The Sandpit Hash’s 13th run. What could go wrong?

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What could go wrong? The Sandpit Hash had reached the point of having its ominous 13th run, which was being organised by the Al Ain Hash in the dunes near Nahel.

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And of all the perils that could befall us in the UAE, a monsoon at the end of April seemed unlikely. But as we packed up on Friday morning, it was to threatening skies and then heavy rain.

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This might have daunted lesser hashers but the Sandpitters are made of sterner stuff. That or we’re more stupid. In any event, 30 hashers who fitted into either (or both) of those categories made the trek into the desert to a site Forrest Grunt had found.

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Some, of course, managed to get stuck while playing in the dunes beside the road. Does anyone think Can’t Get It Up ought to be renamed Can’t Get It Out???

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After the usual faffing, the run began at 5.30pm at which point the rain had eased off. As we headed away, Singe, one of the A2H3 group, managed to get his car bellied by being too timid while cresting a dune. This would normally be a matter of amusement to be cited later in the circle until one of the Al Ain crew announced: “But that’s the car carrying the beer stop!”

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This prompted a sudden profusion of volunteers offering to help.

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Red Bull’s 4×4 was called in to help and we resumed the run.

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The course was a good ‘un, involving a series of false trails set by Pebble Dash and Bustard to punish the FRBs.

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By this point Singe’s beer truck had been debogged by Red Bull and having found that  timidity had been a problem on the previous dune, Singe decided to gun it on the next one.

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He discovered that it worked. And he also discovered he should have worn his seat belt… I’m sure the bruise where his head hit the ceiling of the 4×4 will fade in time…

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But the good news was that the beer stop was just ahead. This was good because some of our hashers were suffering.

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If you ever wondered about the recuperative abilities of beer, check out this before-and-after example of Wining Beach. “Get this woman some Heineken, stat!”

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We headed on into the dunes once more, with the trail bifurcating into one for “walkers” and another for “runners and brisk walkers”.

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I’m not sure which category covered one of our hares, for whom this was her second lap of this course.

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Her co-hare adopted a winning strategy of grabbing onto Aarfabithore’s ass and getting towed up the dune.

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The run continued. Apollo continued to show up all of us bipeds.

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We crested a dune and discovered Beer Stop Two just ahead.

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Technically it was still Beer Stop One, just in a different location, but after conferring with the hash referees, we decided this raised the average BSQ (beer stop quotient) ratio to 1.07692307692, having had 14 beer stops in 13 Sandpit Hashes. We are now ahead of the curve on the one and only rule of the Sandpit Hash!

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Alayna, the youngest sandpitter, completed the run. Her parents, H@sh F@g and All Ewes’d Up, had swapped from a front-carrying device to a backpack one. Was this because Alayna was becoming heavy, I asked.

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“Nah,” H@sh F@g replied. “It’s to increase the carrying capacity.” And with that he rattled the backpack and the clink of six frosty beers in the storage space demonstrated the reason for the change.

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We continued on, although it’s fair to say the pace was not what it once was.

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And we were soon back in the campsite, where we prepared for the evening ahead. A carafe is definitely the classier way to quaff Russian Bear vodka, the finest spirits than Dh15 can buy!

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The fire was lit and then the circle began.

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The hares, Pebble Dash and Bustard, were brought into the circle. And alongside them were the Sandpit Two, Moby D!ck and Jaws, the only ones who had been to all 13 sandpits.

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Forrest Grunt had organised a raffle, which included this fetching piece of… um….

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This is pretty much how the later part of the evening looked to me at the time.

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The next morning, it turned out we had a new Sandpit Hash Sh!t, thanks to the, er, jaunty new shape Peking F*ck’s barbecue gained sometime late in the evening… (And it turned out the person who assisted in creating this new shape wasn’t aware of it until the following Monday…)

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Amazingly, the rain that had stopped just before the run held off until we were leaving the next morning. It returned with a vengeance. As we were driving back to the Dhabs, the temperature was recording 18 degrees only a few days from May. WTF, UAE???

Big thanks to Forrest Grunt and the rest of the Al Ain hash for organising an excellent Sandpit. On on to Sandpit#14!

Sandpit#14

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The weekend of May 16 to 18 is shaping up as something of a Hashapalooza. On Thursday night everyone is welcome at the Abu Dhabi Hash ball, a night which is not to be forgotten but is also unlikely to be remembered with much clarity either, if previous years have been any indication. It’s black tie and Dh250 a ticket, or Dh200/head if you organise a table of eight. You can sign up online here: http://www.auh4.org/social/2013Ball.php

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Since we’re going to be in town that weekend anyway, we’ve scheduled May 17 for Sandpit#14 on tropical Lulu Island. You can get an idea about what this is like through last year’s trip report: https://sandpithash.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/sandpit-hash-on-tropical-lulu-island/ We’re having to hire a boat for this, which will do shuttles from Al Mina in downtown Abu Dhabi from 2pm to 4pm and back again the next morning. To cover the cost of this, the hash price will rise to Dh50 for this Sandpit, which includes, of course, a beer stop.

Sandpit#15

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The season-ending Sandpit Hash will be on Friday June 14 and will be at Hatta Pools and is not so much a hash run as a canyoning trip. Improbably enough, this can be done when it’s 50 degrees outside and there are the easier upper canyon and the more taxing lower canyon. Because camping is out of the question, we’ll hire another villa at the Hatta Fort Hotel for the evening. Lots of floor space to crash out. You can read about the last one here: https://sandpithash.wordpress.com/2012/06/

Sandpit#16

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In late September we’ll have a Mud Sweat and Beers mangrove run. Based on last year, this is a lot of fun (except for the heat stroke the course setter suffered!?) and we’ll do a commemorative* and collectable** T-shirt to mark the start of the Sandpit’s third season. You can read about last year’s one here: https://sandpithash.wordpress.com/2012/09/30/sandpit-run7/

(*barely **unlikely)

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