Haring and Trail Marks

What are Hares?

Hares are hashers who volunteer to set trails and thus show fellow hashers areas of Taiwan that they would otherwise never get to see. Ideally, each run will have two hares, one of which must be a qualified hare (three or more hare runs). For special events, more than two hares may be approved by the trailmaster or head.

Hare Duties

Apart from giving up time and some expense to scout trails, and marking the trail during the hash, hares have several other duties:

  • Hares are responsible for packing and icing the coolers for each run.
  • The hares must ensure that there are coolers for beer and soft drinks at the Douliu baseball stadium where the hash meets.
  • The hares must ensure there are coolers at both the start and the finish. Bottled water should also be provided (but need not be iced). For additional items that need to be at the start and/or finish, see the lists below.
  • Hare are responsible for unpacking the coolers after the hash. Leftover drinks can be packed into boxes and left at Roxy’s Bar. The coolers should then be cleaned and left to dry.
  • During the car run to the start, the hare must know the number of vehicles in the convoy, and make sure the convoy sticks together. If necessary the hares must decide on muster points where the convoy can reconvene.
  • The hares must know the route for the car run after the hash in order to transfer all vehicles from the start to the finish.
  • Hares are responsible for finding any ‘lost souls’ who fail to reach the finish in good time. The hares are NOT responsible for finding any SCB’s (Short Cutting Bastards) who may have left the trail and gotten lost.

For their efforts and the cost of fuel when scouting and buying ice, hares are exempt from paying run fees. In the case of special runs (such as a Champagne Breakfast Run), hares will still pay a fee for the included meal.

Items to be Loaded

Start Car

  • Start Coolers (1 for assorted beer, 1 for soft drinks and Super Supau)
  • 1 box bottled water
  • Chalk and cards
  • Hashits (men’s and women’s)
  • Trash bag(s)
  • Sign in sheet (if the Hash Cash will be absent)
  • Extra whistles

Finish Car

  • Finish coolers (1 for assorted beer, 1 for soft drinks and Super Supau)
  • Down down cooler (Blue Girl and/or Taiwan beer)
  • Down down bag (includes mugs & patches)
  • Snacks
  • 1 box bottled water
  • Extra beer, soft drinks, & ice
  • Trash bags
  • Water bowls for dogs

Marking Trail

The Start

On the day of the hash, the hares must write the name of the run and the run number and STARI at the start. The hares begin the run by crossing the second T in START. Walkers and runners set off 10 and 15 minutes after the hares set off, respectively. In special cases, the hares can opt for different times (e.g. during the Zombie Run, walkers and runners may set off together, with zombies following after 10 minutes).

Using chalk and cards to mark trail (see above), the hares will lead the chasing pack to the finish.

The Finish

At the finish, the hares must comply with the following two conditions prior to the arrival of the leading hounds:

  1. The word FINISH must be written in plain view.
  2. The finish cooler must be ‘presented’ i.e. be easily accessible (out of the finish car) for all hashers as they finish.

The following should also be done by the hares, but is not required before the first hounds arrive:

  1. Write additional info, such as trail distance, hare arrival time, etc.
  2. Provide chalk for the top three runners and walkers to sign in.

Hare priorities

On the day of the hash, the hares have four main priorities, in order of importance:

  1. Ensure all hashers get to the finish.
  2. Ensure there is sufficient refreshments at the finish.
  3. Try to make the trail as scenic and interesting as possible.
  4. Try not to get caught

The Catch!

The hares are considered CAUGHT if any of the following occurs:

The “Physical” Catch

If a hound or hounds TAG a hare prior to:

  1. Either hare reaching the finish
  2. The hares  writing  “FINISH” or presenting the Stash. (see two conditions above)

The hound(s) who did the catching have the privilege of writing CATCH at the point of tag and initialling it along with their running time. Unless the hares raise an objection with the head (see below), the catching hounds will receive the much coveted ‘Catch Patch’, while the hares are awarded the rather embarrassing ‘Broken Ear Hare Patch’. Multiple catch patches can be rewarded for those catching in groups, but there will have to be a limit. In such a case, the head can decide where the limit for claiming catches lies in that particular case.

Objecting to a catch

The hares may object to claims of a catch for various reasons, the most common being that the catching hound ran on ‘Walkers Trail’. An impromptu Mis-Management meeting will be convened and the merits of the claim and objection discussed. The MM decision will be final.

The ‘Technical Catch’

A ‘Technical Catch’ is declared under the following conditions:

  1. Trail marking was so bad that no hounds were able to find the finish.
  2. A hare was found to have premarked (i.e. at any time prior to the crossing of the second T in START) any part of the trail (does not apply to special runs that have been preapproved by the Head to be premarked).
  3. A hare is found to have used any type of transportation, other than his or her own feet. An exception to this is if the hares have written instructions such as “take ferry to island”, “take elevator to roof”, etc.

A ‘physical’ catch will always supersede a ‘technical’ catch. No ‘Catch Patch’ is awarded for a ‘technical catch’.

DDT’s Philosophy of Marking Trail

  1. Marking a trail poorly to avoid being caught is against the spirit of the hash. Cleverly sighted checks, and back tracks should be used to keep the chasing pack at bay.
  2. While not always possible, I like to make all my trails with the possibility of being shortcut.
  3. On most runs, three to four checks should be sufficient to avoid being caught.
  4. I like to over-mark trail, especially in thick grass, or during night runs, etc.
  5. If a hound is ‘ON’ trail, he/she should know it and be easily able to pick up ‘On On’s’, ‘Turns’, etc. They should only have to search for trail marks AFTER a check or back track.

Booger’s Guide to Haring

Every hash has a certain type of wallflower: the harrier or harriette who shows up every week for the trail and the beer, but never hares. Most hash groups try hard to draw their wallflowers out, but there remain a stubborn few who can be relied upon to beg off whenever they’re asked to set a trail.

I suspect that when you get right down to it, your really determined wallflower is afraid to hare. Afraid of doing something for the first time, afraid of being criticized for messing up the trail, afraid of being compared with better hares… and in a live hare hash, afraid of getting caught! I’ve hared so many times I can’t begin to remember all the trails I’ve laid, but I’m still terrified every time I do it. I have vivid nightmares the evening before, and once I start laying trail, for the first mile I can’t make up my mind whether to suck wind or hyperventilate. I strongly suspect that most hares experience some sort of pre-trail anxiety. It comes with the territory, and it’s part of the thrill of haring.

Haring is a thrill, after all, and uniquely rewarding. It really is a kick to plan a trail, especially if you’ve discovered some unexplored, challenging terrain to spice it up. And there are so many possibilities… long straight A to Bs, eagle/turkey splits, uphill detours begging to be BTs, circular trails that can either be A to As, A to almost-As, even A to Bs. Trust me, few things in life come up to the level of fun you’ll get from finishing your trail, then running back to a vantage point where you can watch the pack flailing through the shiggy… except, perhaps, for the pleasure of knowing you finished your trail without getting caught! Yes, it’s rewarding. It adds a new dimension to your enjoyment of hashing, and once you’ve tried it, you’ll want to do it again.

For the benefit of experienced hares who want to learn more about the art, for novice hares, and especially for hashers who would sign up to hare if they didn’t find the whole deal so intimidating, here are some tips and techniques I’ve developed over the years:

Live Hare Trails

Find an experienced co-hare to help you lay your first trail, and listen to his or her advice. This really is the best way to learn… it’ll also give you added confidence, and you can be sure your co-hare will help you plan your trail to minimize the chance of getting caught.

Regardless of Running Ability, start planning trail a month, or at the very latest two weeks, before the event. Pick the area you want to run in, then select start and finish locations. Many hares pick the finish location first and start their planning from there. There are many considerations in picking start and finish locations – parking, shade, a place to pee, and a reasonable amount of isolation from civilians so you can sing and drink afterwards. Plan the route from start to finish. Begin with map study, then walk the route. Look for animal or kid trails… they’ll lead you to all sorts of interesting places, like holes in fences, the best places to cross streams, the best routes up and down cliffs, etc. Pick the best places for checks, and make your BTs convincing. Your trail should keep the FRBs busy solving checks, allowing the pack to catch up. Live run your trail at least once, timing yourself. You should be able to run the basic trail (run the trail itself without taking bad trails or loops, that is) in 30 to 45 minutes. Don’t worry that it’s too short… with your checks, bad trails, and loops, the pack will be out for an hour or slightly longer.

Other Hare Responsibilities

In most hashes, live or dead hare, the hares sweep trail when hashers are overdue, finding DOTs and bringing them on-in. On hot days, hares should provide for water or beer stops along the trail. In hashes without a biermeister, the hares are usually responsible for bringing the beer. In some hashes, the hares are expected to find a suitable on-after restaurant or pub, while in other hashes, the hares bring and cook food for on-afters. But uppermost and always, the hares are responsible for laying a challenging, entertaining trail, the heart of every hash.

As I said, I get excited about haring, and I hope what I’ve written will help get you excited too. You really haven’t experienced the full thrill of hashing until you’ve hared. Wallflowers, get with it . . . find an experienced co-hare and sign up now!

  • Booger’s Guide to Haring ©1999 by Flying Booger for the Half-Mind Catalog
HASH TRAIL MARKS
On-OnThis is a single chalk mark at least 30cm long (1 foot for the un-metricated). ON-ONs should be clearly visible and can be on almost any surface; roads, trees, poles etc. ON-ONs should be no more than 50m apart.
TurnsThese are indicated by two curved lines at least 30cm long, bending in the direction of trail.
ChecksFour chalk lines forming a star indicate a check. Trail can go in any direction off a check. There may be several trails leading off a check, but only one can be the real trail, all the others will be false trails. The first trail mark after a check must be less than 100m from the check. There should be at least one ON-ON or turn between checks. It is very important that hashers post-mark checks, so that those following up don’t have to bust the check as well.
BacktracksIndicated by three parallel lines across the trail. They indicate the end of a false trail leading off the last check. You must return to the check to find the real trail, OR, look for a hidden turn (see below) between the backtrack and the last check. The distance between the backtrack and the check should not be longer than 1km.
Hidden turnsThese are not actually hidden from view, such as under a rock, inside a structure etc, but are turns not normally viewed when running in a forward direction along the trail. Rather they a visible as normal, when traveling in the reverse direction along the trail. Hidden turns are found between a check and a backtrack or on the trail leading into the check. In this case the hidden turn should be within 50m of the check and there should be no ON-ONs between the check and the hidden turn. Hidden turns do not lead directly to another backtrack or hidden turn. A check must appear before another hidden turn is used.
SBeware, trail is slippery
TBeware, heavy traffic on the road.
WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS
On-overThis indicated a major road is to be crossed. Cross safely and the next trail mark should be found directly opposite the on-over.
Runners onlyHashers starting as runners may walk, but may not go on the walkers trail at any time (forwards or backwards). Should you happen upon a trail (after shortcutting for example) and find you are on walkers trail, you have to exit it as soon as possible (don’t go jumping into typhoon-swollen rivers for example). The penalty for running on walkers trail will be a down-down, and any claim for a catch will be rejected.
Walkers onlyHashers starting as walkers may not run at any time, but may walk on the runners trail. Penalty for running as a walker will be a down-down, and any claim for a catch will be rejected.
StartThe starting point of the trail. Run # and run name are usually added.
FinishThe end of the trail. Must be written in full, the stash “presented” and both hares present, before the hares are safe from being caught.
Runners back to walkersThis indicated the runners have followed a false trail, and the real trail is actually the walkers trail. This gives runners permission to run on walkers trail.
Please note: the distance between trails marks is halved for night runs, i.e. 25m between regular trail marks and 50m after a check.

 

SOME HASH TERMINOLOGY
Hash stash:Coolers containing iced drinks of both an alcoholic and non-alcoholic nature.
Down-Downs:A.K.A “The circle” – the post-run ceremony where hashers are named/abused/made fun of or name/abuse/make fun of others. Also where hash info is disseminated. Can also refer to the act of consuming, from the sacred hash cup, the beverage contained within. This act needs to be completed within 5 seconds or the drinker will hear shouts of “wear it”, i.e. pour it on your head.
Stash abuseThe heinous crime of abusing the stash, either by sitting on the cooler, or taking more than one is able to properly consume. Fine: Penalty down-down.
KanoodlingThe act of (or perceived act of) romantic flirtation. While we acknowledge that some hashers are turned on by the sweatiness of others, snogging, lap-dancing, hands up shirts (or down shorts) etc. will often be punished with a down-down. (Head of the Hash can choose to see/feel for himself, whether a penalty down-down so incurred, was worth it!)
HaresThose hashers who do all the bloody work; scout trail, load coolers, ice the coolers, mark the trail, find lost hashers, unload coolers, etc.
Live haresHares that mark trail as they run. The Holy-Hash-Grail is to catch them. “Live hares” get a 15 minute start on the runners (10 minutes for walkers). The opposite of a “live hare” trail is a pre-marked trail, where the hares follow the pack and keep them together (not real hashing!!!)
Short cutting bastards(Or SCB‘s) are those hashers who leave the marked trail, in an effort to shorten the trail and catch the hares. SCB‘s should know that the hares have no responsibility in finding them should they, in all likelihood, get lost.
Shortcut CommitteeAn informal group of hashers, who share knowledge of the area and attempt to devise a shortcut strategy. This committee convenes to shouts of “shortcut committee“ as the hares are leaving the start, in an attempt to instill fear in the hares. Most effective on “virgin” hares.
ScoutingThe act of looking for a start, a finish and a suitable trail linking the two. Performed by the hares prior to the run.
Pre-markingThe act of marking the trail prior to the start of the run. This is illegal on hashes that use “live hares,” and will invoke great wrath if discovered.
Post-markingTrail marks added by front running hashers (not hares), to make the trail easier to follow, and allows slower hashers to keep up. Very crucial at “checks”(see below).
“Are you on?”

“Are you?”

A cry shouted by hashers looking for trail marks
“ON ON!”A cry shouted by a hasher who is on trail, or who has just found trail marks after a check etc. Also indicated by two sharp blasts on a whistle.
“Busting” checksThe act of finding trail after a check (see below)
Naming CommitteeConvening of an informal group of hashers with intimate knowledge of one about to be named. Such info is disseminated and a suitably disgusting hash name so derived. Occurs after the run and before the down-downs.
CatchThe acts of tagging one or both hares or finding the finish before both hares get there. Gives one bragging rights for years to come! (Caught hares are regularly humbled and given many down-downs)
HarrierThe male of the species. After a down-down the Head will say, “Let’s give him an H-I-M,” to which the hash is invited to respond with “FUCK HIM!!”
HarrietThe female of the species. After a down-down the Head will say, “Let’s give her an H-E-R,” to which the hash is invited to respond with “LOVE HER!!”
HashitBoth men’s and women hashit’s exist. These are awards given to a hasher for a blatant faux pas during the run. It is imperative that the Hashit never leave the awardee’s possession. They get to nominate and award it after the next run.
Mismanagement committeeThe buffoons that keep this motley crew on trail, by meeting and planning all sorts of crap.
Name abuseCalling someone by anything other than their hash name, if they have one.