The Joys of setting a Good Hash Run

Hashing is about having fun. About good-natured bantering, good food and  sharing of the golden nectar among friends who judge you by what you are, and not what you do or where you come from.

Ever wondered why some hashes are great and others just so so? A really great hash depends on a lot of things, many of which you don’t have much control over, such as the weather, who turns up and someone doing something entertaining and memorable such as falling into the deep shiggy. But the hare can do a lot towards making it a good hash by making a trail appropriate to the occasion; the hounds can do a lot by remembering to call and help backmarkers so that the pack stays reasonably close together.


Select a site with easy access, good parking space for the number of cars expected (at least 30 – 50 cars) and the Beer Wagon. It should be well away i.e.1/2 km from human habitation. Try to keep driving time within an hour or less. Make sure you obtain the owner’s/estate manager’s permission to use their property for the parking of cars and the run. Avoid parking on road sides.


It’s essential to send accurate details to the On-Sec most preferably with more than a week in advance so that it can be announced at the hash circle.

Directions must be clear and concise via e-mails or smart handphones, sending the location site via google map, GPS directional guides, etc. to the On-Sec for dissemination to members. HHH signs should be prominently placed at strategic locations eg. entrance to the estate, car park, etc. Remember that after the run, the hare/co-hares are to take down all signages.


Always use an experienced co-hare to guide you in setting the run. Never venture to recce or set a run on your own for safety reasons. This is to ensure you don’t get lost and if you are unable to make it on the appointed date. It is also very easy to twist an ankle or fall and if you have no assistance, your problems could become serious.


Recce’s are both essential to setting a good and enjoyable run. Recce the intended area thoroughly with the co-hare bearing in mind that a good run in a new area would normally take 3 – 5 full recces. Pick out convenient check points, cross roads, obvious tracks for back trails, etc. The recce should look for loops so that slow runner can catch up with the front runners.


For a normal weekday run, provide the runners/walkers an approximate 60 – 90 minutes of interesting running/walking over varied terrain. 4 to 5km for the walkers and about 7 to 8km for the runners with sufficient false trails and checkbacks to make any fast FRBs run 9 to 11km. A guide is that if walking the trail non-stop takes more than 2.5 hours, then the run is too  long. Keep the pack together within 20 minutes of each other as a Hash run is not a race.

Treat the evening out as fun, otherwise you might as well stay at home. It is, of course, difficult to satisfy all these conditions because Hashers come in all shapes and sizes with different motives, whether it is to run, walk or get pissed.


Good use of oil-palm, rubber, jungle and water are the hallmarks of an outstanding run. Ideally,  the trail should have stretches of running of about 1 – 1.5 km each between checks and interspersed with the usual hill climbs, slogging through shiggy or jungle, etc.

Do not set long unshaded sections of the trails as the weather may be very hot.  The runners’ trail should basically be the same as the walkers’ trail, but with lots of extra false trails and loops evenly distributed throughout the trail so that people run past the walkers every few minutes and there’s a sense that the two groups are actually somehow connected. If you run near habitation, watch out for the paper being picked up or re-laid. Vary the direction of the trail so that it is not obvious which general direction your trail is taking and to prevent SCB’s from hitting your home trail.


The purpose of the check is to allow the rear of the pack to catch up with the FROP’s (Front Runner on Paper). A normal run would have 5 -8 checks. Checks are marked by placing 30 pieces of paper in a small paper . In addition, the hare is advised to leave some spare paper in a plastic bag (if it rains). Vary the direction of the new trail from the check. A back check is effective to allow the rear of the pack to catch up. The new trail should start between 75 metres to 150 metres from the check. This depends on the type of terrain.

Hounds, please take note, if after checking after 50 metres from the check, you do not find any paper, double back and look for paper in another direction. If you continue too far from the check, you have the chance of losing the pack  when paper is found or you may come across paper from another part of the run by shortvutting across the whole trail.


False trails are not more than 150 metres long and they terminate without a check. A false traial means, go back to the check and look in another direction.

A loop also known as a circular check is designed to get the FROP’s to loop for about 300 – 500 metres (usually around a hill or obstacle) and come back to the check within 20 – 30 metres of the trail they were on and where the rear runners can see the ROP’s. With a loop check, the trail must recommence within 150 metres from the check, not from any part of the loop itself.


For setting a typical trail, you will usually want about 2 – 3 bags of flour/ chalk and run paper. The white run paper should be bio-degradeable and measure 100mm (4” x 4”). If the paper is ‘popular’, ensure that you use ‘different’ of marked paper to ensure that the trails are distinctive from other/old paper in the area.

If running in urban areas, use flour and chalk markings. Paper should be used sparingly and laid every 15 – 25 paces. Also mark logs, holes, fences, barbed wire, etc. with plenty of paper. During the latter part of the trail, more paper should be laid with night falling but be consciousof the enviornment.


Start laying trail at least 3 hours before the run. Unless you’re expecting a lot of really fast runners and have a huge number of false trails, it shouldn’t take much more than 2 hours to set the trail at a fast walk or slow trot, plus any extra for setting a walkers’ trail if you’ve not been able to do that at the same time. If it takes you much longer than that, there’s a fair risk either that you’re going to have trouble keeping up when you come to run it later, or that you’ll get complaints that it’s too long if you don’t have some shortcuts up your sleeve.

Importantly, try and avoid running through kampungs or human habitation to avoid paper being picked up by kids. Keep your IN and Out trails well separated to avoid over eager achievers stumbling on your in-trail.

To avoid complaints from local residents at popular run-sites, the hare/co-hares are encouraged to pick up old paper on the trail


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 chalk.



The Hare and Co-hares must remain at the finish until all the runners have returned. If any runner/s have not returned within 3 ½ hrs (9.30pm) of the start of the run, the Hare/co-hares with the help of the available members, must organise search parties.


All hounds must call On! On! to ensure that the pack keeps together and runs as a group and not as individuals. Front runners especially should call constantly to show the direction of the trail so that the slower runners/walkers know where they are running. When breaking a check, make sure that the trail is properly connected. It is even more essential when it gets dark as paper would be difficult to see and the slow ones   might not be able to keep on the trail and might get lost.

After the run, please be discreet when taking your bath especially near human habitation. Please respect and abide by the local customs. Slow runners/walkers should move a a group and be properly equipped with a torch light and water. If you are diabetic, please ensure that you have taken your medication and have mineral water, sweets, glucose pills, etc. 




This call is used when you are running on paper so that the tailenders and latecomers know where you are and the direction you are taking. It is also used when you find paper after a check, to show that you have found a new trail. All within earshot of the call at a check should call out “ON CALL” and follow the direction of the caller and change to “On ON” as soon as the paper on the new trail is sighted.


This call is used when you come across a check on the trail. A circle or scattering of the paper to mark the end of the trail, denotes a check. This call is also used whilst searching for the new trail after a check.


This call is used when you are in doubt of the direction of the paper trail or during checking for the new trail after a check. The call should not be used as the “on” part may be heard by distant hounds and be mistaken for “On On” during checking, thereby creating confusion among the hounds searching for the new trail. Hounds who are checking should respond to the call of “ARE YOU” with “CHECKING” if they are still looking for the trail, or “On On” if they have found it.


This call may be used if you are off paper and wish to rejoin the pack and do not know the direction that the pack is running.


Most hash events end with a group gathering known as the “circle”, or less commonly as “religion”. Led by chapter leadership, the circle provides a time to socialise, sing drinking songs, recognize individuals, formally name members, or inform the group of pertinent news or upcoming events. Circles may be led by the chapter grandmaster, the group’s religious advisor, or by a committee. Impromptu input is welcome and/or solicited.


A “down-down” is a means of punishing, rewarding, or merely recognizing an individual for any action or behaviour according to the customs or whims of the group. Generally, the individual in question is asked to consume without pause the contents of his or her drinking vessel or risk pouring the remaining contents on his or her head. Individuals may be recognized for outstanding service, or for their status as a visitor or newcomer. Down-downs also serve as punishment for misdemeanours real, imagined, or blatantly made up. Such transgressions may include: failing to stop at the beer check, pointing with a finger, or the use of real names. Commonly, hashers who wear new shoes to an event can be required to drink from that shoe.

Many chapters include an ice seat or throne as part of the down-down ceremony. Those who are to consume a down-down sit on a large block of ice while they await the completion of the down-down song. If the offence that resulted in the down-down is particularly egregious, the hasher may be subjected to a long song with many verses.


In most chapters, the use of real names during an event is discouraged. Members are typically given a “hash name,” usually in deference to a particularly notorious escapade, a personality trait, or their physical appearance. In some chapters the name must be earned – that is, hashers are not named until they’ve done something outstanding, unusual, or stupid enough to warrant a name.