Keep the Pack Together: First and foremost, you should try to lay a trail that keeps the pack together! Setting a trail that takes the pack through some really cool shiggy, or so they can view some really neat sites, is all well and good. But if by doing so, the pack winds up getting spread out over a long distance apart, you have failed at laying a good trail. What's fun about hashing is that you're out there with a group working together trying to solve a trail together. There are methods you can use to try to keep the pack together and at the same time make it interesting and entertaining. We do this through the use of checks, which ways, count backs, doo loops, hash halts, beverage stops, hash notes, turkey/eagle splits, short cuts, and even a map handed out to the known slow members so they can find the end quicker. The hare should always have a map of the start, beverage stop(s) and the end to give to the beverage truck driver and a sweeper.
Beer Stops: If there is only going to be one beer stop, it should be somewhere after the 1/2 way point and closer to the end if possible. Never put a beer stop in the first half of trail, even if there are more than one beer stops. If you put a beer stop near the half way point and it is an A to A trail, the walkers cannot be short cut to the beer stop because there is no short way to the 1/2 way and you will surely stretch the pack out. Using a regular beer stop on live hare trails to slow the pack down is pointless as the runners will just blow through the beer stop and continue on to try and catch the hare(s) anyway. Unless, there is no obvious trail leading away from the beer stop and the pack has to depend upon a note or map given to a trusted member in the pack, or perhaps a bar tender in a bar. When this occurs, the pack is usually required to finish all the beer at the beer stop before they receive the map, or note. If you use this concept, always make sure the beer stop is in the 2nd half of the trail. Putting this kind of beer stop in the first half of trail just turns the hash into a circus, as the pack isn't thirsty yet. And, the pack really needs to do a head count to make sure everyone made it to the beer stop since any late comers will not be able to find trail past that point without the note, or map. If you do not plan on having a beer stop, then you your trail should be an A to B trail with B being a secret ending. Otherwise, what's the point? Its just a track that goes around in circle. There's little mystery involved other than the route itself. Save that for some day when you running by yourself.
Mid Western StyleTrail: This is where the "live" hare sets trail to the beer stop and waits there for the pack to arrive. Once the pack arrives the hare sets off again with a prescribed head start and continues laying trail to the end. Also see Mid-Western Style Trails.
Dead Hare vs Live Hare Trails: Each kind of trail has its own unique qualities. In the JRH3 we suggest dead hare trails over live hare trails because you can do so much more with dead hare trails. We do not recommend you trying to lay a live hare trail until you have laid several dead hare trails and fully understand all the marks and philosophy of what makes a good trail. Unknown to most hashers, dead vs live hare trails are very different; for the runners anyways. During live hare trails the primary goal of the pack (runners) is to try and catch the hares. So, putting all those cute tricks along the way to try and slow the pack down is a waste of time if you are a live hare. On live hare trails the pack (runners) could care less about the gimmicks to keep the pack together. They just want to catch the hares. On live hare trails, most runners won't even bother to stop at the beer stop because its all about trying to catch the hares. Its almost competitive, which is taboo in hashing, in case you hadn't heard.
Skill Level: Trails should take into consideration the skill level of the attendees and should generally try to provide for all levels. A fast runner should be able to follow trail easily to keep up their speed and get a good work out. The slower hashers should be able catch up, by trails end, through the use of various techniques.
In General: Markings to be used on trail are determined by the hare(s). The hare(s) are responsible for ensuring the markings to be used, along with any other special instructions, are briefed just prior to the start of the actual trail. This briefing is commonly referred to as a "chalk talk." The following are some possible examples of commonly used markings and what they stand for. Hash. Hash markings consist of individual splotches of baking flour, or other easily recognizable substance that can be used to mark a trail. Hash markings should be laid very, very often in hard to see areas like grass, dirt, rocks (known as shiggy) and not so often on flat easy to see areas like sidewalks, roads, parking lots, etc. Some hares choose to lay hash markings in wide open view to the pack, so it is very easy to follow. Others hares have a tendency to hide it behind telephone poles, rocks, ridges, etc., to make it more difficult to follow. Easy to follow trails will generally please the faster runners because they can get a better work out and go faster. Concealed hash marks tend to slow the pack down, but do not necessarily allow the slower runners to catch up. If faster runners get so far ahead that they become out of sight of the slower runners, a hard to follow trail can sometimes spread the pack out even further because then the slower runners have to rediscover all the hash marks again for themselves. For this reason, easy to follow trails are usually best. The strategic placement of checks, which will be discussed later, are the more preferred method of trying to keep the pack together. A variety of easy and hard to find hash marks probably works best. The most important thing to remember when laying hash marks, is to mark all turns with some sort of an arrow, or a check, or at least 3 dots indicating trail is turning. When a hash mark is discovered the hasher should either yell "checking" or toot their signaling device (whistle, horn, etc.) several times to alert the rest of the pack that they have found a check, which is absolutely "true trail" up to that point.
ON ON. Designated by the letters "ON ON." Means you are on true trail. If the letters read "NO NO" you are on true trail but you are going backwards. When ON ON markings are discovered, the hasher should either yell "On On" or give two toots on their signaling device. Anytime you give two toots on your signaling device, its like saying On On, meaning you are on true trail.
Hare Arrows. A hare arrow is a straight or curved line with an upside down "V" on it pointing in the direction that the trail goes. An arrow indicates which way the current trail goes, but not necessarily true trail. A hare arrow means the same thing as a hash mark, plus it points you in the direction of the next hash mark. Arrows should always be used when a trail turns, unless there are so many hash marks that the turn is obvious, or if the trail is following a path or road. When a hare arrow is discovered the hasher should either yell "hare arrow" or give 1 toot on their signaling device. When you toot once on your signaling device its like saying "hash", or "I'm finding trail, but it might not be true trail."
True Trail Arrows. Designated by a straight or curved line with an upside down "V" on one end pointing in the direction true trail goes. At the other end of the arrow are three perpendicular lines centered on the arrow stem. When true trail arrows are discovered the hasher should either yell "On On" or give 2 toots or more on their signaling device, meaning "On On, or, true trail".
Checks. Designated by a circle. A check means that true trail may have turned in some direction, but you were definitely on true trail up to this point. Upon passing a check you may find one or more false trails. There should normally be some sort of a check about every 1/4 mile. Checks help keep the pack together because the faster runners are the ones who will discover them first and have to scout out true trail. This means they have to cover more distance, thus allowing the slower runners to catch up. When false trails are discovered, they must be marked as such, back at the check. If false trails are not marked, the pack may become even more spread out than before, which defeats the purpose of placing checks and false trails along the trail. When a check is found, the hasher should yell "checking" or give two toots on their signaling device, meaning On On or "I was on true trail, and now I'm checking for true trail beyond the check". Even though you may not know where true trail is after the check, the check itself means the trail previous to that was true trail and that's why you should give 2 toots. When there is an X inside the circle (or check, that means the true trail is in the directions of one of the stems creating the X. They are usually used a street intersection.
Ladies Check. A circle with a dot in the center of it means the pack should at least wait until the first lady arrives before continuing on and solving the check. A little discretion may be applied, depending if the ladies are hustling or not. Ladies may decide to persuade gentlemen to solve the check for them by giving them some sort of reward for their effort, like flashing them or a kiss on the cheek, etc. Ladies checks are usually just solved by the FRBs on live trails, regardless of their gender because on live trails the main objective it to catch the hare. However, if there is a cute harriette approaching, the male hasher(s) may still elect to wait for the harriette(s) to arrive.
Package Check. Do not use these please! There is a misconception that the ladies want to see a guys junk on trail, kind of like the male version of a ladies check. Very few ladies want this and will inevitably just run the newer, younger, cuter gals off whereby causing membership to shrink. So don't use them. We'd rather run the harriettes off that want them.
the letters HH for Hash Halt, normally only used on dead hare/preset trails. A hash halts means you
should not proceed until either a dead hare,
or a trusted agent (hound with limited information given by the hares), tells
you to proceed, or at least the first walker shows up. At hash halts you may be asked to
accomplish some sort of task, like singing a song, playing a game or some other
kind of delaying activity used to allow the slower hashers to catch up. A
hash halt also means you were definitely on true trail up to this point. Hash
halts on live hare trails are usually ignored for the FRBs and therefore a waste
of time even being set. The purpose of the hash halt is to give the beer truck
driver a chance to get to the end before the pack. If the hares have a cooler
full of beer waiting at the end, then there is really no need for a hash halt
other than to try and bring the pack together. And there are better ways to
bring the pack back together. Hash halts generally piss runners off. So use them
with much discretion. Better yet, suggest you avoid using them at all.
Hash Note. Designated by the letters "HN" This means there is a hash note hidden somewhere nearby. The note will normally tell the pack to accomplish some foolish time consuming function to allow slower pack members to catch up. A dead hare, or trusted agent, will usually show up soon to give further instructions about the trail. A hash note also means you were definitely on true trail up to this point. When a hash note is found, the hasher should either yell "On On", "Hash Note", or give two toots on their signaling device.
False Trails. Designated by three parallel lines, perpendicular to the trail. Normally a false trail will be no longer than three hash marks, or about one block (100 yards). However, if the false trail is through shiggy terrain, more than three hash marks may be used to keep you from getting lost. A false trail can also be determined when there are no more hash marks in that direction. When a false trail is found the hasher usually says something like "oh sh*t" or "ah f**k, which is self-explanatory. Signaling devices should not be used to indicate false trails. The hasher that discovers a false trail should return to the last check and mark that direction as a false trail.
Designated by a circle with a number in it. This means go back X number of hash
marks. The mark they go back to become a check. So never have the count back go
back to a check as that would be redundant. When a count back is discovered the hasher
should yell "count back X", where X is the number of hash marks to count back.
No signaling devices should be used.
Which Way. Designated by two connecting arrows pointing in two different directions. Like a check, but there are only two possible directions to take. At least one of the directions is true trail, but both may be true trail as well. A "which way" also means you were definitely on true trail up to that point. When a which way is found, the hasher should either yell "checking", or tooting on their signaling devise at least twice.
Bear Near. Designated by the words "Beer Near", or initials "BN". Beer Near normally means you are within about 1/4 of a mile a beer stop or the end and there are no more checks, false trails, etc between the BN and the beer stop or end, just true trail from then on.
Designated by the words "On-In" or On-On-In, or On-Home. Means you have
arrived at the end. There should always be beer at the end to serve as reward
for solving trail. Not having beer at the end is huge hare crime.
Note: The above are just examples. The hare may use some, all, or none of these symbols. Whatever the hare briefs during the chalk talk takes precedence over these examples.
This meter was used during the Inter-America Hash 2011 and has since been adopted as the standard for the Jolly Roger H3.
Beer at the End: The hares must ensure there is beer (and water) at trails end, whatever it takes, even if it means prepositioning a cooler or a vehicle there in advance to make sure it is there. The hares cannot depend upon the beer truck making it to the end before the FRB. The Beer Meister will usually provided a cooler full of beer and water to the hares to preposition at the end in addition to the having a beer truck for beer stops.
A sweeper's job is to keep the pack from getting lost on trail and to give short cuts to slower hashers. Sweepers should also give alternate routes to the meek who do not like heavy shiggy, and/or water crossing, or hashers who are pushing a baby stroller, or walking their dog on trail. The hare should always provide a sweeper with a map containing at least the start, the beverage stops, the end and the approximate route. If the trail is a preset, dead hare trail the hare(s) may elect to act as sweepers. Sweeping can also be done by the hares who drive the beverage truck. The best way to sweep is to have one sweeper in the rear of the runners pack and on sweeper in the front of the walkers pack. Having a sweeper at the end of the walkers pack serves no purpose as the pack will have already have gone astray by the time they get to confusing spots.
The hares are also responsible for conducting a chalk trail just prior to hares away time if its a live trail, or just prior to the pack away time, if its a pre-set, dead hare trail. Use the same materials you use to mark your trail as an example of what trail will look like. Actually laying out a miniature trail on the ground is the easiest to understand. The chalk talk should be conducted in the middle of where we circle up for everyone to hear and see. Do not do your chalk talk off to the side and only invite virgins. That disrupts the circle because the listeners have to leave circle and form up elsewhere, just to circle up again once it is over. Plus, if you only invite virgins many of the new comers that are no longer virgins, who would actually like to hear the chalk talk again, will be afraid to go over and listen to it again because the don't want to be mistaken as virgins. Everyone needs to hear the chalk talk, every time, especially if there are new marks or special instructions. There are no pre-Madonnas in the hash.
Where to start a trail
If the hares want people to attend the on after location they select, they should either start the trail from the on after location parking lot, or be able to see the on after from the starting location. If people have to get into their vehicles and drive to a distant on after location, many, if not all of them will likely just continue on home. If the hares start in a bar's parking lot, they need to let the bar know that we are a running club that would like to start and/or end our trail from their parking lot and that we intend to come into their establishment afterwards and spend lots of money. We do not suggest the hares advise the bar personnel that we will be consuming our own alcoholic beverage in their parking lot. Its always easier to get forgiveness than permission. Plus, if they know we're coming into their establishment afterwards, they are likely to look the other way, or claim ignorance, if the authorities interrupt us and contact them.
Areas to set trail
Weeknight trails should generally be set in areas that are central to Tampa, where most JRH3 hashers live. Click here to view the approximate area. If you set a trail outside of this area, on a weeknight (including Friday nights), you should expect low attendance and you should be prepared to bring the beverages yourself, as the Beer Meister may not be willing to drive that far. However, setting a trail outside of the central Tampa area once in very long time, is Okay, as long as you pre-coordinate it with the GM. If your trail is on a weekend this area can be expanded to about 50 miles from Central Tampa (I-4 & I-275). Starting locations further than that need to be pre-approved by the GM. Send an email to email@example.com for consideration.
Length of Trail.
The length of the trail depends upon the what day of the week it is and the general skill level of the hash. For weekday hashes (Mon-Fri nights), the pack should start following trail promptly at 7:30 PM and the last person to finish should finish by about 8:30 PM. Weekday hashes should be about 3+ miles in length, depending upon the terrain, but not more than 4 miles. This is so there will be time for a circle afterwards, so the on after bar will still have food, and so people can still get home and get to bed at a decent hour, so they can get up and go to work the next day. The RAs need to end circle between 9:15 and 9:30 PM on weeknight trails. However, weekend trails (Sat & Sun afternoons) should be at least 4+ miles leaning more towards 5 or even 6 miles, but not more than 6 miles.
A to B vs. A to A Trails
A to A trails are trails that starts and end at the same location. A to B trails are trails that end at a different location from where they started. If the hare chooses to set an A to B trail he/she is responsible for ensuring that beverages, chips and everyone's junk (jackets, wallets, purses, condoms, etc) gets moved from A to B. The hare is likewise responsible for ensuring that transportation is provided back from B to A, so that nobody has to walk back to their cars afterwards (unless this is part of you plan to obtain your desired mileage). However, there will alway be those who want to go and get their vehicle once they find they end so they can put their kilt on or get their other junk they want for circle. This can generally be accomplished by asking someone in advance to act as a delivery person and chauffeur. The advantage in choosing an A to B trail is that it pretty much forces the pack to follow trail. A to A trails are a lot simpler, but, as aforementioned, hashers have a tendency to cheat on them, I know I do, especially if I get too far behind, or if I just become lazy. If you do choose to lay an A to A trail, recommend you keep it secret and don't advertise it as being A to A. Probably the most preferred method is an A to B trail, where B is close enough to A, so that transportation is not a problem. A variety of trails is probably the best of all to keep pack guessing.
Live, Semi-Live and Dead Hare Trails
When the hare(s) indicate(s) that a trail is to be a "live hare trail" it generally means that the entire trail will not be preset in advance of hares away time. However, realize that it is extremely difficult for only one hare to set an entire trail, including markings and false trails, etc., without getting caught. Therefore the hare should either be very, very fast, very very smart, very very experienced and do some very detailed preplanning, or get at least one other hasher to assist him/her. Most solo live hare trails are in fact semi-live hare trails. Semi-live hare trails is when presetting of symbols, false trails, and placement of beverages en-route, etc., are preset before the show time for a run. The only part that is really set live is the actual true trail. Then there are those who only set a live hare trail to a point where they become out of sight to the pack. The rest, if not all of the trail, is preset before the advertised show time of the run. The previous two methods are pretty much acceptable. This method is not. If caught presetting this kind of trail, the hare can generally expect to do massive down downs later in the circle. But then again, there are no rules, just traditions. So, do what ever you need to do to set the best possible trail you can. Just don't set a bad trail because you are are slow; and whatever you do, don't get caught. Keep in mind that the purpose of which ways, checks, and false trails, etc., is not to slow down the pack to keep them from catching the hare, but to keep the pack together so that the slower hashers and the faster hashers all arrive at the end at about the same time. In other words, to stifle competition and to keep the hash from turning into a race. For live hare trails the hares designate a specific lead time required to get out of sight and supposedly start setting trail. The lead time is normally somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes, as determined by the hare(s). If you set a live trail you need to either provide alternate routes on trail for slow people, or provide a map to a trusted person (sweeper) who will be following trail and will stay back with the slower hashers. It is also advisable to provide alternate routes around wet areas for those who really don't like to get wet!
Special Event Hashes
Special event trails, like Significant Run # Hashes (600, 700, etc), Red/Green/White Dress Hashes, Pick Up Hashes, Campout Hashes, Invasion Hashes, Cruises Hashes, Super Soaker Hashes etc, that are out of the ordinary from regular, standard hashes must be pre-coordinate with and overseen with by the JRH3 Mismanagement. Since these are signature events and are likely to draw large crowds and even visitors from out of town, the JRH3 Mismanagement must be involved with planning and execution of these type of events in order to protect its reputation and ensure the finest quality of trail and on after are provided.
Shot, Food, Gimmies & Other Special Items
Shot stops, food stops, gimmies and other special items such as T-shirts, patches, etc are generally the responsibility of the hares unless it is a major event overseen by JRH3 Mismanagement and it is normally held on a weekend, or holiday when the majority of people or off from work the next day. During major events hash cash can be increased to cover this additional amount if the hares are willing to risk not being fully reimbursed if enough people to do not show up and voluntarily make the additional suggested donation. The hares should only expect to be reimbursed for the additional amount that is collected minus the actual costs they incur for these special items. If there are any additional proceeds left over above and beyond the increased donation amount, it will go into the hash cash fund to help pay for future events. At least a week coordination with JRH3 Mismanagement will be required before the special expenses like these can be considered for reimbursement.
Advising the Authorities
Hares are encouraged to advise the police and/or fire department that they will be putting dots of flour around the neighborhood to lay a runners trail so in case the anybody thinks its anthrax or cocaine and calls the the authorities you are covered. Make sure you get the name of the individual who you talked to and be ready to repeat it to the authorities in case they don't get the word. It could keep you from going to jail. For a list of telephone numbers to call click here.
The hares need to pick an on after at a location where there will be food, hence the word "hash house" in hash house harriers. A list of hah bars we used in the past can be found by clicking here. This can be at a bar, someone's house, a park, etc. If the hares pick a bar for the on after, it should either have a kitchen that serves food during the time we will be there, or the hares are prepared to make arrangements for pizza, or similar to be delivered, or the hares bring in food that they prepared themselves. If the on after is at a bar it should not be a family kind of bar or too upscale. To get reimbursed for food furnished by the hares, the hares need to request hash cash be increased by a reasonable amount, per head that they expect to attend, at least a week in advance. Then, upon presenting the receipts they got for the food purchases to the JRH3 Hash Cash, they will be reimbursed up to, but not to exceed the additional amount collected. If the hares over purchase, or they miscalculate how many people will pitch in for food they supply at the on after, the hares will have to absorb the loss. So, the hares should probably purchase food that can be refrigerated, or frozen and consumed by their selves later to lessen the burden.
Whichever kind of trail is chosen, A to B, A to A, live, semi-live, dead, etc, its up to the hare(s)--as its their show, except for the circle, then its our turn to get back at them for not following these mucked up directions. Oh yea; never admit to setting an A to A trail, as it takes the incentive out of following it. The above is suggestion only. There hares are ultimately responsible for their own trail.
Volunteering To Hare
To volunteer to set a trail for the JRH3 contact Dab by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone at 813-943-4855. If you have never set a trail for the JRH3 before you need to set at least one trail with the JRH3 Hare Raiser, or someone approved by the JRH3 Hare Raiser or GM. If at all possible, your first trail should really be a preset "dead hare" kind of trail so you can learn all the mechanics down first before trying to set a trail live. Click here to find out who the current Hare Raiser is. Once you have set a few trails for the JRH3 you will likely be approved as a trainer.
(Also see Hare Notes at http://jollyrogerh3.com/Hare%20Notes.htm)
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