The theme was Chinese New Year and the location and route was determined to celebrate this fact as much as possible. 22 random people – some hashers, some virgins, some visitors and you could count at least 25 if you included those who slowed down and stopped to stare to find out why a bunch of people in running shoes were meeting in a park where lots of runners go and just standing around in a group without actually running……? However this waiting time did allow one certain hasher to discover that Just Colin was not only wearing a Medecins Sans Frontiers t-shirt but was also dispensing drugs! This drug taking hasher popped a couple of paracetamol and hoped and prayed to all that was hashy and holy that the hellish hangover would soon disappear… at least in time for the beerstop at any rate!
Anyway I digress, so on a crisply cold but sunny Saturday afternoon, 22 hashers were finally called to order, the ways of the hash explained and the runners sent off through the beautiful park Montsouris (thankfully in the downhill direction) hot (or at least trying to warm up after 30 mins of standing around in the cold) on the flour trail – yes virgins, that is flour, not flower! I believe the walkers must have headed in a similar direction however they were not seen again by the running group until about 3 parks later along the route which was about 2 parks, 1 shopping mall and a few streets before the beerstop.
And what a route… who knew there were that many parks in the 13th arrondissement and some very lovely little passageways of terraced houses – which was also the scene of the first of many checkbacks! Thankfully our FRB and his co-FRB discovered this first one meaning the rest of us saved our legs for other fun checkpoints, checkbacks and ladies checkpoints along the way. Talking of ladies checkpoints, after much running through parks and streets and back into parks, the ladies managed to embarrass themselves at the very first of these in Cité Université Park and made a right hash of finding the route with at least 3 ladies going in the same direction.. with the very valid excuse that at least 1 of those ladies was a virgin and so needed to be accompanied to ensure the rules of false trails had been understood. After much singing from the boys (Why are we Waiting – original boys.. very original) the true trail was found and off the group went again en masse.
The trail included a quick lap around the track at Charlety stadium, and of course the FRB’s were made to run the long way round to give everyone else a chance to group up. The next stop was China town and the trail took us through shopping malls and past New Year celebrations where we nearly lost half the group in the mall watching the show… walkers what were you thinking?!! This didn’t stop the front runners though as beer was near and the other side of the mall and into the next park we went straight to the beer! It was a joyous moment. The walkers took quite a long time to catch up with the runners so it was a slow start after the stop as muscles had seized up and body parts had frozen, but start again we did to the most bizarre part of the run which took us into the China town underground. Who knows what route the walkers took but the runners spent the next, what felt like 3 hours, running around a cavernous labyrinth of underground passages which seemed to be part loading bays, parking lots and about 5 million checkbacks just to keep life interesting.
Of course this hasher could have got the entire route in the wrong order, but who cares, finally we found our way out of the tunnels without losing a hasher to a new dubious career and finally found our way back in the direction of Montsouris. Even with a small hill to run up to get there (always the penance for starting on a downhill) these hashers were revitalised by the thought of beer and almost sprinted in a Rocky type fashion up the final stretch and into the park.
The circle demanded a lot of downdowns – this was of course after a deal was struck with the park guard that we could have the circle in the park, drink beer and eat food as long as we didn’t leave a mess. So onto the downdowns… the hares of course for such a hilly, park strewn, chinese themed run. The virgins – Mike, Vivian and Megan. Our visitors – Youth in Asia, Smokey Stuffed Bust and Double Dutch Kitty Fuck. Retournees which includes some very familiar if long lost names – Ooh La La, Up and Down, Running Commentary, Missing Manchunian, Slack, and the list goes on…. FRB’s – Missing Manchunian, Ooh La La, virgin Vivian, Up and Down. Up and Down and Hole in One for sex on the hash. The Anarchist, our lead hare for laying such a dangerous route where we had to cross many tramways where we were warned to look out for silent killer trams. WTFAMT for new shoes on trail, accused by Just Stupid who was then double bluffed by Youth in Asia who called Just Stupid into the circle to drink out of WTFAMT’s other shoe for being an observant accusing b*stard! And finally I’m sure some went into the circle for lack of hash gear but at that point my hand froze from the cold and no more names have been noted.
The bouffe was eaten, more beer was drunken and then the hash disbanded so all could go home get showered and changed and head back to the 13th to the restaurant for the chinese meal. Again a great turnout, though I’m sure the starving who arrived on time would have loved to call a downdown for late arrivals! There was more beer, more wine and some very very very dodgy music, but this didn’t stop our hashers jumping onto the dancefloor and try to join in the line dancing (?!) and the wedding style dance floor moves, which most did in a rather successful manner. Thanks to the Anarchist for not only organising the run but the after party!