What happens on an H5 Hash?

(or how to lay a hash trail !)

In the beginning...

Our runs start at a pub in the Bedfordshire/Herts area. Runs start on Sundays at 11:00 am in the winter months and at 7:30pm on Monday evenings in the summer.

Just before the 'Off' the Hash Master (HM) or the Hash Mistress (HMs) calls the hash together in a circle. Birthdays, anniversaries, new runners or visitors are identified and then the Hare(s) for the run are introduced. The hares usually waffle on a bit about potential hazards on the run, like livestock, narrow roads, unfriendly landowners and other such things. The hares then indicate the general direction for the start of the run.

After that the Pack set off looking for the first signs of the trail.

Before the beginning...

The hares will have laid the trail the previous day, or in the case of really fit hares (a very rare beast) they will set off before the pack (a 'live' hare) and hope not to get caught.

The idea is to lay a trail that should take about 1 hour to run by the pack. As a guide, this usually means that an area of no more than 4 squares on an Ordnance Survey pathfinder 1:25000 series map should be used. The trail usually starts and finishes at the same pub. It is courteous and sensible to approach the pub landlord in advance and ask his permission to run from the pub, and fill his car park up with hasher's cars. It also gives him a chance to put on more bar staff when he realises that 20 - 30 extra drinkers will be at the pub. A good idea for hares is to ask for a poster to be put up (there's one in the members' area you can download) advertising the run. Locals may fancy joining in !?!

Only public footpaths and highways are used for a trail, NEVER private land unless permission has been granted by the landowner. The main trail is marked with blobs of sawdust or flour.

The hare's aim should be to lay a trail that keeps the pack together. Those hashers that are fit or youthful (known as Front Running Bastards) will obviously leg-it off much faster than the sedate pace of the elderly, infirm or just plain lazy hashers (aka the Knitting Circle) who will dawdle along. Therefore decoy or false trails (falsies) are used that are found by the FRBs, who then have to retrace their steps to find the true trail, allowing the laggards to catch up. The presence of a branch in the trail is indicated by a Check sign, or a Bar sign. Checks can be modified slightly – see below. Completion of the trail is indicated by the On Inn sign.

If you want to know how to lay a H5 Hash Trail, see here.

The hash signs...

Just after the beginning...

After the Off, as soon as the trail is seen by the lead FRB he or she (oh really) lets the pack know by hollering the famous hash cry of 'ON ON'. Whenever the trail is found the pack must follow the On On. While the run is in progress a very important hash person will be watching out for hashers breaking the hash rules. This is the Religious Adviser (RA) – he who will punish the miscreants later.

The Hashing Rules:

The hash trail is followed until the On Inn is seen. As hashing is non-competitive there is no recognition of arriving back first, second etc.

The beginning of the end...

Once everyone is safely back at the pub, a cool-down period is observed, assisted by thirst quenching beer, lager, ale and softies for the girlies (who are not necessarily the Harrietts!) Following this, Circle-Up is called again by the HM/HMs. Here the ritual of awarding drinks known as Down-Downs to the hares is conducted, as well as down-downs for other deserving hashers like those celebrating a birthday or anniversary etc.

Then the RA is given centre stage. He/She will pontificate about the behaviour of the pack during the run, often scattering inappropriate metaphors into his sermon which usually fall upon deaf ears or at least are as much use as a one legged man in an arse kicking contest. All those guilty of a hash crime are given a Down-Down which they must consume in the time it takes to sing a little ditty that insinuates that they have doubtful parentage. If they can't drink it – over their head it goes.

At the end...

Drink more beer and then everyone goes home !