WHOO! I bravely put my running shoes on and ventured out to join the Atlanta Hash this afternoon. I left Sam with Bill and nervously drove out to the meet, stomach churning as I didn’t know anyone there and, despite my dogged attempts to get in shape at the gym I wasn’t even sure I could make it round the trail.
Of course, I set off with plenty of time to leisurely drive to the start, but sod’s law meant that I got lost on the way even though I knew exactly where I was going. I think I was concentrating on driving the truck (I decided to leave Perdie with Bill as that’s the only car Sam’s car seat will fit in) and while continually going to change gears in an automatic somehow missed a turning! One panicked call to Bill when I realised I had somehow got all turned around, didn’t have a map with me and wasn’t sure which direction to drive in, and I was thankfully set straight and made it to meet before the off.
It was a bit weird and very scary going to the Hash and not knowing anyone. Felt very awkward to start with and aware that any actions I might take, or misplaced word might land me a Hash name to haunt me forever. I had corresponded with one lady from an online forum who had encouraged me out, and eventually I managed to work out which one she was. Following a run through of the Hash trail marks (they are a little different to the ones TVH3 use) and just as the pack took off I yelled in her direction to introduce myself. After introducing myself I thankfully had found someone who shared my pace and we pretty much did the run together from then on, also in the company of another lady who’d just had a baby a few months before me. In fact, her little girl was also hashing that day and being pushed by her daddy in her jogging stroller.
I have no idea at all how he managed to get that stroller around the trail, we went up some rather impassable tracks. I saw a lot of the arse end of Atlanta as we cut back onto some disused railway tracks and pushed our way through the undergrowth. At one point we ran beneath an underpass and past a group of homeless Hispanics who shouted “hola!” and waved to us as we passed by. Further on we had to traverse an old decayed railway bridge. I’m not sure how to describe it but it was scary and I was assured as I went across that they’ve run across it many times before and that despite the gaping holes, long drop and thin asphalt covering, it was quite safe. I stuck to carefully walking along the metal tracks to be sure.
Emerging out of the undergrowth and to the sound of barking mutts from a doggy care disturbed by our passing we were grateful to find the letters BN for “Beer’s Near” written in flour upon the floor. Halfway through the trail there was a drink stop. How civilised! There was a beaming hare waiting with a truck full of tinnies and everyone stopped for a breather and a bevvy. Most folks by this point were absolutely covered in hitchhikers (similar to sweethearts). On some hashers every inch of clothing was green and the baby stroller was equally camouflaged. I say only most people though because bizarrely Martha Screw-It and I had somehow escaped the sticky nuisances and unlike everyone else didn’t have to spend time trying to furiously disengage them from our clothes.
With the sun beating down on midtown Atlanta the rest of the run was done at a rapid walk and we finally made it to the On Down about two hours after we set off. We were by no means the last though. However, that might be because there were a few “extra credit” beer stops at bars we passed en route. That, and a bit of a confusion when we came across an old trail and started following it without realising. Oops.
AH4 don’t return to the cars at the end of a run, you have to put your bag in a truck that meets you at the On Down at the end. After the post Hash Down Down they ferry everyone back to their cars, not sure what you do if you can’t stay for the drinks and rowdy rugger songs at the end.
I was supposed to down a beer at the end as I was a first timer (oh, forgot to mention I had to run while wearing a sash with the word “virgin” embroidered on it) but my new friend subbed for me on that one as I had to get back to feed Sam and the timing was bad. Actually, I think she had to down a vile concoction of spirits that the Religious Advisor had devised, so even better that I got away with that one.
At this point I’d been 4 hours away from Sam and my boobs were about to explode. Cunningly, I’d thought ahead and packed my pump. Disasterously, I’d missed a vital bit and so it did bugger all. Luckily that run the cars were actually only down the road so I walked back as soon I could politely get away and as I walked, the dairy went into action! LOL Oh well, thankfully I only had one witness at that point and it was so sweaty and hot it all just blended in. Hmm, nice huh?!!
Had a really good time and am beginning to really feel vital and fit again. I also managed to fit into one more pair of pre-pregnancy trousers yesterday. Hoorah! I was even all set to turn up to the Moonlite Hash which runs at 7.30pm on Mondays, but Bill arrived home too late and I discovered the batteries had corroded in our torch. I intend to be more prepared next week and will hopefully also be running again next Saturday. Rarrr!!