...so you have finally volunteered to hare (set the trail) and you're looking for a few pointers?

Look no further; we're here to help! Hares earn the admiration and gratitude of their peers when they give a little something back. You will be thanked, admired, and idolized. You will eb up to your ears in devotees. You will get an SP (it is unclear, and probably deliberately so, whether SP stands for Special Punishment or Special Prize. In either case, we only know how to express emotion by giving people beers, so you'll definitely get one of those), but in the end, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you're good, that you help the elderly cross the street, and seed torrents beyond a 1.0 ratio.

Why Hare?
  • You want to be liked, don't you?
  • Or maybe you feel a sort of paternal satisfaction in knowing that the flock is good because of your hard work.
  • Perhaps it's revenge and the desire to make an even shiggier trail than the last hares...

The Hare's Job
  • To set the trail, preferably starting, and definitely ending, at our hash location for that week. (Regular hashes are announced on the Wednesday prior. Extraordinary ones will be announced as early as possible)
  • To give a short ‘chalk talk’ to the pack prior to the run, especially to clarify things to virgin runners 
  • To notify of any particular hazards, or attractions, depending on personal tastes (eg. Packs of Flaites, student protests, deranged stray dogs, earthquake damage, shoot-em-ups at karaoke bars, village idiots, and the like) 
  • To explain any variations on the usual markings. 
  • To start the runners on their trail and to start the walkers on their trail. 
  • To put the pack back on the trail if they get totally lost. 
  • To make sure that everyone returns at the end (count the people as they leave)
  • To find a replacement in event you cannot do it for the Saturday you’ve been assigned.  And to inform the Hare-Raiser NO LATER THAN the previous weekend, so there is no misunderstanding and “No Shows”.  If you screw this up, there will be no run, and there will be dire repercussions (like not being given any beer for a very long time).
    Live Runs 
    If you are a very fast runner, or you fail to set the run on time, you have the option of setting a “live run”. In this case you are given 5 or 10 minutes head start and you set the trail as you try to outrun the pack to the finish. If the pack catches you, you can expect one or several down-downs. Needless to say, you will have little or no time to set false trails and if the pack spots you in the distance they can ignore the trail you just set and head straight for you.

    Setting the Trail

    The objective is to set a trail that can be followed by the fastest runners, (the Front-Running B**tards, or FRB’s) who will investigate false trails and determine the correct path. In the meantime the slower runners will catch up. In this way the pack stays together and nobody should get totally lost. The walkers start off separately, and follow a 4k trail. The walk is dimensioned so that the runners and walkers come in at about the same time.  The other way to look at it, is to set a walker’s trail, and then add extra distance on for the runners – break them away from the main group and give them 3k of pain.
    The trail should be visually interesting and varied. Technology is your friend. Strava heat-maps can be a great guide in locating good runs, as can Google maps. Spending some time looking through these will make setting the trail much easier.
    Use flour & chalk to mark the trail.  You need a few more marks than you think. Santiago Hashers are not particularly observant, and in the city marks often get erased quickly by suspicious caretakers, busybodies, innocent by-standers, and hungry strays. So be generous with your marks. Make them big and easy to see.  A good guideline for flour is around 4lbs will lay a well-marked run.
    Marks traditionally used in the Santiago Hash (use more if you like - just explain them during the chalk talk!) are:

    • Blob – this is an ordinary trail marker
    • Circle – this is a check. From here there are two or more trails, only one of which will continue. False trails can be up to a couple of hundred metres long, depending on circumstances.
    • X – this marks the end of a false trail. There can be one or two blobs on the false trail before the final X.
    • H-in-circle – this is a holding check. The pack holds while the slower runners catch up.  Usually associated with a viewpoint or something the pack should see.
    • Arrow – use this when you want to be clear about the direction to take, such as on busy roads where you don’t want people checking around.
    • R with Arrow and/or W with Arrow – indicates if you are splitting the runners away from the walkers

    A few false trails (3 or 4) is about right for a run.  Fewer (like zero) will be soundly criticized, but too many false trails can get confusing and a bit tiresome. 

    When marking the trail, consider that if you put flour on someone’s lawn, it is likely to get watered.  If you put flour on someone’s driveway, it is liable to get swept away by an over-protective nana.  The best places to position a mark are along the edges of buildings, at the bases of lightposts, signposts & trees and in places where its not likely to be trod upon or eaten by a stray dog.

    You may get asked when setting the trail, what you are doing – by security guards, or the simply curious/nosey.  There could be a legitimate concern that you are in some way marking houses for breakins (or something equally paranoid).  Explain you are with a running group and you are just marking a trail.  If you don’t have enough Spanish, an amusing mime of this usually works.

    Remember that the walkers generally know where they are going and therefore can give a way the route to the runners. Therefore try to arrange for the walkers to stay behind the runners. Another idea is to have the walkers do the route in reverse.

    The endpoint should be located in a place preferably away from traffic noise, so that the Grand Master doesn’t have to shout his head off to be heard. Most of our Grand Masters shout their heads off anyway.  It also has to be a location where we can have a circle, sing & drink beer without attracting undue attention from police, or annoying too many people.  If we’re going inside a pub, make sure they have space for us, and understand they’re getting a noisy group.

    Hashers are sneaky bastards and will talk nicely to you & distract you to get you distracted & out in front. Don’t lead the pack through the run. It is their job to find the trail.

    Beer Stops
    Sometimes it's nice to include a beer-stop. This involves either a spot along the trail where hashers stop & have a cool refreshing brew right at trail-side, or a pre-arranged stop at an actual pub. Talk to the GM & Hash Cash to organize it and work out funds if you plan on using a pub for the beer stop, and to the beer-meister if you're hoping to use hash beer for the stop.

    Physical Challenges

    Limbo-stations, monkey-bars, beer-pong & pogo-stick races are all perfectly acceptable additions to a trail. (perhaps not all at once?) Occasionally, hares will include some awkward passage or small test of skill like this making use of public jungle-gyms or natural features of the trail. Remember to keep it fun & legal!

    The Chalk Talk

    At the start of the hash you will be briefly introduced by the GM and asked to explain the trail & markings. Particularly when there are virgins, it is important to cover the basic markings and yelling of "On-on", ect. Audience participation matters, so make sure & get the group yelling out in unison "on-on", "on check", "on one", "false trail", "beer-stop" by leading them. You can help add to the drama by bringing a little flour into the circle & making the marks right there for the wide-eyed virgins to see.

    Here is a typical set of trail-markings. Santiago generally uses a small subset, but you're free to introduce a marking new to the group on occasion.
    Your Final Reward

    At the end of the run, during the Circle, the Grand Master will call on someone to do a run report. Following the run report the pack will give a verbal vote as to what they thought of the run.  You will be rewarded for your efforts in song & in beer.  Perhaps more beer, if you did a really good or really lousy job.

    T-Shirts and Theme Runs

    If you wish to design and produce a T-Shirt or other hasherdashery  for your run, please consult with the Hash Haberdasher first, as he/she will know how many T-Shirts are in stock already, where to get best price/quality. Also you will receive instructions concerning our standing agreements to show logos.

    Unexploded Ordnance, Land Mines, Jumpers, and Bomb-threats.
    Of course there would be something about this, since hashing is at its heart a military tradition performed in conquered places. The relationship of your locale to imperial interests notwithstanding, hazards do happen on trail & they should be handled with social responsibility and diplomacy. Warn other hashers of any potentially dangerous discoveries on the trail, and do not do anything illegal as a group. This includes jaywalking.

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