REVIEW: 27th Oil Industry Hash
Over the moon
By Sarah-Jane Kelland, Getech plc
You cannot have failed to have known that during the middle of July, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon and also marvelled at a spectacular partial lunar eclipse. Whilst almost 50 years to the day, Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins were blasting off to the moon, ninety-three runners were assembling at the White House pub Guildford launch pad ready to blast off for the annual Hash around the Surrey Hills.
This much awaited industry event is one of a long tradition of annual hashes established by returning oil company expatriates at Phillips Petroleum and passed on to the late Alistair MacArthur at Mobil North Sea Ltd. Runs were generally held in Surrey, sometimes jointly with Guildford Hash House Harriers. With changes in company focus, the event has only been run intermittently over the last decade before the PESGB Surrey Branch took it on a few years ago.
The evening started warm and overcast and tinged with the purplish-pink hues not from a sunset on Earth but from the eye-catching T shirts generously provided by Lambert Energy Advisory celebrating their 20th year as an oil industry company. They say a picture tells a thousand words and boy these T shirts certainly did that, depicting runners on the hills, the traditional Hash cry and clinking glasses at the après-Hash session. Following a quick brief on Hash symbols from the Hare, we set off as a pack along the river, watched by former Phillips Petroleum workers who had turned up to both run and hold a reunion. The mission for us runners, including many founder members of the first Hashes organised by Phillips, some wearing their original T shirts, was to locate patches of flour and flour tracks dusted at intervals along a route through the Surrey hills. Every time a flour mark was seen, the signal ‘On! On!’ was called out so runners behind knew this was the correct route on which to keep running.
The first flour circle was spotted on the tow path next to the River Wey. This meant a ‘checking point’ with three possible onward routes to check. The fastest runners took the lead and did the checking, before a cry of ‘On! On!’ rang through the air. The circle was kicked through quickly to show the right route, and we were off again. One small step across a stile for some was one giant leap over a five-bar gate for others to cross through a meadow of grazing cows.
Soon we left the city behind for the damp and musky atmosphere above the Wey and up, up through shady beech groves. Not a crater in sight, but only a dip in which another lifeform had marked in flour “10km” with an arrow pointing left and “5km” with an arrow pointing to the right. Here the pack undocked, and each person took it upon themselves to choose a longer or shorter orbit around the area winding through woods and fields. A few false trails investigated and a run along the Sea of Tranquillity Wey Navigation, we arrived back to earth over the moon to food, drink and conversation at the pub. Mission accomplished, this was outdoor adventure at its best. What more could you want on a warm summer’s evening?
Our grateful thanks go to our Hare (Graham Dean) and his marshals for laying not one, but two exciting courses to suit all running abilities. Our sincere thanks also go to the PESGB, Getech plc, Lambert Energy Advisory, Reach CSC, Shearwater, SLR Ltd and Spectrum for sponsoring the Hash. The aims of this event were outreach and to have fun with our industry colleagues. Judging by the feedback we have had and the number of people still in the pub at 10pm, we did achieve both. It would be great to continue the annual tradition of the oil industry Hash. If you would like to help sponsor the event next year, please let us know.