More about Running a Trail
Hashing is an extremely social form of running, some might say the most social form of running is not to run at all, and indeed there are some fine exponents of this art within Hash, they are known as the knitting circle or Bag Minders and pace is certainly not their watchword. Often these experts do not even leave their pre run seats and drinks! But I digress, Hashing was invented in Malaysia in 1938 ago by a rather brilliant chap called Gispert, and spread like a crazy religion or new STD throughout the uncivilised world. The military and diplomatic corps were the primary culprits of this rapid spread. People from all walks of life, drawn together by a passion for the outdoors and for drinking, ran together along a pre-laid trail, which ultimately lead to the welcoming door of a pub, or the very least a venue or esky (chilli bin, cooler) with adequate supplies of thirst quenching beer.
The trail is laid by people called Hares. Now all hares are Hashers but Hashers are not always Hares, though sometimes they might be. Got that? The trail is laid in such a way that those more able, ambitious, fit or just plain stupid people who storm ahead, are waylaid by false trails and check backs. These athletes often find themselves trailing the slower, more ovoid, lazier or just plain sensible people that were bringing up the rear, but now find themselves juxtaposed into the very position of leader they sought to avoid.
The trail can be marked in dots, except when it is marked in crosses, circles, arrows etc which are made from chalk, flour, paper, tape or all manner of other strange materials and hieroglyphs, and those that follow it keep a strict code of conduct, those that stray are punished by down-downs. Down-downs are speedily quaffed drinks and are very much at the heart of hashing, indeed many do not consider it a punishment at all.
Hash Trail Symbols, Markers and other Strange Hieroglyphics
Below are some of the marks that are often used by a Hare when laying a trail. Trail marks if used, are applied using various materials such as blackboard chalk of various types and colours, flour, plaster powder, tape, shredded paper and everybody’s favourite, crayon that is the same colour as the trail surface.
| ||Arrow – This is a helpful mark, a definite trail, no checking required.|
| ||A circle. This is usually a Check – Time to look for a new trail. Scout around in likely directions about 50 m at night or up to 100 m during daylight.|
| ||Three Way Check – I would suggest that you might want to check as above in the direction suggested by the arrows.|
| ||The end of a false trail. You’ve just run all this way for nothing. Go back to the last check and try again to find the real trail. False trails are used to wear out the fit and fast runners and allow the slower ones to catch up.|
| ||Check Back – look for a turn-off between here and the last check. A little bit like a false trail but not quite as mean.|
| ||Check Back – don’t you really hate running for someone else’s sadistic enjoyment.|
| ||Check Back – Boy is the Hare going to spend a real long time on the ice|
| ||False Trail – another version just to remind you that the Hare hates you.|
| ||False Trail. Two lines perpendicular to the trail. Yet another version to emphasise that the Hare really, really hates you!|
| ||Re Group – the Front Running Bastards (FRBs) should halt at this marker and allow the majority of slow runners to catch up.Sometime laid at senic areas for all to enjoy the view or when the Hare knows the pack could really spread out or even get lost and he doesn’t want to bother leaving his beer to go looking for them.|