GH3 Guide for Hares
Keeping the Public on-side
Fortunately, most people don't notice, or care, about our hash trail markings. The flour can usually be left alone to guide our hashers until the weather wears it all away. However, for some people carefully placed marks of white powder can raise suspicions. Is it going to lower the value of my house? Does it mark the best houses to burgle tonight? Is it going to poison our dogs, cats, wildlife or our children? It is highly poisonous or explosive material that threatens our very existence? Is it cocaine? From our decades long experience these suspicions really do arise, and lately people seem to be getting more concerned.
If someone sees you laying the trail and looks at you in a curious way, or asks what you're doing, please be courteous and explain by saying something like "It's part of a trail of flour that some runners are going to follow later on". That's usually enough to keep people happy. You will add to anyone's suspicions if you try to ignore them, run away or say "It's none of your business"; so this behaviour is best avoided.
Of course hash flour stays on the ground where you put it for the time before the run, druing the run and for a few days (and sometimes months) afterwards. So people might be alarmed long after you are around to explain it's all harmless. If they're mildly concerned they might clean it up (annoying if the run hasn't passed the spot yet but that's a risk we take), or they could ask their local Facebook group (which can sometimes be amusing), or they could phone the police. If the police are concerned they could call the hazmat team, cordon off the area, evacuate the local population, seek to arrest "the culprits", who knows? Aside from giving us a bad name, this could make a complete mess of your trail!
The best way to avoid problems like this is to tell the police before you set off with your bag of flour. And the best way to do this is to send them a message on https://www.scotland.police.uk/secureforms/contact/.
After you've filled in your details we suggest you use the subject "Trail of flour for runners" and in the query box say something like
- "The Glasgow Hash House Harriers, a local running club, will be setting a trail of flour markings in the xxxx area on dd/mm/yyyy. The trail will start from the xxx pub and go through aaaa, bbb, cccc and dddd, returning to the start. Setting the trail will start around 5pm and the run itself, involving around 15 people, will start at 7pm.
We are providing this information to make the police aware as the trail of flour markings can sometimes alarm people."
The police might ask your for clarification so it's best to keep your phone with you and occasionally check your email inbox.
The next section gives some advice, written by Barcode, on setting your trail.
How to Set a Good Hash Trail - Using Flowers!
Hashing is said to be an institution, and most of the people who run with the Hash should be in one. Hashing is often mistakenly described as a running club with a drinking problem, but to me is better described as a drinking club with a running problem. The original KL Hash Charter stated that the Hash was a social running club, where Hashmen were encouraged to run a short paper trail so as to work up a thirst for beer - a thirst that should already exist!
In my case I have a permanent thirst for beer. There is however, the pesky detail of slogging round some other bugger's trail, and too often I have to drive! The trouble is that us slow, fat, lazy SCB's, who prefer drinking to running, can often get separated from the long legged, fast, streaky FRB's, who run off, leave most of us in the lurch, and get to the pub half an hour before the real drinkers!
Now to me, this is not in the spirit of the Hash, but if this happens the problem lies clearly with the Hares!
In my ideal Hash, the FRB's do all the running they want (something like 3 miles worth on a single back check), and us SCB's get back to the pub at least two minutes before them, so we don't have to queue at the bar.
So to my Daisy Theory of setting a Hash. If you can imagine a daisy (if you can't - see my effort below!), which generally has a round yellow bit in the middle, and loads of wee white petally bits on the outside; in my theory, the trail is set in the theoretical outline shape of that daisy, where the FRB's run round all the white bits, and the SCB's selectively run round white bits, but mainly run round the yellow bit!
The trick to setting a daisy run is to pick a good location. If the location doesn't suit my daisy format, then pick another one. That is, if the location forces you to have lots of long straight gallops, it is no good for the Hash. Long straight gallops are OK for the ON INN, but only separate the pack during the run. If you can't avoid straight bits, then you need to load the run full of longish back checks and regroups. Try also putting in a backarrow. Here if the FRB's meet a backarrow, they have to run all the way to the back markers in the pack, before they can start to work their way through the pack again.
The whole idea of Hashing is to try keep the pack close together whilst allowing the FRB's to get a good run too.
Where all the pack can help is by shouting ON ON when you are on flour. Lets face it, this is a social run, and you can't be social if the next runner is 300 yards ahead of / behind you. Also, how can you get snitches for the RA if there has been no social intercourse / interplay on the run! So hares, your job is keeping the pack together, most of the time.