H3SoB Guide to Haring
By Cums Solo
Note: Much of this text liberally stolen from numerous online sources. Feel free to return the favor.
Haring is the most important responsibility that can be entrusted to a hasher. It is also one of the most fun. It takes planning, insight, creativity, and yes, a little bit of evil to lay an exciting trail and establish the conditions for a great On-In afterward. If you've seen some interesting territory in your wanderings or have an idea for a fun trail or cool beer stops, volunteer to hare. If you haven't hared before, act as a co-hare to get an idea of what it's all about. Some options to consider:
- Find a mentor. This should help with confidence issues. The H3SoB Trailmeisters can usually make some good recommendations.
- Co-hare. This way you don't have to be a bad ass runner.
- Pre-lay. Be careful, some hashers will give you a hard time for this. Check with your mentor or…keep it a secret.
- Relax...haring a trail is probably the simplest problem you have solved since high school and besides, it's okay to screw up.
- If you want to hare (and you should) you first need to coordinate with the Trailmeister to get on the schedule. The hash website lists the current Trailmeister in the Mismanagement section at http://h3sob.com/p/mismanagement.
- The schedule is usually filled a month or two in advance, so plan ahead to get the date you want. You can check the website to see which dates are available.
- H3SoB hashes every other Saturday at 3:00 PM and on nights of the full moon at 6:15 PM. During the summer months we have HoTT (Hashing on Thursdays Too) runs at 6:15 on alternating Thursdays.
- There are several special event hashes in H3SoB. These include Mardi Gras, Miniskirt, and Campout. Occasionally H3SoB is host to the North-South Intercourse run. These hashes tend to draw larger crowds. Some such as Campout involve multiple trails. Hares and co-hares as well as additional support for these special event runs are always wanted and welcome. Check with Mismanagement as well as the person in charge of each event.
- A note for virgin (first time) hares: You must have a veteran co-hare! There's no substitute for experience - you can learn much from your grizzled old partner. If you don't arrange for a suitably experienced co-hare yourself, the Trailmeister will appoint one for you.
- Often one of the more difficult parts of haring is arranging a suitable
place for the On-In. This is not an insurmountable problem and should not
dissuade you from taking your turn as an H3SoB hare. Here are some
- Plan where you want to end first. Then plan where you want to start. There are more starting places than ending places.
- Start fairly close to the end. The fewer people you have to shuttle back to the start the better. People should be able to walk back to their cars after circle without a lot of difficulty. Anything over half a mile is probably too far without making special arrangements for transportation back to the start. While it is possible and often desirable to have the start and end at the same place (A-to-A trail) it may not be a good idea to let the pack know. Part of the fun of hashing is not knowing where you will wind up. Also announcing an A-to-A trail is likely to encourage extreme shortcutting. A mild example would be half the pack heading to a nearby bar and then returning to the start/end.
- There should be enough parking at the start for everyone expected to show up. Also, make sure that it's okay to park there. Hashers seem to get pissed off when they get back from the On-In and find that their cars have been towed or ticketed, or are now behind a locked gate.
- Starting at a bar other than for a special event isn't usually a good idea. It's difficult to get the pack out of a bar to go on a run.
- Arrange to have someone (Beermeister, walker, etc.) wait until the pack is off and then mark the location of the On-In in chalk at the start. This way if hashers get lost they can return to the start and then join the pack for religion.
- If ending the hash at a public establishment (bar, tavern, pub, etc.),
coordinate with the owner (or manager) well in advance.
- Ask about happy hour prices (lower if possible)
- Ask about food (free munchies, menu items)
- Coordinate with the Beermeister and Hash Cash ahead of time to settlefinances with the establishment, including gratuities for the bartender and other wait staff.
- Make sure that they fully understand that we are a solemn, serious bunch that is never loud, rambunctious, or lewd. (Yeah, right!)
- Plan for bad weather. The dry creek bed that looked like a nice spot for
an On-In may be a raging torrent on hash day.
- Have an alternate indoor or sheltered location in mind.
- Think about shortcuts for really bad weather or even calling off a part of the trail when the weather's too bad. It takes the same effort to run a mile in a driving rainstorm as three miles on a nice day.
- Consider alternate marking material such as rice in the flour,colored cereal such as Trix, etc.
- Let the Beermeister know what kind of beer support you'll need. If the end is in your back yard, the beer requirement for him is far different than if the end is at a public establishment. You must coordinate with the Beermeister to ensure that the beer gets to the On-In before the pack. Thirsty hashers with no beer in sight are unhappy hashers.
- Let the Trailmeister know as soon as possible, preferably two weeks before the start, details such as the starting location, any special requirements for the pack such as flashlights, and if there is a name for the run or a special theme. We publicize our runs on the website and also send invitations by Facebook with RSVP. This gives everyone including you the hare an idea of the likely size of the pack which helps with determining how much will be needed in terms of support, beer, etc.
- You can swap dates with another hare but you must let the Trailmeister know. This is not to obtain permission, but simply to keep the attending confusion to the minimum.
- Talk it up. Give the Trailmeister a write-up for publicity. Let the hash know if the trail is dog-friendly, if it promises something special in terms of scenery or terrain, anything that will encourage people to show up. Invite people to the Facebook run page and encourage RSVP.
- Hares are traditionally compensated up to $30 for beer purchased by the hares for use on trail. For runs where a large pack is expected or special events, this may be increased if coordinated with mismanagement in advance.
- Hares are not repaid for flour and other trail marking supplies.
- If you have any questions or special requirements contact the Hash Cash in advance of the run.
- Scout your trail early and often. This means actually running and/or walking the trail several times to get a good feel of its viability in terms of length, difficulty (shiggy), and opportunities for pleasant surprises. You can't scout a good trail from a car or from Google Earth, but both can be useful support items. Look for kids' trails and animal trails, these can lead to interesting places.
- For Saturday runs the true trail should normally be in the four to six mile range and certainly not more than seven miles. If over five miles you must have Turkey/Eagle split(s) with the Turkey trail at four miles or less. If there is a lot of tough shiggy and hills, make it a bit shorter.
- For evening runs such as HoTT and Full Moon, three to four miles is a good length, definitely not over five miles. If you are haring an evening run, it is important that you actually run your trail in the evening at least once and preferably more than once before the hash. Things look a lot different at night than they do during the day and that gate that is always open when you scout during the day may be locked with a Doberman behind it at night.
- Be considerate of the public, both in laying out the trail and in
planning the start and end.
- At the start, keep in mind that a bunch of hashers will be milling about and socializing. So, try to stay away from places where it is clearly posted that booze is prohibited, places where our presence will be closely observed, or where there are people likely to get pissed off.
- On trail, are we crossing any property where we are likely to be pissing off the owners? Usually commercial properties that are not open for business when we go through are not a problem. Rental residences like apartment complexes are seldom problems either. Private residences and back yards are likely to be trouble. Avocado growers usually don't like to see people running through their orchards, especially at night.
- For Saturday runs, if the On-In is at a public park where alcohol is permitted we're probably OK. Try to pick a spot where we won't be doing the "Head" chant a few feet from little Susie's eighth birthday party. Keep it out of earshot of residential areas.
- If we end at a bar, make sure that the owner knows we tend to get a bit rowdy and is cool with it or can arrange a private room for us.
- For evening runs, most of the parks in the area close at sunset. Small pocket parks in non-residential areas can often work but there are other places out of the way that can work as well. The main thing is to pick a place that isn't likely to annoy people. On the other hand we don't really want to lug the coolers half a mile through the mud either.
- If someone sees you laying trail and gets suspicious don't just run away looking guilty. Tell them that it's part of a game and that you're just throwing down baking flour to mark a trail for people to follow.
- H3SoB typically has beer checks on trail about every two miles, occasionally closer together. This means that for normal trails one or two beer checks should be sufficient. Special runs may require more. In addition to beer, you should have water available. If you've advertised the hash as dog-friendly, enough water for dogs as well as hashers and a disposable plastic bowl are nice.
- There are a number of places to have beer checks:
- A friendly resident. A co-operative hasher's house is often a good choice for a beer check. You aren't likely to get chased out, the beer isn't likely to get stolen, and things are simple.
- Stashed beverages. A cardboard box lined with a trash bag full of beverages covered with ice works well as a throw-away beer check. Canvas shopping bags such as those sold by Trader Joes also work and are easier to carry for a distance. If you stash beverages try to pick a place where they aren't obvious and likely to get stolen. Near a trash can or dumpster often works as it is easier to clean up. Even in a trash can often works. Make sure that the BN marks are obvious and point to the beer. Stashed checks require that you set them out immediately before the run so that the beer stays cold and doesn't get stolen. For all stashed checks the hare must return after the run and clean up.
- Someone's car. Often there will be hashers who don't want to run trail but show up for the social aspect. Having someone drive to a convenient place can work well. Be aware of open container laws and try to pick a discreet location. If you do a good job of keeping the pack together the same person can sometimes do more than one beer check.
- A bar. No clean-up needed. Beer readily available. If you have a beer check at a bar, you'll need to pre-pay for the beer and clue them in about the hash, when to expect the runners, etc. Typically two pitchers of beer is reasonable and fits within the budget. Let the pack know to bring money for additional beverages if they want and also to carry ID for proof of age. If the Facebook RSVP indicates a large pack, talk to Mismanagement about funding for additional beer.
- Consider other drinks in addition to beer. In cold weather, hot spiked cider is nice. Margaritas, Jello shots, spiked lemonade, etc. can break up the monotony and may be less expensive than beer if you use cheap booze.
- Keep the pack safe. Shiggy is a good thing, but don't send the pack down sheer cliffs, through trash heaps full of broken glass, nasty barbed-wire fences, or waist-high poison oak.
- Keep the pack together. Your job is to slow down the faster, more athletic runners to allow the slower members of the pack to keep up. Regular checks, backchecks, and harriette and virgin/visitor checks can be your friends here. Let the FRBs burn some extra calories solving checks or make them wait for a virgin or visitor. Harriette checks are of some value but beware that there are some pretty fast harriettes in H3SoB. Avoid long straightaways which allow the faster runners to really break away from the slower ones. If you must go a long way in one direction, use lots of checks, and place them so that it really seems likely that the trail will turn at that point. If part of your trail covers terrain that has been hashed before (and it likely will), go a different direction to throw off short-cutters who think they "know where this ends up".
- Use lots of flour. As a rule when you pass a mark you should be able to see the next one, except possibly at checks. Try to lay a trail that is easy to find but tough to solve (for the FRBs) instead of one that's next to impossible to find but easy to solve. Use lots of flour. Consider stashing a bag of flour along the trail ahead of time to make sure you don't run out. Use lots of flour.
- Be very careful if your trail crosses itself or loops very close to itself. If the pack happens to be spread out or lost they may stumble on the later trail and short-cut a portion. This is where you're likely to get snared by SCBs. On the other hand, short loops where the back of the pack can see the FRBs will allow them to catch up and can be a good thing.
- Use hare arrows frequently and at critical junctions. For example, if you have a Turkey/Eagle split use arrows where the trails come back together. Otherwise the Turkeys may run backwards down the Eagle trail and vice-versa if there are only flour marks where the trails rejoin. Anytime there is likely to be (unintentional) confusion about the direction of trail, use an arrow.
- Don't worry about your trail being too short. Particularly if you've done a good job of scouting, the trail will be familiar to you and seem like it is too short. You should be able to run the true trail (without checks or false trails) in 30 to 45 minutes. This means a shorter trail if the terrain includes a lot of boulder hopping, tunnels, hills, etc. The pack will be out much longer solving checks and stopping for beer. People don't usually gripe about not being beat up enough after a hash run.
- Don't use the hash to demonstrate your superb physical fitness. The point of the hash is for both hares and hounds to have fun. As a hound, getting your dick knocked into the dirt simply isn't fun, no matter how amused it the hare is about it all.
- H3SoB usually has a contingent of four to six walkers. Plan on giving the walkers a map or at least directions to one or more beer checks and the On-In.
- Walkers can often be useful to the hare in terms of marking the On-In at the start after the pack has left and some other tasks that need to be done after the pack is out.
- Walkers like a challenge too, and many of the most active and supportive members of H3SoB are walkers. If possible, consider a separate walkers' trail complete with checks similar to the runners' trail. This should be about two miles in length. A separate walkers' trail is best left to the more experienced hares. The walkers' trail can be pre-laid if needed. Take care to avoid confusion between the two trails. For example use a different color chalk only for the walkers' trail and mark it with a "W".
H3SoB Hare Checklist
Two weeks before the hash
- [ ] Have the run start and end defined.
- [ ] Convey "The Hare Sez" writeup to Trailmeister for publication
- [ ] Line up co-hare if you are going to have one.
One week before the hash
- [ ] Scout trail at least once. Plan where you are going to have beer checks and make arrangements if needed.
- [ ] Make any needed arrangements with Beermeister for ending in a bar, etc.
- [ ] Line up needed helpers (Bag wagon, transportation, mobile beer checks).
- [ ] Line up the On-On-On restaurant.
Two days before the hash
- [ ] Run trail again to be sure nothing significant has changed. Time yourself on true trail, 30 to 45 minutes at jogging pace.
- [ ] Check the weather forecast and be prepared if rain is predicted.
- [ ] Check Facebook RSVP and web/newsgroup chatter to get an idea as to the size of the pack. If large, talk to Mismanagement about additional funds for beer.
- [ ] Buy beer and flour, other drink prep.
The day of the hash
- [ ] Get ice for stashed or mobile beer checks.
- [ ] Prepare flour bags, chalk, etc.
- [ ] Coordinate with co-hare any last-minute changes, strategy.
- [ ] Check Facebook RSVP one last time.
- [ ] Prepare instructions for walkers.
On the way to and at the start
- [ ] Stash beer on the way to the start, pre-pay for bar beer checks.
- [ ] Stash extra flour if needed.
- [ ] Instruct walkers.
- [ ] Instruct a non-runner to mark the On-In after the pack has left.
- [ ] Hare lies – instruct pack on special marks, hazards, etc.
- [ ] Go! Don't sprint. You have a fifteen minute head start. Even at a slow pace that's over a mile. Run too fast and you'll burn out, make mistakes, and get snared.
After the On-In
- [ ] Sweep trail. Make sure stashed beer checks are cleaned up, etc.
- [ ] Settle any outstanding financial items, get reimbursed, etc.
- [ ] Start thinking about the next run you want to hare.