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30th Anniversary Pub Run – Jackie Kent reports….

On Saturday 13th May, a group of 17 of us met at the Memorial Hall to set off for the Sandhurst Joggers 30th Anniversary pub crawl/run. We started at 5.30pm with the aim of completing around five miles, with seven pubs and a chippy en route.

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With a very mixed ability group we weren’t quite sure what to expect but we set off together on the first leg of our journey, very ably led by Graham Robinson and Dave Breslin, our organisers for the evening. The first leg turned out to be a taxing 0.36 miles from the car park to the White Swan in Sandhurst. Here, it became apparent that some people were taking the challenge very seriously as pints of beer and glasses of wine were consumed. Graham revealed that he had a time plan for the evening so we sat in the sun and enjoyed some SJ social chat until we had the ‘five minutes!’ warning from Graham, indicating the need to move on. Samantha Pittick and Karen Page-Warren were nominated as official price checkers and were given the task of drinking the same drinks – a glass of rose blush each – at each pub and recording the price. This arduous task was designed so that we could share with our fellow joggers, which pubs gave the best value for money along our route. With drinking up time called and a group selfie taken, a few runners chose to get a head start so they headed off on the 1.4 mile stretch towards the next pub, closely followed a few minutes later by the bulk of the group.

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Our route took us towards Yateley (we resisted the urge to ‘knock and run’ on Lisa Harrold’s door) and to the Royal Oak. The staff were expecting us as Angela Foker’s son-in-law works there and he had been pre-warned of our arrival. Drinks were bought and we retreated to the garden to enjoy the evening sun. We were almost successful in recruiting some new members here as other patrons seemed quite impressed to see a running club on a pub crawl! The rose blush here cost £5.18 for two glasses compared with the £5 at the White Swan. We were slightly more organised here and at the sound of the “five minutes” warning we accosted a random stranger to take our group photograph, which meant that we could fit everyone in it.

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Moving on, and 0.93 miles later we arrived at the Dog and Partridge, also in Yateley. The rose here was £6 and our testers began to question the wisdom of the challenge to drink a glass in each pub and keep running but decided to see how far they could get… The main topic of conversation was that the Dog and Partridge was once the headquarters of the Monster Raving Looney Party, headed by Screaming Lord Sutch. We were far more organised here and got our now obligatory group photograph taken by chairman Richard Boese, who joined us on the way to visit family.

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Richard stayed with us as we undertook the next leg of the evening, 0.08 miles across the road to the White Lion. There had been a rumour floating around that Graham had planned to go the long way around but this turned out to be unfounded. With the sun starting to set we sat inside here as Samantha and Karen partook of their 4th glasses of rose each, at a cost of £5.50. Hunger was starting to kick in so bags of crisps started appearing with the beers and wines, we were still a pub away from the chip shop! This time, the random stranger we chose seemed to be very pleased to be asked to take our group photograph, taking his role very seriously.

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After a short discussion regarding route, we set off with a small adjustment to the planned route in order to take in a delightful country footpath as a pleasant change from the roads. (OK yes, it was a short cut!! Shhhhhh!!) This leg of the journey was a mile and during this run Samantha decided that her rose challenge was over and her drink of choice would be water at the next pub. So two roses were duly bought at a price of £7 (!!) and Samantha and Karen had one each. We had now arrived back in Sandhurst and this pub was the Rose and Crown. Paula Vine joined us here, unable to run but not wanting to miss this epic event. Another group photo, another “five minutes!” warning and we were once again on the road and running the 0.33 mile leg to the long awaited chip shop!

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The staff at the Flying Fish in Sandhurst had been enjoying a very quiet Saturday evening when they suddenly found themselves swamped by 17 hungry runners all at once. They coped admirably and served us all with freshly cooked fish, chips, sausages and whatever else, although they did resist our requests for a group discount. There was some difficulty getting a group photo here as the light outside was fading, however the chip shop lady did her best and seemed delighted to have an excuse to come outside for a few minutes.

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From there it was a short hop across the road to the Village Inn, however after eating fish and chips (with a pineapple fritter for pudding) it was probably the most difficult leg to run, all 0.06 miles of it. The rose here was an astronomical £7.40 for the two glasses however the ladies drinking it seemed not to notice too much by this point, Karen very quickly made her way to the front of the pub, stole the singer’s microphone and gave rousing renditions of ‘Thinking of You’ and ‘Car Wash’, despite the poor singer’s protests of “it’s not a karaoke!!”

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Suddenly realising the need to move our cars out of the car park before we got locked in, a few of us made a hasty exit and headed off to do just that. As dedicated Sandhurst Joggers and for the purpose of having the correct stats for this report, Tracy Buck and I ran all the way to the Wellington Arms to record a leg of 0.64 Miles, before returning to our cars. The rest of the group joined us very quickly and we all settled in for our final drinks of the evening (rose blush was £6 for the two). Before people started to drift away we decided to take our final group picture, however we caused a small amount of confusion by two of us asking two different random strangers to do the honours. So the one who didn’t get handed a camera decided to take his own picture of us anyway on his own phone!
And so ended a brilliant evening. 4.8 miles, 55 minutes actual running time and 5 hours total time. We had established that the cheapest place for rose blush was the White Swan and the most expensive was the Village Inn. We also all agreed that this event really should form part of the club’s annual events calendar. My thanks go to Graham Robinson (who also should be commended on successfully combining coordinating with consuming a pint in every pub!) and Dave Breslin for organising this event and to the whole team for making it such fun. Emy Circuit, Tracy Buck, Kate Parker, Phil Turner, John Wright, Patrick Wadsworth, Phil Guy, Chris Lambourne, Samantha Pittick, Jaqs Hudson, Karen Page-Warren, Holly Dunn, Julie Graham, Janice Alves De Sousa. With special non-running guest appearances by Richard Boese and Paula Vine.

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