This morning we did a 8 mile run from the docks in Antigua out to Fort Barrington and back. Before the run began, we all brought books to donate to the local library as part of the Runners Give Back program that Jerry and Jody had organized for the cruise.
The run was not bad -- a few hills -- but the heat was definitely wearing me down. I passed Dick Beardsley midway through the run and Ironman triathlete champion Lisa Bentley near the end of the run -- but I'm sure both could have kicked my butt if either were sufficiently motivated. It wasn't a race -- just a run -- but I ran it relatively hard in any event.
Jerry and Jody had coordinated with the Antigua tourist ministry, who were great. I carried an Antiguan flag to and from the fort. We had truck playing Caribbean music on loudspeakers and a photographer along the route. We had subway sandwiches and water bottles all at no charge at the fort and water bottles along the route. And the tourist ministry people were incredibly hospitable and appreciative of our attendance. We all did the climb to the top of the fort -- including some relatively tricky climbing areas into the fort itself -- but after Tortola, this was _nothing_!
There was an optional Hash run with the Anitgua Hash House Harriers (AHHH) running club. A `hash` run is called such because there is typically a snack, beers or both at the end of the run, and `hash` is a British term for a meal back in the 1930`s. The hash run is where a designated 'hasher' sets a running route that is kept secret to the other runners. But he can also setup false trails. The hasher drops small piles of flour to mark the route. But if you come across an `X` in the route, you have to turn back to the previous intersection and look for a new trail of flour `blobs`. Or if you hit a number, say 4, with a line underneath it, you have to turn around and go back that number (4, in this case) blobs. There are arrows to mark a mandatory turn, and a blob with a circle around it at an interesection means that the trail could go in any direction from that point -- pick one and see if it is the right one!
It was a long run -- they estimated we`d be out for about 70 minutes -- and they took us up two trails -- one of which was quite long, taking us to the top of a celluar tower hill (which after Tortola`s hill climb and this morning`s run was definitely _not_ appreciated!) -- but we perservered and made it back with lots of time to enjoy a chicken or burger lunch from the grill, cold beer and a beautiful beach -- with proceeds from the food and beer to go to AHHH. The beer of the day was Wadidli, brewed on Antigua, and when that ran out Jed and I switched to Red Stripe.
After some swimming and relaxation, they had the Hash penalties segment of the run where a Hash Umpire issued penalties for things like taking a short cut, showing up late, organizing the event for the cruisers -- basically anything for which he could make up an excuse -- good or not. The penalty was that the `guilty` party had to drink a beer when given a signal during a Hasher`s anthem and if not done by the end of the anthem (about 10 seconds total), they had to pour the remainder of the beer on their head. It was quite a fun exercise, actually.
We got back to the ship in plenty of time to board before we departed at 5:30. The Cruise to Runners had a formal dinner in one of the dining rooms. We had supper with Bob and Karen from Mississauga Ontario, and Don and Sharon from Indiana. I was quickly wiped out of $200 at the Casino again. Couldn`t do anything right, yet again.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
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