Hares; Farty Bum with technical assistance, (Climbing specialists.) Mad Max and Confusion.
Location; Villeneuve Loubet
Scribe; Laura Norder
Which one of the following statements is true?
The problem with quotes on the internet is that they are not usually true. William Shakespeare.
The correct answer is, of course, both of them.
Here follows a true report of what happened except for the bits I have made up.
Farty Bum was anxious to have the run start on time and so we were called to order just before 1100 hrs.
At five past we were still being given our colour codes for the wool and ribbons which were a substitute for our normal flour system.
Follow the red wool until you reach a yellow ribbon, not necessarily around an old oak tree, where it is probably a check unless there is a black ribbon which is a false trail, Or, any combination of those colours.
There would be ropes to assist descent , or to suspend yourself from a tree before the wild animals get you, if you were left behind and it was getting dark
Did I mention we were also warned not to fall off the narrow path, into the gorge which is after the second hill. And that Sherpas had been out earlier in the week to attach fixed ropes and belay points. You think I am joking?
Not that I am suspicious but that looked like a lot of wool left in that big ball. So how much was placed on trail?
I used to be unbearably condescending and sexist but I told Farty Bum there was no need to worry her pretty little head about it and
the runners would manage fine..
So with all that out of the way, we set off down the stairs out of the car park, and towards the first check. There is a police car waiting and so Pilchard and Padre make a dash for it in the opposite direction towards the beach. Suspicious or what? Fastest I have seen them move for a long time. Onto the beach and next check.
Left or right? Obviously not straight ahead in this instance.
As we were warned about the gorge after the second hill, we decided to head along the beach towards the hilly section and not the blocks of flats in the other.
Where did all these runners come from? They kept getting in my way as I head for the hills but they are only interested in running on the flat bit by the sea. Obviously not Hashing material. Posers all!
At the next junction we search for the check and realise there isn’t one. Where, why, how …….
Retrace our steps and find a cross marked with flour, which was not there earlier and a grinning Sadist pointing us in the other direction.
Our revenge will be sweet. More of that later.
Just a thought, it is not premarital sex if you have no intention of getting married.”
Now we head back towards the town but alongside the river, (Did anybody else see this Duck, Ed.)
and the free range, running obstacles, are replaced with little ladies and little dogs, and big people with big dogs.
The footwork now becomes a blur, a cross between Scottish dancing and Michael Jackson as we try to avoid all the little deposited parcels.
Through the woods and onto the flyover where a cunning check has us eliminating all options, and then with a long false trail as we ran past the well hidden ribbons. It took some time before we realised our error. Turn around, retrace our steps until we meet the walkers on our way back. Now down into the abandoned squatters camp. Where are they? Probably in the U.K collecting their Social Security payments by now.
More speedy footwork and back to the safety of the dual carriageway. At least here you knew you were not going to step on anything you would rather not think about.
Next section; A sharp turn inland and up the hill. Is this the second hill? We are in a built up area so I am not too worried about falling into the gorge.
And then into the back country where the running is now back to nature.
Up, and more up, and then sure enough we hit the down section with the fixed ropes. See I told you I was not joking. You didn’t believe me, did you?
Then the section with the gorge, (So that must have been the second hill then? Ed.)
( Dunno I have lost count, Scribe.)
A scramble around and down the hill to the cemetery, (Is this where they keep all those that go off the side into the gorge? Ed.) where the beer stop car, located in the car park, is welcomed. A smattering of walker have already arrived and broken into the car much to the annoyance of the couple trying to have a quiet, reflective, afternoon meditating, as the car alarm is really piercing.
Cums Quicker magically produces the car keys and switches it off.
Bur where is the grinning Sadist now?
It later transpires that he could not find the the trail, along with Long and Hard and Fairy Plunger.
An interesting first half with a few extra unmarked kms. run due to the lack of ability of the runners to spot coloured ribbons.
However, we are now running late. (That is the only running some have done for a while. Ed) and the decision is made for the advance party of runners to head straight to the restaurant and occupy the tables whilst the beer car takes the drivers back to the start to pick up their cars. This then enables the runners to be taken back to their cars after the meal.
An interesting, varied trail with all types of terrain covered. Something for everyone?
Except those wanting a circle and Down Downs. And Sadist, of course, as he spent ages looking for the trail and finally had to admit he had lost the plot!
That will teach him to laugh at us runners,
There are good days and there are bad days. This was one of them.