We had heard that Mussolini had enjoyed his stay in New Zealand so much that he thought he may not come back. However our hopes were dashed when we drove into the car park to see him standing next to Tigger with a grin on his face, a story that tells all.
As if that were not bad enough we were met by a groupof Chichester Runners who had just been out for an 18 mile Sunday morning run!!! Still one of them said that she may want to come along to a hash someday (do we want runners who will show us up? Yes actually!)
So after a short preamble from the JMs Tigger gave us a brief version of the usual lies and we were off and into the forest sloshing towards the first check. That being found we were all sure that we knew where we were going and so we set off down the trail. Only to find that the hares had started as they meant to go on and sent us all the wrong way. On to the next check and we had begun to understand that standing orders for the day were very long checks followed by either a beaming Mussolini or a smug Tigger wearing - You should not have done that smiles.
Check after check led us downward untilthose of us who had run the area felt we were sure to go down towards Droke Car Park and with that in mind we set off with alacrity.
Sure enough we were wrong again so we had to trudge back again - this time without alacrity, let him find his own way back!
It had to be said (although not in their earshot in case they get big headed) that the hares ran us over familiar ground and yet kept us guessing all of the time.
To rub salt in the wound, on one occasion they even allowed half of the pack to go deep into the woods all unprotected like lost little hashers before calling them back and guiding everybody on the right path, just to show that they coudl have made it even worse should they have wished.
But as the fateful hour approached and our shoes had become too heavy with clinging mud, we really did begin to believe that the end was in sight. It was, but we are not doing that joke.
Even the dimmist of us - and believe me that title is well contested, began to understand that as we had spent a lot of time coming down the hill then it must be a good sign to be going up!!
Lo and behold valient back markers heard the cry of On, On from the finely honed athletes at the front and realised that our toil was over.
We arrived back at the car park and gathered for the JMs to name and shame and award the hashit.
After much deliberation it was given to Louise (3 Star) who promptly ran for the car and began to disrobe thinking that this would save her. Undaunted Spiderman pursued her and finally she came out to accept her prize. Thabeing down we all changed pdq and headed for the George where the usaul welcome was offered to us........
So a fine run amidst mud and hills. It has to be said that we did not expect hills and mud as we were told that it would be dry and flat. However it turns out that this information came from a single source and was attributed to lacx reporting by the BBC. The Director General (Acting) will be at the next hash to grovel and apologise for this shocking stae of affairs.