moor now and the going is steadier here, just a few big puddles, I can see Sab and Innconts chasing No Relief in front, Treasure Chest's in there, Less Cargo is making a break for it, Chafing's coming up from the back but he's stopped at a fence – in fact it's a gate, he's holding it for some reason, and the rest are just streaming past him – and what's this coming in from the right? A pack of serious r*nners is on the course, no idea how they've got there, somebody's allowed them onto the course at a crucial moment, and they've all stopped amongst the Hash as they're trying to work out how to cross a road, this is a shambles. Someone's shouting ON ON and Sab's on the other side of the road, looks like Om has caught up to him, and now the hares are getting the stragglers across, bit of beeping from the traffic.
They're on the Dukes Moor now and about to hit the second of the water features. Bit more extensive this one, it's basically the entire moor, and they're a bit surprised by it, Sab's out in front somehow, No Relief chasing him down, Treasure Chest is down! TC falls, she's okay, she's up and r*nning straight away, Purple Vein nipping past there, there's five or six of them sploshing their way through to Kenton Road, and the pack coming along behind there, I can see Rover and Out, Frogsporn, Jo, Misled, Counterfit, and it looks like Totem's thrown his rider Bella and she's trying to chase him down.
Lots of comment from the r*nners here, I can hear Chafing worrying about the golf course. Woof Woof's taken charge though and has directed them across the Grandstand back onto the Moor. It's bike track here, it seems like they have firm going, and I can see Less Cargo, then No Relief, then it's Chafing, and they've all hit an FRB! That's it for them, the pack are thundering past, looks like Totem doesn't trust the tarmac and is sticking to the grass, Bella's still trying to get back in the saddle. No Relief has made another break and hit another FRB, and what's this? Five Quai is in the lead despite being the hare! I think someone's having a word with him, looks like Chafing's telling him about the front-r*nning-hare rule, and I don't think it's going down well, but Chafing's hit an FRB anyway and Quai drops back as the pack storms past to a stop check.
There's some discussion here – I think one of the hares is suggesting a non-shiggy route? It's been disallowed! The pack are off again across the heath, they're heading for Cow Hill, I can see Sab and No Relief in front but they're going in two different directions, Cinderella's not far behind, Purple Vein's on her tail, they're all attempting the hill now and it's like r*nning on oil up there, the mud is liquid. I can see a stumble or two but no actual falls.
They're on the hill, Sab's found a check – that trained nose of his can sniff out flour even in these conditions – and they've all stopped for a photo! TC's getting a snap, they're shouting at r*nners on the other hill to hurry up, they don't seem to realise they're not with the Hash, and I think Totem and Bella have gone off in another direction altogether.
They're off down the hill now and this side's even worse going, it's impossible to stop once you start, I can see No Relief in the lead, Sab and Chafing a bit slower behind, but they've stopped! They've both stopped at the bottom to watch the rest come down, I think they want to see somebody fall over. There's lots of lights bobbing uncertainly down that slope but no actual falls, they've all made it across in one piece.
It's a right turn here and they're heading onto Claremont Road – Chafing's got stuck at a gate again – Gripper and Cinderella have gone right, the rest have gone left, left is right, there's now three at the back chasing the rest across Claremont and into the backside of the Newcastle Uni buildings.
Innconts and Sab vying for the lead at this point, Om briefly ahead but overtaken, No Relief has taken too many wrong turns, there are confused students all over the place trying their best not to notice the sweaty r*nners shouting ON ON at them, it's too wet for the flour. And now they're out, they've found the check on Claremont Road at the roundabout and they've got the bypass jump ahead of them.
Quite a range of different styles on display here, we can see No Relief getting on with it, Om trying to manage the traffic, Gripper and Jo blatantly jayhashing, few horns beeping there, Woofers tearing her hair out. And they're back on the Moor, heading for Exhibition Park, pack very spread out now, lot of them don't really look like they know what they're doing. Past the cafe, lead taken by Innconts and Sab as No Relief and Chafing get distracted by the chin-up bar, I can see Less Cargo leading Om, Misled and Gripper closing, it's a slidey moment through the underpass into Brandling Park – and what's this? Totem and Bella have somehow taken the lead! They're already there, I can hear John McCrirrick calling for an inquiry, words like 'shortcutting' are being used.
Some discussion out on the course right now. Woof Woof has held up the pack to warn of bad going ahead, she's giving instructions about a slippery back alley where Counterfit came a cropper – I can't unsay it now – and they're all off again, skating on leaves dressed with engine oil, they've paid so much attention to their feet that they've all r*n straight past the turn and into the dead end! Some of the front r*nners don't actually believe it, they're taking turns to check a door like it shouldn't be there. On the right trail it's chaotic, it's Purple Vein from Misled and Jo with Gripper just behind, and I can hear them complaining about the lack of beer, as if they haven't had enough wet for one night.
And what's this? They've hit a BN sign and they've found beers! It's the back of Five Quai's house and his beloved Katie is out there handing out cups of beer! The entire r*n has ground to a halt and dived into liquid nosebags. The red flag is up. They've got completely distracted in discussion of how to pronounce Tsingtao. We'll have to see how long it takes the hares to get them under control and back on track.
Just a few minutes' delay there, and they're off once more! It's the final furlong and it's almost as if they don't care who's in front any more, they're just bumbling along full of beer with a pub two hundred metres away. It's a remarkable finish to one of the soggiest races I've ever commentated.
Some delay before the circle is brought underway, I can see Treasure Chest distracting them all with cakes before she does her first solo RA of the season. The hares are being called out for shiggy and weather, clearly their fault, and No Relief's being called out for forgetting his own name, Jo's got a T-shirt there and so has Mindphuck! Out of the blue, she's walked the course and picked up one of the prizes! I can hear Five Quai raising something with the officials, he seems to think there's not enough Hash gear on display, but then he was the FRH so there's very little sympathy. And with that they're On Inn!
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