A crowd of around 20 gathered at the Chai Wan A for the longest day of the year, the summer solstice - hot (in every sense) men and women stretching and psyching themselves for a difficult run by Catch of the Day yet enticed by the reward of a beach at B. Catch of the Day explained the markings which were a complicated mix of chalk, death money, chopsticks and 'NOT the Kowloon hash markings', then she said that the second Rambos split would be a bit 'technical'... we were warned!
The crowd were sent off at speed racing to find the first marking.... this was the first challenge. The chalk was faint and the possible marking ground so big that it was barely impossible to find except by eagle eyesight. Finally the first marking was found and the general direction of the run was set. We came to the first check and this turned out to be the first of a few checks so tough that one needed to be a mind reader to work it out. At this check we lost CUBTR. He was still checking a dead lead when the pack raced off towards the most likely trail, which turned out to be the correct one, and in one of many cruel acts did not mark or call out to him. We passed some flour and markings but were struggling to work out whether these were LSW markings or the 'NOT the Kowloon hash' markings that COTD warned us about. Some runners Chatroom, Toilet Spray and Octo were researching the flour to determine it's freshness. Finally a front runner called out On On, the researchers had to check a few times to get confirmation that indeed they were following LSW markings. Eventually we saw LSW and were relieved to be back on track. We headed up the stairs to the mountain. This trail, faint arrows wound up to the road with no markings as to left or right, no running trail but a road with plenty of cars.
The track went left, this track led to the entrance to the Cape Collinson Correctional Institution and up to the all familiar 'Dragon's Back' trail. We thought this was the end of our troubles with familiar country park territory, but no this was just the beginning. Up the trail the front runners ran onto a trail which they believed was the true trail, didn't see any markings then marked a 'T' but in fact it was the wimps trail, so not a 'T' at all. They had to ask a Wimp to correctly mark this as a Rambos Wimps split. Ironically this may have been the only marking that the front runners marked... A wrong marking! The Rambos went down the Rambo path but not seeing an arrow for more than 300 metres they started doubting themselves and backtracked... unfortunately the only marking we found was the Rambos Wimps split and that was the only way. So back down we went again... but once again seeing no markings we started backtracking to see if we'd missed something, we saw a faint arrow and thought.... is this the 'NOT the Kowloon hash' markings??? Plagued by doubt but seeing no other way we pushed forward in faith and amazingly after a long way we did see another faint arrow! We kept running and caught up with a whole group of front runners standing around at the pagoda aimlessly wondering what to do at the next check. They had gone to every single path but found no markings.
Finally in a sign of surrender Indy called the hare and asked which direction. The hare said to take the catchwater. We ran down there and asked if anybody would mark the trail... no response... so we all ran down just relieved to be on track forgetting those left behind. We went through some dense shiggy which 'Thing in my Bottom' thought was the 'technical' part of the run, however, was actually wimpy scrub in COTD's books. After a long time we came back onto the dragon's back and the front runners just raced off into the distance leaving zero extra markings to supplement the already minimal markings by the hare. The middle runners plodded along, by this time it had been two hours on trail, Free Willy was salt deprived and had to beg for water from surrounding runners, SST got her skirt caught on trail and it nearly ripped off by a rock which AFWD remarked that he or any other man would gladly do the honors in place of the rock. Finally the trail reached the Shek O Road and Cape D'Aguilar Road split. We saw AFWD going up Cape D'Aguilar, we heard Lost At Sea calling out and shining a torch in the thick of some bush halfway down the mountain, then we saw a bus which was headed towards Shek O driving along the wide easy highway down to Shek O.
Toilet Spray and I decided that we were not heroes and would forego the narrow path but take the highway to....B. On the way we were saved by Indy and Wanchai Wanker who were on the fast track to B in a taxi. What a great decision that was because the Rambo trail was in fact treacherous and long. Only four completed it but only barely. The 'technical' part involving climbing down rocks in a stream bed in the dark. SST fell three times, Lost at Sea closely dodged a cobra but was bitten by a spider, Free Willy was so salt deprived he was barely alive when he hobbled in, AFWD completed the trail alone in the dark and took so long that we almost forgot about him and left him on trail. Despite all the swearing and cursing on trail all runners were so relieved to have finished the trial that they were all glowing with ego pride and thanked the hare for the adventure. (though I'm not sure whether we should be encouraging this kind of trail...)... three and a half hours later CUBTR runs in, he had gotten lost at the beginning but still pushed on, due to limited markings by the hare and zero markings by the front runners he did the whole run and all the checks alone... on on to the 'Happy Garden' Thai restaurant.
Down Downs The hare - taking 4 hours to set, but no recce, setting trail while chatting with a friend and asking her to help lay trail when she has no idea
The hare - said she had put down at least 10 paper moneys on the Rambos trail towards the pagoda but CTD only saw one.
The hare - saw dogs on trail so maybe they ate the money.
Lost at Sea - while cursing the hare on hash said 'what's in her head.. boulders?...smoking too much Moroccan hash?
Indy, WW, Octo and TS - for taking a taxi at the end and being proud of it
Crash Test Dummy - last time this trail was run on hash, he set it and he was stoned
The hare - purposely finished on the beach where there are no stones
Wanchai Wanker - losing glasses on trail, screaming, asking for help, and Indy waited, however after finding his glasses he reaches the trail and races off leaving Indy behind
TIMB, Nia, Telecom, Nick - being FRBs and not marking
Lost At Sea, SST, AFWD, Free Willy - being true Rambos, completing and surviving it.
Rearender - for thinking Boilers was coming but then at the end saying he's not coming and I'm glad about it.
Wanchai Wanker - for saying that Thing in My Bottom looked sexy in his apron and needs a g-string to match
The song - sung by the hare and the four super Rambos