Instructions for Hares

If you enjoy hashing, then it is only fair that you take your turn in setting a run or two. Don't worry, it is good fun and it gives you a chance to get your own back. In a nutshell, a hare is responsible for the following:


  • Preparing, printing out and distributing directions/map on getting to the ON-ON point the week prior to the run
  • Make arrangements for the aprés-hash eating venue, negotiate prices etc.
  • Setting the course to be followed by the pack
  • During the run - making sure no-one gets lost, stopping traffic, helping maidens over stiles etc. etc. There is one exception to this and this applies to SCB (naming no names Capt. Oats, Lumberjack, Brown Underpants) These guys know every shortcut on the island and will always arrive home well before anyone else.
  • After the run - take care of the food & make sure everyone who wants to, does eat.

Setting the course

There are two types of courses - Those you painstakingly set before hand - a DEAD HARE and those where you set off in front of the pack and then they set off after a decent interval trying to catch up with you - a LIVE HARE. All you really need for a live hare, is a fast hare and this is very rare in Nicosia. So these hints apply only to a dead hare.

In Nicosia, we try to set a course in a square or circular pattern i.e. finishing at the starting point. In order to accommodate the gentler runners, there are normally two trails - a long one 6-10 km and a short one 4-5 Km

You will need the following:

  • 6-10 Kgs of flour
  • Bucket or plastic bags to put the flour in
  • Map
  • Compass
  • GPS

An experienced hasher will need a little over 2 hours to set a typical NH4 trail although others have been known to take 10 hours over it. It helps if you set the run in daylights - however bear in mind that hazards etc. look completely different in the dark.

Make the marks using plenty of flour. Try to place the flour in places which are not likely to be interfered with i.e. avoid kerbs where someone may park their car later on. If it is likely to be windy, step on the flour to compact it. Flour generally stays much longer if it is laid on something solid. Watch out for culverts in cases of flash floods.

Actually laying the flour is something that most hares perfect over time. Some will dip their hand in the bucket and pour it liberally, others throw splurges down as they run, and others daintily shake the bag of flour avoiding flour rashes up the arms... The Capt. Oaks special projects division has come up with a fiendishly clever device, "The Custom Dibber", for making neat little marks without even having to bend down, however this is frowned upon by hash purists, but there again - who cares. Perhaps the best method is one demonstrated by someone now running with the Epi hash (obviously practiced elsewhere as they set marks in paper) which is to use a laundry softener bottle such as Comfort (once the softener has been emptied out and the bottle washed and dried... on the inside... are we getting the drift here?). The relatively wide bottle spout will allow a very nice solid quantity of flour to mark the course - now we need to convert this to a "Custom Dibber Mark III" to avoid the necessity of bending down or of having to refill the bottle. In any case, it is a good idea to 'tramp' down the flour to avoid it being blown away by the wind.

It is generally accepted that flour gets laid on the right i.e. we run against oncoming traffic

If you don't know the area well, you should go out and do some reconnoitring first. Do this by bicycle or by car - it's allowed. Unless you are planning on an A to B run plan on a large square or circle around 6 Km long.

Some people prefer to first set a short course and then go back and set loops for the long course, others the other way round.

Try to make the source interesting by avoiding long, straight runs, do make good use of terrain (up-down hills) aim for water/mud. It is not unknown for hashes to go through public buildings, although quite what reaction one could expect from the Hilton security staff at someone laying flour through their lobby is anyone's guess.

Positioning your checkpoints is important, as this will ensure the pack stays together and makes things interesting. Aim to provide a checkpoint every half to one mile or so. Make sure the checkpoints are situated at the junctions of three or more ways with all leading on from the path leading to the checkpoint. Be sure to mark all the false trails but don't be too eager to lay the first mark - allow a good 50 - 80 yards interval between marks. This is the most time-consuming part of the whole exercise so it is a good idea to set the course with a friend and have one person laying the course whilst the other marks out the "falsies" and then catches up etc. etc.

Other hashes relish setting quite elaborate false trails (checkbacks) during the course of the run. Restraint is advisable in the case of Nicosia unless you particularly enjoy downers "on your back".

Although generally frowned upon, Nicosia hares have been known to lay trails on the back of bicycles, motorbikes and even cars so take your pick. [On second thoughts, perhaps we'd better re-phrase - there again perhaps not].

Après Hash

The Hare(s) is responsible for arranging the food after the Hash. An important point here is to try and keep within budget, currently set at 9 EUR per person including some beer (Half a bottle perhaps).

If the hare is planning to have the food ordered, only give rough numbers for the order (30-40 in the winter, 20-30 in the summer) making sure that the actual number will be given at about 19:30 when the Hash Ca$H will know. Obviously, latecomers will have to take their chances.

If catering at home, things are a little trickier as it is not always so easy to gauge this. However, it is always possible to cheaply augment the food with a take-away chicken or two.

Make sure the vegetarians are catered for and keep the carnivores away from the veggie food until they've had theirs.

If appropriate, make sure to remind Hash Hooch that you will also need beers for the afters as well as the Down-Downs.

A word to the wise

Please do be aware of local sensitivities and fears, particularly if setting a run anywhere near to the "border". Strange men putting down marks in the street are frequently viewed with suspicion. Another factor is that people who put down poison for animals do so mixed in flour. Therefore do not be surprised if you are asked by a concerned local inhabitant "what are you doing?". Be courteous and polite - make sure to invite them to the next run and you'll find there will be smiling comprehension and wise shaking of the head at the lunacy of foreigners. DO NOT GET INTO ARGUMENTS OR LOSE YOUR TEMPER!