Sunday I spent a portion of the afternoon knee deep in mud, wading through water, and crashing through the woods. Oh, and I was also liberally dusted with flour. You want to see people give you strange looks, run past someone raking their lawn and be covered in mud, a strange grayish hue because of all the flour on your black clothes, and you're running at about a 7:15/mile pace. "Weird" doesn't begin to describe the way people were looking at me as I bolted through the quiet suburban neighborhood...
What on earth was I doing? Hashing, of course. I volunteered to be a co-hare at only my third hash, and Sunday I found myself in one of the 'burbs northwest of Detroit in my old shoes and stealth bomber outfit (to be less conspicuous in the woods, of course). I had brought with me 24 bottles of Michigan's finest microbrews (Bell's Best Brown Ale, Arcadia Nut Brown Ale, Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA, and Founder's Pale Ale, all of which were intended to be an antidote to the cans of Bud, Coors, Miller High Life and Labatt Blue...seriously, folks, did you think I of all people would do anything less?) and six pounds of flour.
Once everyone seemed to have shown up at the starting point, my two co-hares and I took off, laying trail as we went. I did whatever I was told, tossing flour about liberally, sprinting to catch up, shoving past branches and vines, and eventually landing on my hands and knees in a swamp.
I was having the best time.
Eventually we were able to take a breather at the first beer check, having confused the pack enough that we had almost 10 minutes to chill in the middle of a field before they arrived. After merriment and mass consumption of cheap beer, we three hares left to lay the second half of the trail. Somewhere along the way I ended up wading through a mucky creek which wet me from the crotch down (but my iPhone stayed safe and dry in my jacket pocket). Eventually it was over and I had run/walked/waded/backtracked/staggered about 5.5 miles, but who's keeping track? The only things I cared about were 1) we didn't get caught on trail and 2) I didn't hurt myself, so NYC is still a go!
Then the real fun began as everyone dug into a huge pile of pizza and the rest of the beer. Every last one of the bottles I brought was consumed. I didn't have a single one to bring home with me, which is probably just as well, considering the marathon is in a mere five days.
I still have dirt under my toenails.