Run Number:

1331 19/05/03

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Perch and Pike
South Stoke



Alewife, Mackerel, Dogfish and A Couple of Old Trout

Squirrel (non-swimmer) Centaur Hashgate Baldrick SlowSucker Matthew Steamer Potty Nutcracker Gwenda Molly Ms. Whiplash Spot Cerberus Premature and sea-dog Hitchhiker Foghorn Chopstix DragonLady Iceman HeyBabe C5 Honeymonster Judy Steve Kevin Cloggs Dumper Septic Uplift Hamlet Neil Christian TinOpener Motox OldFart Caboose BGB Zebedee FlorencePosh Bomber Cheating… and later Cameron TT2 Drexel

A Fishy T(r)ail

Consider the beauteous salmon. This incredible creature swims a thousand miles through the cold North Atlantic, avoiding the dangers along the way. It batters its way against the current of fast flowing rivers, leaping weirs and waterfalls, avoiding the tickling poacher and the salmon nets. Finally fulfilling its biological imperative of spawning and exhausted by its Herculean effort it snuffs it. We know how it feels. No spawning mind you. But certainly the Herculean piscine effort. Anorak and Trainspotter’s trail tested us to the limit. We should have remembered the last one and stayed in the pub.

The lesser-spotted Squirrel fish floated serenely outside the pub, sinking a pint next to mudfish Centaur, as he cleaned his bike. A number of minnows swam into view: Baldrick and Spot amongst them. A couple of angel fish: Nutcracker and Gwenda floated by. Dab Neil brought along never-before-seen gudgeon Christian and a pair of sprats, C5 and Honeymonster finned up. The blue whale, Motox scattered the shoal briefly as he hove to. The needle-toothed moray eel, DragonLady squeezed out from behind a rock looking for something to bite, closely followed by two remora, Chopstix and Foghorn. Three old whelks, Dumper, Septic and Uplift, squeezed into a small car (presumably running on Shell…) drifted in. Just one old lobster, Cheating, scuttled in on ragged claws. There was no clownfish since ShutupWally had not washed up with the tide. The shoal circled and eddied, a slightly frightening vista of bulging eyes and opening mouths, as the barracudas Hares extolled their trail and sent us On Out.

We got quickly into the swim after Cerberus, Premature and I backstroked our way to the False under the railway bridge and Centaur found the other. We needed to go up a green track where SlowSucker had been attacked by dogs the last time we were here and we duly skittered up it, passing Chopstix on the way who was looking for a four-leaved clover in a green ocean of the stuff. We met our first stile after about a nautical mile and C5 uttered a very girly squeal as he almost fell over it. It’s nice to see him finding his sea-leg again after a period of injury. I had been thinking of buying him a parrot, a saw and a timber prosthetic.

We found the second stile on the other side of a field of sea-cows. Beyond it, on the road, was a litter of S’s and L’s indicating the Short and Long trails. The ‘S’ pointed to calm, flat waters. The ‘L’ to a long, rolling, uphill wave of road scattered with the likes of Cloggs and Iceman trying to surf their way to the top. It was a long surf. Followed by a glide down on the leeward side where Kevin was chasing Zebedee, Premature and SlowSucker. Unusually, there was a check at the bottom and where did the trail go? You guessed it, back up the next monumental roller where we viewed some beautiful countryside before diving off left into a wavy, green pool of (I think) corn. We were nearing the A4074 and Premature, Molly and I dodged the tankers and plunged over it into a deep green lake of hip-height, soft-headed (I think) barley. Premature was behind me at this point and we exchanged remarks about how nice it was to run through it. Suddenly he said “Ever had a fantasy about making love in a field like this, Hashgate?” It’s curious the effect certain things have on your body chemistry, isn’t it? One second I was trotting lightly along. The next I was propelled forward like a power boat on a rush of adrenalin, the barley waving wildly in my wake.

We finally hit a road and a check and hurtled forwards into the field rather than along the tarmac, only to find a False. Despite the fact that we were running back, Matthew continued to run towards us. This was what got him his Down Down. I believe he has now learned a valuable life lesson. I.e. always run away from people who are running towards you. We had, of course, to loop back over the A4074 towards North Stoke which was a hard slog of no little distance and with no respite. Centaur, Zeb and SlowSucker were ahead of us and Matthew had showed us what a good runner he is by easing rapidly by us with the insouciance of a dolphin flicking nonchalantly past a group of turtles.

North Stoke proved to be a delightful village – we saw most of it as we ran up the main false trail. Until we figured out how to get to the church and on to the river path. The river drooped languorously as we sped by, knowing exactly how it felt. It was a good two miles to South Stoke and nobody wanted to walk it. Caboose kindly explained to the dull wits among us (i.e. me) that the massive, echoing redbrick spans under which we ran so pantingly was the bridge taking the Great Western Railway over the river. We caught up with BGB. We caught up with Anorak and the walkers. We expostulated breathlessly to Anorak about the length of the trail. She smiled inwardly at some private joke. Premature dunked dog Molly in the river (not as bad as it sounds) and she bounded off with a new lease of life. Zeb gasped out that this was a super spot… at which Spot, who we had just passed, agreed heartily and commended him on his powers of observation. The rest is almost a blur as we fish-tailed down a dim, puddled, shiggy track and out into South Stoke and although Centaur and Zeb took a minor False trail the Perch and Pike was almost in sight. Speeding onwards, we fulfilled our Hash imperative and exhausted by our Herculean efforts, snuffed it. Or, at least, that’s what it felt like. Who’d be a salmon?

Our grateful thanks to Anorak and Trainspotter for an ocean of fun. Anyone care to donate towards their next round-the-world trip…?
On On. Hashgate.

Down Downs

RA Motox presided over the ceremony. I must say that HitchHiker thorougly deserved her Down Down for poncing about showing the letters of her name velcro’d to her perky bosom. Not only that; she had ‘R26’ velcro’d to her sleeve to indicate the number of ‘runs’ (I use the term liberally) she has walked round :-



Style points


His birthday yesterday

Excellent Down

Nutcracker Potty

For being stupid enough to get engaged to each other!

A fine, ‘feed your partner’ effort with only minor spillage


As above

The daft bat chucked her beer over me, believing wrongly that I had ratted on her to the RA.


Today’s virgin

Superbly down in one. Good man!

Cloggs C5

Presented with their life membership after many years of hard grind (as it were)

C5 excellent as usual. Cloggs got there in the end.


Running towards people who had just called ‘False’!

Damn fine effort from the stripling lad. Possibly better than his dad.

Anorak TrainSpotter

The Hares

How the hell does Anorak do it so fast? There’s nothing of her.

Up and Coming

Run Number


Grid Reference






The Six Bells





Dumper & Septic’s stadium
* Race Night at The ‘Fun’ Run *