SO, YOU WANNA HARE?!?*
Having hashed with BH3 long enough to have 5 hashes under your belt, you have undoubtedly dashed home and frantically turned to this section for instruction on how you, too, can join that elite group of hashers known as BH3 Hares. Well, we’re glad you asked, because we’re from Mismanagement and we’re here to help. Hashing has no rules, but haring does. If you decide to hare a run, you are taking on the responsibility for the group’s fun as a whole. If you follow most of the guidance contained here, you should be able to hare a successful run. Of course, if it doesn’t turn out that way, the authors of this guidance will disavow ever having provided you the slightest encouragement.
Not to put any undue pressure on you up front, but you should understand that hashers judge each other by their ability to lay good trail probably more than any other characteristic. There is general, abiding respect for hashers who make the effort to hare regularly; about the only thing you can do worse than lay a shitty trail is to not even make the effort. Take it from us, haring is fun and it’s at the heart of what hashing is all about. However, don’t be misled,it’s not as easy as it looks and involves a good bit of work. But since most hashers only set about two trails a year, it’s worth putting some time and effort into it.
For starters, simply find someone you think it would be fun to hare with and discuss setting a trail together. Failing this, approach the Hare Raiser or GM, who will help you find someone to co-hare with. For your first trail, you MUST work with an experienced hare (trust us on this, ok?). It really doesn’t matter that you’ve attended 50 hashes as a hound.
Haring a good trail is simple. Just make sure you have covered your bases in each of these areas: Trail, Beer, Safety, and, most importantly, Fun.
Find a co-hare. Before you even search for a trail, find another hasher or two to help you hare. If you are a first-time hare, it is imperative that you find an experienced hare to co-hare with. They can advise you on trail layout and hash logistics. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to hare with you who you don’t know well. You can make friends quickly through haring together. A total of three hares is probably the most that you want. The potential for screw ups increases exponentially with the number of hares…ask anyone who ran the 2001 4-hare Essex Junction trail!
Select a trail. Often, it is easiest to find an ending site (the On In) first, then the parking for the start, and connect the two. The On In should be a relatively secluded place where the hash can drink unmolested by property owners, police, and other non-hashers. If you don’t know it already, it is unlawful to drink alcoholic beverages in public (except for some parks and by special permit.) Your GM or Hare Raiser should be well versed where the consumption of alcohol is legal and (more importantly) illegal. Keep in mind that expected weather is rarely what you find on your hare day. Be prepared for the worst, and always have a backup plan. Especially during cold/rainy seasons, indoor or covered On Ins are particularly prized. At any time of season, shelter is appreciated! Remember that non-refundable party room fees (such as are common at apartments and condos) eat into your budget (see below). If you have something REALLY special in mind that might force you over your budget, you must contact the GM several weeks ahead of time for approval or you will not be reimbursed by the hash (thanks for your contribution).
It is preferred that the start be within walking distance of the On In, so that people can walk back to their vehicles (referred to as an A-to-A prime run). If this is not possible, plan on providing transportation back to the start (known as an A-to-B run). It is assumed that all trails are dog friendly, unless the hares announce otherwise in their directions.
The trail itself can be challenging, but not life-threatening and absolutely not on private property unless permission has been obtained. Land owners will (and have) called the police. Try to find interesting things to run on/through/in like sewers, forests, hills, swamps, creeks, ravines, business parks, public places, etc. Avoid stretches of flat blacktop with no checks (aka “death marches”) and railroad tracks.
This needs to be reiterated: Do NOT lay trail through private or semi-private property. This includes cemetaries and common areas of places like condominium developments. Make sure your trail ends in a SECLUDED area, not near housing or where open containers are illegal. Burlington has a noise ordinance. Having circle in a back yard in the middle of the city is not a good idea.
The trail should take 35-45 minutes when you run it straight through (without running the BTs), or about 3-4 miles in length. The length of the trail is often dependent upon the weather. The hash is not Navy Seal training. If it is sleeting or frostbite bitter cold outside or the heat index is expected to go off the charts, the length should be shorter than on breezy spring or fall-like days. During the winter, if you must run the pack through water, don’t do it at the beginning of the trail; near the end is preferable as long as you have a heated On In.
Google Maps is not trail scouting. Go out and run your trail end-to-end and make sure it will work.
Walkers. BH3 is blessed with the presence of a walking crowd most every week. So whatever you do, don’t piss them off. The walkers’ trail should be about 2/3 of the distance of the runners’ trail. The best walkers’ trails are those which merely short cut various parts of the runners’ trail. For the walkers, there are several options: you can mark the walkers’ short cuts on the runners’ trail; or, if you are afraid that the pack will short cut the runners’ trail, you can give the walkers a map of the trail with their short cuts noted or specific instructions on what to do where; or you can set a separate walkers’ trail.
D-erections. Ideally two weeks prior to the hash date, you need to provide the start location and simple, clear directions with other information (see Promotion section below)-so that even people with half-a-brain can follow them-to the Hare Raiser or GM so that they can be included in announcements and on the web page. A tip: unless you are extremely sure about the accuracy of the directions you provide, go out and drive them to make sure that you have the exit numbers, names of streets, route numbers, right/left turns, etc. noted correctly, and that you aren’t providing directions the wrong way down one-way streets or through blocked streets due to construction zones. Your hash won’t be any fun if no one can finish it because they couldn’t find the start! It’s best to provide a link to a mapping web site so people know exactly where your trail starts.
Marking the trail. It will be helpful to know the BH3 trail markings before you try and set a trail-this is not a good time to learn on the job. On the day of the run, have enough flour & chalk to handle your trail markings-figure about 1.5 pounds per mile, more if much of the trail is through a lot of shiggy.
Mark the trail deviously, but don’t make it Mission Impossible! Nothing angers a pack more than encountering an unsolvable check. So plan your checks well. True trail should pick up somewhere within about 150 feet of a check. After four marks, the pack should have a reasonable expectation that they are on true trail-this is the time to clue them in with either a hare’s arrow or a big fat YBF. Vary the location of your marks: alternating sides of the street, on trees, on fence posts, etc. Do not put hare’s arrows or checks on false trails. Marks should be about every 100 feet-closer in tall grass or nasty shiggy. Don’t change direction unless you use a hare’s arrow or a check, or, at a minimum, three quick successive marks of flour. If it’s pouring rain when you set trail, make sure you put down tons of marks in areas where they are less likely to get washed away-like the trunks of trees. Also, FYI, flour endures rain OK, chalk evaporates in seconds. If snow is a possibility, mix some carpenter’s chalk (available at Home Depot) in with the flour; this will help it show up against the snow. Crushed Fruit Loops cereal also shows well in snow. Always carry chalk as a backup.
When laying trail in urban environments (downtown Burlington, for example), it is best to avoid flour entirely, colored or otherwise. Use chalk. Too many jumpy civilians think they’re saving the planet by calling in Hazmat over piles of suspicious white powder.
The Run. BH3 is a Live Hare Hash, which means that the hares set the trail just before the pack takes off. When you are released at the start, run quickly but don’t panic: you have a generous head start on the pack, even if you’re the slowest hasher in BH3. If you’re afraid of being caught, plan beforehand with your co-hares to split trail-laying responsibilities so you won’t have to run the whole course yourself.
A word about sing checks and hash halts: Use them extremely sparingly. Overuse pisses off the FRBs to the point that the marks will be ignored, and using sing checks in inappropriate locations draws unwanted attention from the public. These marks are generally used to bring the pack back together as one group, in the interest of safety, not slow everyone down because you’re scared of getting caught.
Upon completion of the trail, leave several copies of the directions to your On In back at the start (such as on the windshield of the hash check-in vehicle) when you go to move the bag vehicle. Late comers and the hopelessly lost will really appreciate it. The hares are then responsible for ensuring that the pack’s bags are safely unloaded at the On In. If you wish to lay a dead hare (pre laid) trail, feel free to do so, but allocate an hour to mark a 3 mile trail with 2 hares. Be forewarned, there’s no excuse for a messed up trail that has been laid dead-hare.
BEER. A good way to annoy hounds is to provide them with warm beer. Cold beer should be purchased ahead of time, and iced. A remote beer stop is not an excuse for warm beer. It’s a good idea to get bottled water and have that at beer stops, too. If you have something “special” planned, talk with the GMs or Hash Cash. Otherwise, the hash thanks you for your very generous contribution!
When in doubt, buy more beer. If you buy too much, it just goes to the next hash, so it is not waste. Like warm beer, running out of beer also angers the hounds, and a remote beer stop is not an excuse.
Basically, if your beer stop is so remote that you can’t get the required number of cold beers and waters to it, then don’t make that a beer stop. This goes back to trail planning.
If you want to purchase liquor or boxes of wine, this must be approved by hash cash PRIOR to trail. Beware, however: Hounds expect beer after long legs. A shot stop after a 2 mile leg will piss them off!
Ensure there is enough beer/soda/water to cover the On In. These items belong to the hash. Don’t use the hash’s beer for any private function (i.e., any time the entire BH3 hash is not present). A general guide for the On In is two 30 packs of beer, and 1 case of soda/water (sodas should include a variety of diet and non-diet and maybe even some bottled water). Ask the Hare Raiser or GM if the hash is averaging more or less than these amounts and plan accordingly.
Snacks (a.k.a. “Orange Food”) are appreciated, but please keep your purchase to $5 or less.
Receipts. Hares are expected to be reimbursed for their expenses, so keep your receipts. It is considered poor form to be a dumb shit, lose your receipts, and expect the Hash to reimburse you. At the very least, it will take longer for you to get your reimbursement. It is best to have your receipts available and totaled the day of your run. Handing the a wad of cash register receipts that aren’t totaled or that contain your groceries for the week is not really smart since it is unlikely that the anyone will be carrying a calculator to the hash, and if you think that the GM or Hash Cash can add correctly, well, you deserve whatever you get. If you are to be paid by check, you might also want to write down your nerd name. Having to explain to your banker that you really are the very same “Cum Sucking Road Whore” listed as payee on the check might be an interesting experience, but it probably won’t improve your bank balance.
Stuff. You or your co-hare(s) should/must attend the hash one week prior to your event. This will allow you to pick up the bucket and inventory the previous week’s leftovers (beer, soda, flour, and down down cups). Don’t buy any of these items until you know what has been turned over to you!
Hares are also responsible for having a bag vehicle to carry all of the dry hash bags from the start to the On In. This can be very easily accomplished by asking the Beer Bitch to take the bags. If you or one of your hares has a pick-up truck that will hold all of the bags, that’s great. But keep in mind that someone will have to stay with the vehicle after the pack leaves. We don’t want a bunch of hash bags sitting out in the open unguarded for anyone to just help themselves.
This paragraph contains absolutely no bullshit…so listen up. Hares are responsible for reasonable safety considerations on trail. The most dangerous hashing areas are major roadways and railroad tracks. If you have to cross a big road, do it at a light/crosswalk and mark it clearly. Avoid blind curves, hills, etc. Keep off of live railroad tracks unless there is a large enough shoulder on the side to safely accommodate large groups of hashers in the event a train comes by. Do not have the pack blindingly running around highways and high speed tracks trying to solve some stupid check. You also need to carefully check the trail beforehand to make certain that creeks haven’t risen over their banks, no areas are washed out, etc. and for barbed wire-type hazards in the woods, and for debris or jagged metal in creekbeds or storm sewers. Splitting some wanker’s head open on a piece of angle iron protruding from the roof of a dark tunnel would put a damper on your hash, to say the least. Fortunately we’ve only had two small injuries at the InviHASHional, and they were visiting hashers…figures.
BH3 goes rain or shine every week. Although we don’t hare during the winter except for special events, provide shelter for the pack at your On In. If you’re haring in the summer, ensure there is water at a minimum of one stop and of course the On-In.
The hares are responsible for ensuring that all starters get in safely. The hares shall conduct a sweep up following the On In if any starters are unaccounted for (particularly if the pack has informed them of a grievous error in trail-laying protocol). It is not Mismanagement’s job to defend hares against angry, cold, wet, late hashers.
PROMOTING YOUR RUN
So as not to flood the listserv with announcements from multiple sources, provide the Hare Raiser or GM with the following information (if applicable): Run Name Theme Hare(s) Time Date Start Location On-In Location On-On-On Location D’Errections Theme Dog friendly? Any other info
Mismanagement will be responsible for announcing your run through listserv announcements, circle announcements, the Up-Cumming runs page, and the Next Hash page. Please do not flood the listserv daily with updates on how great your run will be.
Keep in mind that haring should be fun! Haring is to hashing what hashing is to real life. Use your imagination, ingenuity, and sense of humor to create a fun experience for everyone. By the time you start out laying the trail, you won’t be able to stand the excitement!!! This excitement is commonly referred to as a Hare High. Roto, a Grand Master of the MVH3, once stated: “A Hare High is way better than sex. But hey, don’t tell my wife that.”
Once everyone has been accounted for and you’ve watered the pack, and done your down-down, congratulations! You can relax and bask in your successfully completed run.