WANCHAI HASH HOUSE HARRIERS
(Adapted from notes by Dances With Dogs)
WANCHAI HASH HOUSE HARRIERS
(Adapted from notes by Dances With Dogs)
Firstly, the first rule on the Hash is that there are "no rules". Having said that, these are good reasonable guidelines, which coupled with common sense, should combine to give the pack a reasonable day out. Remember the P6 rule: pre-planning prevents piss-poor performance. Plan, plan and plan again; even experienced hashers get caught out with gates appearing, fences being erected and roads being closed.
That said, please take note of the following: hashing involves personal risk and uncertainty that cannot be mitigated against. Each hasher must accept these risks themselves if they wish to participate. If you are in ANY doubt on a run, way up the odds and if in doubt turn back the way you came... even if you lose trail, just turn around and go back to the way you came to the bucket (safety).
Regular hash participants are encouraged to look after any new hash participants that they might bring along. Bringing a mobile phone, flashlight, whistle, and plenty of water during a hash activity is highly recommended for all hashers and is independent of the location, time of year, and length of a particular run.
If lost or injured during a hash, hashers can contact the Queen Victoria bar (Tel: 2529-7800) to seek assistance as they can pass on messages to the hare and the hash in general. Additionally, from time to time, a limited number of course maps or additional contact numbers will be handed out at the start of a hash. If a hasher is in doubt of their own abilities they should check with the run hare to obtain more information about a particular run in order to make their own personal running decision. Please make the hares aware if you are allergic to bees/wasps/hornets as they can advise you if they have seen any on trail.
If you are a virgin trail setter DO NOT set a run with another virgin hare. We have had too many god-awful runs because of this. If you have not set a run before, ask an experienced hare to help you. DO NOT set a run alone as there is just too much to do these days, with the large amounts of ice and drinks that are required. After all there are people to help, you just have to ask, your not Superman / Women, it can be hard so ask!
Also as a new hare don't try to make the run too complex, you will twist the pack up and confuse simple people. Remember its not meant to be a complex puzzle to solve, its meant to be a loves enjoyable light exercise for 45 - 80mins (walkers).
There are two primary types of trails, they are called A to A (Standard) or an A to B. The vast majority of trails are A to A, where you effectively run in a circle back to the original location, whereas an A to B, B means that you will end in a different location from the start location. These are much harder to set, more complex to move bags around and arrange drinks. As a virgin hare DO NOT set an A to B, leave these to the experience trial setters. Set a simple A to A, the hashers will enjoy.
The hash location can be anywhere, but try to avoid having, for example, three weeks of consecutive runs on Lantau, or three runs from Wong Tai Sin settlement block. Pick your location well in advance so that the hare-raiser can adjust your run date to avoid the problem as just mentioned. Pick a location for the bucket that can be easily reached by MTR or public bus routes and which won't conflict with the public. It should take about twice as long to walk as to run it but adjust that for your own speed. No one will moan about a short run, but a 12km shiggy feast....well you would!
Remember you will need to get ice and drinks to the location, so check out places to get ice when thinking about setting a bucket location. You don't want to be lugging ice or beers kilometers down a road or up a dirt path. Remember ask, many hands make light work!
Setting runs in really far locations in the winter will impact the number of people attending. After all, getting to a remote island in the middle of winter on a Sunday afternoon isn't going to be the most pleasant of runs. Remember, fun, enjoyment and exercise. Its not about going out in a blizzard to the remotest parts of Hong Kong in the middle of winter.
4. Transport / Parking
Work out how hounds will get there. If you think a hired bus is the best idea, discuss with a committee member as these can help but can be expensive for the hash to pay for (normally only 2 per year), your not meant to pay for the transport (besides it hard to arrange). Remember that parking for cars is sometimes nice for the rich bastards, and if they park illegally, Hong Kong's finest will happily provide them with a parking voucher at their own expense.
5. Special Events / Festivals
Check that you don't set a run from or through a cemetery on Ching Ming, or through a public ceremony in a local area as it will upset the locals.
6. Preparation / Check List
Well before the event make sure you know where to get WHITE chalk and flour (speak to the committee if your stuck) and if your setting in bad weather consider using local Hell & Bank money (you can fold corners to make directions or cut off the corners for a check). Make sure you know HOW MANY drinks to buy and where you will buy them and how you will get them to the site (see the table below for guidance. Make sure you know where you can get enough ICE. IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE just to say "That's all Park N Shop had" then shrug your shoulders. The Hash requires COLD drinks and one little pack of ice is not enough. PRE-PLAN your ice source.
7-Eleven, Welcome and Park & Shop usually have ICE but check first; remember that you are usually OK in Winter but in Summer they sell out. You can perhaps buy early and keep in a cool box or pre-pay and reserve. Either way, do not expect to go at 3 pm on a Sunday in July and get ice at these places. The secret to cold beer is three things: Ice, ice and more ice. Black plastic bags do not have secret cooling properties it is the ice inside them that does the trick. MAKE SURE the drinks are on ice before the pack leaves for the run.
If you can get a Polystyrene box or two (preferable one used for vegetables - NOT FISH!) They are amazing at keeping drinks cold! Line them with black bags if they are dirty....
7. Length of Run
Hash clubs around the world try to set the run for around the 45 - 60 mins/1 hour marker for the runners as a target time. Runs much over that are not hash runs, they are ball breakers. If you want athletic training sessions join a running club. Some hashes take this so seriously that in the UK there is a hash called "Under the hour or else hash". The idea of the Wanchai hash was to encourage people to join in a reasonable amount of exercise and a large amount of social fun. When WH3 was set up the target was 40 minutes and that is still the target. RAMBO runs should be the exception and should give a run maximum of one hour. A forty minute run should take about 2 hours to set. Any more than that and the run is TOO LONG. The mark of a well set trail is that the Pack is all back within five minutes after the first true hound (i.e. not the SCB's or the Olympic runners). Trails which have people coming back over the next hour or so are obviously not good in any way.
8. Drinks & Water Stops
Each run will have different requirements for drink and water stops depending on the following issues:
Run length and
In general WH3 don't have drink stops unless its a demanding run, or exception hot weather, so please don't be pressured to set a Drinks Stop!
There is no getting away from the fact that when it comes to beer, e.g. Carlsberg, Heineken, San Miguel, Tsing Tao and more recently Asahi are a must. Try to stay away from the cheaper local beers otherwise you might get a reaction from the pack that you didn't expect.
When dealing with softies, go for the standards, Soda Water, Diet Coke / Coke Zero and 7-Up / Sprite. Grapefruit or Fanta Orange makes a great supplements, but remember not everyone likes fizzy drinks, so a few basic drinks often get down very well.
Water is essential especially on hot days and water stops are always a good idea. With current personal hygiene considerations the hash isn't expected to provide individual water bottles, you are encouraged to purchase larger flagon's of water (see table below) as hashers should bring their own personal water bottles to refill from the flagon.
The final item is the Ice. You can never have too much ice, so get as much as possible and keep the drinks cool for the returning hashers. Even in poor weather people tend to get really upset if the drink is warm. So always remember to keep the drinks cold. The only other thing to remember are the lap sap bags for the rubbish, buckets or bags for the beer, cups for the Down Downs and plenty of enthusiasm (hasher are encouraged to bring their own).
The table below should be used as a guide on the volume of drink to allow and assume:
Good weather and not a special run;
50-70 people for a HK Island run
40-60 people for a Kowloon run and
30-50 people for a NT run
Poor weather take off 10, special run add 10-20 people. Committee members will be happy to advise if there are any questions regarding the actual quantities to order.
Suggested Refreshment Quantities
On HOT summer days, you will need to add 50% to the Flagon & ICE recommendations.
2 x 5L Flagons of mineral water (NOT Distilled, Hasher are not car batteries)
2 x 12 pack Coke Light / Coke Zero
3 x 8 pack Sprite / Grapefruit
10 x 12 pack Carlsberg / Tsing Tao / Heineken / Asahi
5 x Standard ICE bags (1 - 2kgs)
If there is no shop near your run site and you are unable to get drinks there by taxi it is sometimes possible to have drinks supplied / delivered (speak to the committee as they generally have a contact or two).
If you think you may need this contact the Hare-raiser. However, it is important to note 3 things:
The supplier may not always be available, so you're A to B plans could hit a serious flaw!
That it is not always necessary or appropriate to use the supplier - e.g. supermarket nearby or location unsuitable - Some Kowloon locations, NT, Outlying islands etc.
9. Marking Generally
Be liberal with your marking. Arrows or blobs of flour should be every 30 metres or so, EVEN CLOSER in busy streets where they are difficult to see and where traffic noise drowns the calls.
After a DRY SPELL there will be hash arrows all over some areas. Use a special arrow and WH3 against the marks to assist the pack.
In rain, you can use large blobs of flour which last a while, especially if you mix it with cheap rice. You can put arrows and flour under over-hangs where the rain will not wash them out immediately. Toilet tissue can be used in bushes and shredded paper works well, as well as Hell Bank money that can be cut or folded to show a direction. It is not smart to hide trail marks - it is stupid.
DO NOT use plastic bags and tape to mark the trail. If you feel you have no choice then make sure it is biodegradable. Also, avoid marks under flyovers that do not get washed by the rain. Hash marks are as much graffiti as anything else. Let's appear to be responsible people.
10. When to set the trail
I have known some people who, amazingly, have set a trail 3 days before the run and then wonder why it was a f... up. Never set a trail other than the day of the run. That is the best way to ensure the trail is as intact as possible at the start. If it does pour with rain and you have no time to re-set it, just run round with the pack and direct them. This, thankfully, does not happen often. Obviously, this is another reason why you should not try to be a "lone hare" unless you are very good and experienced in organising these things.
Let the pack have a bit of the run to the first check, but if there are 8 ways, close a few off please. Its a bit of fun not a mind bending complex puzzle to solve. Overall in an hour, you should aim to have about eight to ten good checks but the terrain may dictate this.
Open Checks: These are checks with no arrows off them. It is not compulsory to have arrows off checks. The advantage of checks with arrows is that back markers can find the trail immediately. Some people think that if the back markers lose the pack that is "tough" and they should have to check the trail themselves. It is a matter of choice.
Tees and marked trails: Personally, I do not see a need for every false trail to have markings and a T at the end of it. You can tell the hounds at the start that not all falsies have T's and they should not go too far without trail. Any hound who goes more than a hundred metres without seeing trail is as dumb as any hare who leaves such a gap in the trail. Remember if you don't see trail in 100 meters, go a few meters more and then turn back, you've clearly missed a turn.
ON ON marks: One of the biggest failings of hares is leaving too big a gap before marking a positive "ON ON". They seem to think it is clever. The usual result is that one of the athletes dashes off and, when he eventually sees it some 300 meters on, his voice cannot be heard. This is the best way to split the pack. ON ON's should be within a hundred meters and, in the city, where traffic noise drowns the voices, it should be a lot less. Hares should keep the amount of trail in busy city streets to an absolute minimum. Note that some hashes in the World don't even mark “ON ON” but simply rely on having continuous trail for a hundred meters or so. WH3 rely on marking "ON ON" as it is quite clear so keep it that way.
Check backs: A “check back” (CB) means that you have missed a turning off the trail somewhere between the CB and the last Check or ON ON. A CB, traditionally in hash parlance, is a circle with a cross in it; however a T with a ‘CB’ is more universally understood. Just mark a T and everyone will know that they have gone too far. This is a good way to turn the fast runners around to the back of the pack. Two words of warning: don't do it too often (people get pissed off) and don’t write "ON ON" between the hidden turning and the CB as it is simply not true.
Try and be reasonable. It has been said before and I say it again - MONSTER mountain climbs or millions of steps do NOT make a good hash run. A good run has variety and should finish with a nice flat (or slightly downhill) run-in to let the athletes have a little stretch at the end. Just remember the best and the worst runs that YOU have been on and try to avoid the obvious pitfalls.
Shiggy (dense bush) is fun but too much of it is not. Also, remember that when the pack has to go single file through slow jungle, the first man out is away and running whilst others are still plodding through. Thus, you must consider how to bring the pack back together again after this.
13. The Circle
I will leave this to the Committee but woe betide the hare who has not provided enough cold beer for this part of the proceedings, but The Circle should be less than 45 mins, and everyone is welcome to contribute with things that have happened on the run (remember the front runners don't often see all the misdemeanors that happen on trail. If you to shy, simply tell one of the AGM's they will add to the story for everyone's enjoyment.
14. The ON-ON
Take your pick but again PRE-PLANNING is the thing. BBQ's are reasonably fool proof and are popular in the summer months.
Housing estate Dai Pai Dongs are seemingly OK and service is reasonably fast although the quality of food is questionable and not everyone's taste.
If you go to Indian restaurants, buffet places are best otherwise you can be waiting an hour for food.
On site food is good but check with the committee first. Do not expect to put on Mandarin Hotel catering and then expect the hash to subsidise your loss.
MONEY MONEY MONEY - many hares end up subsidising the meal because people leave without paying. Hares should appoint a "table monitor" to collect off an individual group. This is the best way. Drinks should be paid for separately it possible although some restaurants can't seem to work this way - perhaps because they can't rip you off so easily.
15. Be Sensible - Ask, don't assume ("Ass U & Me"?
Above all, WH3 has been going for over 30 years and there are hasher that have been running for some time with both WH3 and many other groups. So if you are in ANY doubt, speak to the committee, The experienced hashers will give you advice on the trial route (you don't have to tell them the answers to the checks) and where to get drinks, ice and even Dai Pai Dongs in the surrounding areas.
Safety is a must and that includes ensuring that everyone has come back, remember you know the trail they don't. If you are in any doubt that people will get lost they will, so over mark the difficult bits and check to see if everyone is back - its your responsibly as the hare to make sure everyone is back safely!
If your in any doubt ASK! On on