Advice for 1st time Hares
If you haven’t hared a run before, please read below advice. If you have any questions, please contact the Trailmaster.
Welcome to the elite circle of HHH hares. The hares are the ones keeping the Hash alive, so thank you for taking on this job.
Haring a run and preparing a run is fun if you do it the right way. Every hasher will be happy to give you valuable advice how to do it best. You will quickly find out yourself to whom you should really listen 🙂
The best advice of all is: If you have never hared before, please, please, please, find an experienced co-hare to do the run with you. It’s just the best way to avoid beginner’s mistakes and frustrations.
In any case, get a co-hare! It’s much more fun to go out recce together. It’s also safer.
It typically takes 4-5 times (3-4 hours each) going out to the run area to prepare a decent run. Make sure you start the process early enough and set aside these 4-5 times.
It is perfectly normal to have one or two of these recce sessions without any progress. Don’t be angry or frustrated about that, in the end it will all come together.
When designing your run, keep these basic rules in mind:
The run should not exceed 1:15h for fast runners or about 2h for walkers without checking, regardless of the distance you cover. That usually comes down to about 7km in the hills, but run or walk your entire trail yourself to be sure. If you exceed these limits, you MUST prepare a short option for slow folks.
Keep it simple. Don’t expect the runners to be smart. Hashers have a natural instinct for always making the most idiotic choices. Classic beginner’s mistakes in this category are: designing an “8”-loop run, i.e overlapping trails; “clever” checks requiring the runners to use their brains to find the flour; having several long-short splits and merges; insufficient marking of the short-long split and merge; any situation you think it is “obvious” where the trail will continue.
We all like a nice challenge, but we also like to survive. If you include dangerous parts into your trail, either have an alternative route prepared or, at a minimum, share that information with the TM and GM well before the day of the run.
Many Taiwanese can’t swim. If you include a river crossing into your run that is more than waist deep, rope it or prepare an alternative route.
Bring enough flour and chalk. Rule of thumb: 2 qin per km on dry days, twice as much in heavy rain. Carrying more than 5 qin at a time is tough, so go out before the run and stash flour somewhere.
If there might be rain, mix the flour with red food color (see photo below) and in extreme cases with shredded paper. Both keeps the flour more sticky. We usually avoid paper, but in Typhoon type rain it might be required. The red food color can be bought in most day-market shops that also carry flour. 1 little bag per 2-3 qin flour is sufficient.
Pre-marking is frowned upon on the China Hash. We have a proud live haring tradition and want to keep it that way. If you can’t do the full run live yourself, split it up between yourself and your co-hare.
Booking the bash place is the hare’s job. Here are some tips on that:
If you want people to stay for the bash, make sure the bash place is not too far from the run end. This is not so much a problem if you do a bus run, but for public transportation runs it is very detrimental.
If you have trouble booking the place you found or negotiating with the bash place, no problem. Grab a business card and have somebody help you with that. Contact the TM or GM for details. But remember: it’s your job to find the place.
Some rules of thumb for booking the place:
We usually book around 3 tables (i.e. for 30 people). That does however vary with season and run area.
Bash time is usually from 6pm to 8pm.
The price for food per table should not exceed 2500NT. This should cover 10-12 dishes at a minimum.
We usually consume about 20-25 bottles of beer per table. Try negotiating the beer price, 50NT per bottle of Taiwan beer is cheap, 70NT is expensive. Overall beer cost can’t exceed 1500NT per table, otherwise it’s getting too expensive.
Food should be a good mix of vegetables (cheap), some fillers like fried rice (cheap) and quality stuff like beef and goose (not cheap). Try to avoid too much exotic stuff like intestines and blood Tofu. A little is fine though.
Image 1: Red food color for marking in rain