The Drinking Club with a Running Problem
The Hash is defined as a “Drinking Club with a Running Problem”; which means that a dry run is not a Hash, and that drinking without a good trail is not a Hash either. Runs are therefore an essential part of Hashing and they certainly do not resemble athletic running.
Haring plays a very crucial role in preserving this Hashing Tradition and helping it to keep going. No Hares means no runs, and no runs means no Hash. You can’t keep relying on others to do the work, you must repay their good efforts and support the Hash by also taking your turn to be a Hare.
Lack of experience in haring is not an excuse for avoiding this duty - everyone has to start some time so we have put together this document titled ‘Haring for Dummies’ to help both new inexperienced Hashers learn the art of Haring and to make sure old experienced Hares don’t forget any aspects of this important task so that we maintain a high standard of Hashing in BTH3.
Hash Runs originate from the game called “Hare and Hounds”. Essentially, the Hounds have to find the trail, as if they were chasing the Hares. And Hares do not normally run straight, but go left, then right, then hide, then go back, etc,… If you think this way, you will find your way to setting the perfect trail.
A good Run needs some preparation and cannot be decided at the last minute unless you’ve already done the trail previously and know the area perfectly well. Haring should be a pleasure, especially when you finish the Run and receive congratulations. The Run is a piece of art that Hashers discuss for hours after!
So, here are the Ten Commandments that should help you set your perfect trail.
Of course, before you start, you need to select a date and at least one co-hare to help you. If you are not experienced in Haring, we will make sure there is an experienced Hare to help you. Discuss this with the Hare Razor at one of the hash runs, if they don’t approach you first. Alternatively, you can book a hash date through this website using the "Contact Us" form or send an email to the Hare Razor.
I. FIND YOUR LOCATION
The location is a key element in the Hash. After having attended many Runs, you will become jealous and feel an urge to organize a Run! Unleash your desire, take your car or someone else’s car and go sightseeing. Lebanon has some breathtaking sites.
To make a good location decision, some factors should be taken into consideration. In the winter, it gets dark pretty early and you’d better choose a location close to the coast and not too far from Beir ut. Whereas in the summer, days are longer and warmer and therefore high mountain locations are very enjoyable - fresh, cool and dry, wonderful paths to discover, crazy On On’s to organize, perhaps a BBQ, camping … anything is feasible. Just decide in advance and inform the Hashers. They will love any initiative you may t ake to turn your run into a fiesta.
Remember that in the winter, Runs start at 2.30 pm and in summer at 4 pm. ‘Full Moon’ runs always start at 8pm.
Other factors to take into consideration
When you find the site of your dream, don’t forget you’ll need car parking spaces for approximately 15 cars.
Also, you will need a nice area for the Circle, and this needs to be easily accessible for the Hash Beer wagon. If not accessible by car, organize an alternative way to get the beer there.
If you’re setting a Full Moon run, chose a location where the moon can be seen because male Hashers have to moon the Moon at the end of the circle!
II. HOW TO PROCEED
Once you have spotted the location, you should then start to find paths that will be used by the Hounds. Several trips may be necessary before you find the perfect trail. Also, remember that all Hashers are not athletes and some paths that look easy for some can be considered really difficult for others and keep the safety of the Hashers in mind - if someone falls down a steep hillside, YOU will be the one who has to go down and get them out. Find alternative trails.
A good tip for starting is to find a high spot from where you can make a full reconnaissance of the whole area.
Also, it is advisable to be aware of the different access points by car for situations such as rescuing someone who is lost, or injured, or simply to organize a water/beer stop.
III. SETTING THE TRAIL A good trail hardly needs the Hares to interfere during the Run. However, to achieve this result, respecting certain practices is essential. For example, figure ‘8’ shape trails are not recommended, unless set by experienced Hares who know how to do them properly, because Hashers can easily get lost and repeat the same loop indefinitely.
If you want to set a trail in a narrow area, increase the number of ‘Check Backs’ or ‘False Trails’ – see definition later. If you have enough space, you can send the runners on a separate loop.
Remember, Hashers are there to be together. Therefore, ‘Check Backs’ help keep the pack together. And if you send the runners on a separate loop, it has to be for a determined time, after which they rejoin the walkers.
Only on big events, i.e. with more than a hundred Hashers, should separate trails be organized e.g. for long, medium and short, or just long and short Runs.
If you are not familiar with the area where you are setting the trail, it is a good idea to check with the locals whether there are any unexploded mines in the area. Clearing away exploded Hashers after a run is a very messy business.
Finally, remember that walkers are 4 times slower than runners. If you calculate this way, you’ll be able to keep the pack together.
IV. ROLE OF THE HARES
During the run
Hares are there only to prevent ‘stupid’ Hashers getting lost! Therefore, the running Hares should not lead the runners. They should run alongside or just behind the front runners so as to be able to tell them to come back if they go too far off in the wrong direction and potentially get lost.
Hares should always make sure all of their Hounds are with them.
Hares accompanying walkers must also act as ‘sweepers’, i.e. make sure no one is left behind alone.
In some cases, you might need to have a middle Hare, between the last runners and the first walkers.
Important Note: Hares have to make sure that the walkers are not taking the ‘Check Backs’. These are only for runners. Walkers do not need to be slowed down
After the run
Hares are responsible for assisting the Hash Beer, i.e. opening bottles and handing out beer mugs for Down Downs.
Hares are also responsible for managing the On On. This includes finding a place to hold the On On, negotiating a deal with the manager, explaining the deal to the Hashers in the circle to avoid misunderstandings later about what is included in the price, calling them on the day to let them know the number of people coming (if necessary), making sure everyone going to the On On knows how to get there, and collecting the money from the Hashers and paying the bill plus tip.
V. WATER/BEER STOP
Since the Hash House Harriers is a “drinking club with a running problem”, you should not forget to organize a water/beer stop during the Run. Ideally, it should be approximately 2/3rds into the Run distance, i.e. after the hard work is done. If the place is accessible by car, put the drinks in the car and park it in the place where you want to hold your water/beer stop. You may also wish to hide the drinks in a bush and organize a ‘find the beer’ game.
Remember, be ready to carry any rubbish back with you, so take some rubbish bags. Also, if you’re carrying the rubbish on your back, it may be better to buy beer cans instead of bottles.
You are encouraged to be very creative for your water/beer stop and include other things, e.g. an iced cold water melon!
If a trail is long and the weather is very hot, remember to remind the Hashers to take some water with them before they set off on trail. Even better if you can place an extra water stop 1/3rd of the way into the run. This can be water only with the main water/beer stop as described above.
Don’t forget that the Hash reimburse you up to LL 20,000. Also, the Hares do not pay hash cash.
VI. MARKING THE TRAIL
Trails are usually marked using flour or chalk. However, Red lentils can be used to mark trails on snow, flour not being advisable on such terrain. Some other materials used by hash kennels around the world include saw dust, finely shredded paper and biodegradable surveyor’s tape. Whatever you use to mark your trail, it should be friendly to the environment after the hash has finished.
Flour can be thrown by hand, or you can use a plonker which is more economical in the amount of flour it takes to lay a trail and it makes marking faster (and more fun!).
You can make your own plonker from a large tin, e.g. a powdered milk tin. Perforate the base of the tin in an H shape using a nail and hammer. Then get a broom stick or a cane and attach it to the tin (using screws is best but heavy sticky tape will do). Now you have your very own plonker!
An annual Plonker of the Year Award at the Hash Christmas Party can be fun!
Markings can be put anywhere: on the road, path, pavement, trees, rocks, etc,…. but don’t put them on objects that may get moved before the hashers come along, or get obscured by cars parking on top of them!!! They should be visible but not too obvious. The Hounds have to look fr them. They should be slightly hidden behind a rock, or a bush, so they can only be seen when you’re up close to them. This applies mainly to ‘Check Backs’, especially to make sure that those Front Running Bastards (FRBs) can’t see them from a long distance. At the same time, they should be clearly visible when you are up close, so that the runners do not skip them and get lost. Put 2 or 3 markings if necessary.
Hashers will usually keep going straight ahead unless the marks says to do something else so always make sure any change of direction of the trail is well marked, e.g. going around corners, or signed with arrows where the trail crosses an area where it is difficult to place marks, e.g. crossing over roads or streams.
On a dirt path, use flour. Chalk can be used on rocks and concrete. Also chalk is best on roads but flour is good too.
Chalk color selection is important. If the ground is clear, choose bright chalk colors such as blue and yellow - they are more visible than white and last longer. If you set your trail well in advance, use blue chalk, it stays for a week. At night, for full moon runs, use yellow chalk rather than white.
When the trail follows a well defined path, the marks can be far apart with just an occasional mark from time to time so the Hashers know they are ‘On’. However, where the trail passes over areas where there is no well defined track to follow, the marks need to be closer together or the pack will spend too much time looking for them, or simply won’t find them at all.
It is always a fine balance between making the trail too easy or too hard to find. Getting this balance just right is something you learn with experience. If you are new to Haring, it is better to make it too easy - at least that way you won’t lose any Hashers so there will be plenty of people in the circle while you drink your Down Down for making the trail too easy!!!
Avoid setting trails ‘by car’. If you do, you WILL get a Down Down! This is because a car travels a long distance in a short time compared to a runner or walker so even though it seems like you are stopping regularly to lay the marks, in reality they are too far apart for the Hashers on foot and they can start to think they have lost the trail, then turn around and go back or start looking for trail in the wrong direction.
There are various Do’s & Don’ts when it comes to setting trails and you will learn these with experience. A couple of simple ones to remember are that it should not be possible to see the parked ‘Chariots’ (cars) from any part of the trail except when ‘On In’. Also, it should not be possible to see another part of the trail from any point on trail. This is because the Hounds can get confused if they see two different parts of the trail at the same time - some might continue on the correct part of the trail while others decide to go on the other part of the trail which results in complete chaos!!!
Whichever way you decide to mark your trail, the most important things to remember are to keep the pack together, not to lose anyone and to make sure the run is fun for all the Hashers. Hashing is something we all do for fun.
VII. THE MARKINGS
Every Hash Kennel in the world has its own markings. They are not extremely different, but there should be Hasher consensus regarding their meaning. Also remember, that we might have ‘Virgins’ or travelling Hashers who do not know the meaning of our markings. Therefore, Hares are requested to explain, before the run starts, every sign that they have used as well as give an idea about the number of Checks, and a quick description of the trail and estimated duration for runners & walkers.
Hashers should be advised by the Hares to pay special attention at road crossings, cliffs, rivers or any other specific hazard they are going to face.
Arrows: à They can be done with either flour or chalk. They indicate the direction you want the Hashers to go. They can be arched if there is a bend or a turn.
Blobs of Flour: You should compact them with your shoes so they will not get blown by the wind, and will be more difficult for goats to lick them away! Sometimes ants eat all the flour. So make sure to recheck your markings if you have set the trail days in advance, either the day before or on the day of the Run.
Using a Plonker: H H H H H H … Every time you hit the ground with your plonker an ‘H’ shape flour marking falls down. Easy!
Checks: These are punctuations in the trail where Hashers are expected to do something. The main types of checks used by BTH3 and how they are marked are described below.
Check It Outs: These are simply a circle marked on the ground with nothing inside. It means that there are several possible paths the trail could take from here and the Hashers should check out each of them to find the one ‘True Trail’. You can adopt one of the following two systems:
i) With ‘False Trails’. In this system, you mark a number of trails leading away from the Check but only one of them is the ‘True Trail’. The others are all ‘False Trails’ and have only one or two marks then nothing. Therefore, if the Hashers find a trail = with a third mark, they know they are on the ‘True Trail’.
ii) Without ‘False Trails’. In this system, only the ‘True Trail’ is marked but the first mark away from the check has to be put very = far out so as to force the runners to check all the different paths to find it.
The chosen system should be announced in the Circle before the run.
Double Headed Arrow: it’s when the trail offers two directions, one of which is true.
Split in the Trail: R W As mentioned above,= a trail can sometimes split into separate trails. Usually this is where you have an extra loop for the runners so you mark each branch of the split with R for runners and W for walkers. At special event runs, these splits may be for short, medium or long trails. The Hares must explain any split trail markings in the circle before the run.
On = In: Kind Hares will write ‘On In’ in flour or chalk on the trail when the end of the trail is near so as to encourage the Hashers to continue to the beer. Sometimes ‘BN’ (Beer Near) is used instead.
Not= e: Make sure you have a rucksack to collect all the used flour bags and chalk boxes.
VIII. HHH SIgns
To successfully lead all Hounds travelling to the Run starting location, it is advisable to put up HHH signs at key points along the route from Beirut as a support to your map.
Signs must be VERY VISIBLE and obvious. HHH should be written in big bold fonts. You can even print some of them on A3 paper, especially if you post them on a highway. There are some available on the hash website for you to download and print. Remember to place them where the driver of a car can easily see them while they are driving.
Don’t forget that you need at least 10 signs + scotch tape + knife or scissors, unless you like to cut the tape with your teeth!
Hashers must be tidy people and never leave rubbish behind them. Therefore, Hares have to remove all signs when the run is over. Failure to do so can lead to the Mismanagement taking appropriate action – including awarding Down Downs for the Hares at the next Run!
IX. THE MAP
A good map is essential and it must give a good representation of the directions to the Run destination. It should help Hashers have an idea about the road, key landmarks, number of kilometers between one town and another, etc ….
It is therefore a drawing and not a list of instructions. Please avoid Google maps, because it takes some people ages to understand them, and they bear no landmarks, like “rubbish bin” or “tree” or “supermarket Abou Tony”, etc …
Maps should also provide the following: Run No., location, start time, an estimate of how long it takes to reach the start of the run from downtown Beirut considering the likely traffic conditions on the day and the Hares’ names and contact phone numbers, preferably mobile numbers. If there is anything special about the Run, please mention it on the map, such as: “On-On details after the Run”; or “Barbecue after the Run”; and “Bring your own food, drinks, coal, toilet paper…” etc.
Also give details if there is a special theme for the Run and you would like the Hashers to wear costumes or bring anything in particular with them to the Run.
If it is a camping weekend, please provide a list of items that Hashers may need to bring such as water, mats, tents, etc …..
X. WORK FOR A GOOD ATTENDANCE
Would you like your trail to be appreciated by as many Hashers as possible? Yes? Then release your map in advance; which means at least a week in advance, especially if you have planned a nice On On. The earlier the better.
You can supplement your map release with advance email ‘teasers’ without giving away too much detail, but offering enough to get Hashers ready and excited about= the Run. Don’t be shy… be creative! Just email something to firstname.lastname@example.org and this will then get released to all the Hashers.
A very good tip for gaining interest in your Run is to have a theme. For instance: a National Day where you want to celebrate a country’s culture; a Fancy Dress Run; Valentine’s Run, Gispert Run (Hash Founder), etc… Special themes must be announced in the ‘teasers’ and on the map.
I you arrange your On On ahead of time, you may wish to ask the Hashers to give you a ‘Yes/No’ confirmation ahead of time so that you know the approximate number planning to attend. You can then confidently negotiate a good deal with the restaurant well in advance – remember, with the Hash, we look for decent deals. Lebanese Mezza is not mandatory. Deals can be arranged with Pubs so we can dance afterwards, mainly on Saturdays. Finally, remember that Hares are responsible for cash collection from the attending Hashers at the On On for payment to the restaurant, inclusive of tip.
TO ALL HASHERS: THE HAS H CALLS
Hounds have also to call the trail, which means shouting ON‑ON every time they see a marking. Following Hounds can hear them and easily follow the trail. = When Hounds have to look for the right trail, one Scout goes in each direction. Waiting Hashers can call “Are you?” to = see if they have found the trail (short for ‘Are you on trail’). The Scouts call “Checking “ so that other Hounds know they are not on trail yet so don’t follow them unless they want= to go checking too.
When a Scout finds a first mark, they call “Checking One” then “Checking Two” when they find the second mark then finally “On‑On” when they find the third mark. If they don’t find a third mark and decide what they were following is not the correct trail, they call “False Trail” so that no one else goes that way and to encourage the Hounds checking other possibilities to keep on checking.
If Hounds are not sure if they are on trail at any time, and the Hounds in front are not calling “On‑On” as they should, the Hounds at the back can call “Are You?” to encourage the Hounds in front to call “On‑On”.
I= f the Hounds in front can’t find any marks and they are not sure which way the trail goes, they should call out “Looking” so that the Hounds behind them know the trail may not go where the Hounds in front are right now and they should also look to see if they can find the trail marks. They do NOT call out “Checking” as this is only called after reaching a Check. The Hounds who are “Looking= ” may also call out “Last Mark” to ask the other Hounds to find the last mark they saw on the trail as a help to finding which way the trail went from there.
And don’t = forget
Hashing stands for beer, a good laugh, and a great party every time we get together. So Yalla!!! Let’s Party! It requires a little bit of organization and a lot of imagination. But you’ll quickly realize . . . . it’s= worth it!