Introduction to Hashing
Article by Gareth Morris, Project Development Manager, Spectrum
This year, the PESGB Surrey Branch in its 23rd year, is proud to sponsor the 27th Oil Industry Hash run with Getech, Shearwater, SLR Consulting and Spectrum. Lambert Energy are kindly supplying t-shirts. Key aims of the event are for it to be fun and all-inclusive. Runners will chase a ‘hare’ through the Surrey fields and woods following a flour trail, with barred and incorrect routes to navigate through on the way. The run will branch along the way to give a choice of loops- approximately 5km or 10 long, if each direct route is followed, though slightly longer if you take the incorrect marked paths. Plenty of opportunities for stopping, to wait for keen runners to check out the route ahead, if you are feeling tired on the night. They will alert you to the correct route with the traditional hash call of “On, on!”
All runners will receive a free t-shirt, food and first drink. The event will start from and finish at the PESGB Surrey Branch pub, The White House, on a branch night. PESGB Non-runners are very welcome to attend and join in the revelry. The hash is one of the oil industry’s traditions and with your support we can keep these events going. Check out the magazine or website for more details and how to sign up.
This year, we are keen for everyone to understand and navigate by the symbols laid for us by the Hare. Here below is an easy guide to explain what to do.
The Hash House Harriers is probably the largest group of affiliated running clubs in the world, and one that most people are unaware of. In fact, it is something that most runners are only vaguely aware of. Hashing can trace its origins back to late 1938 and now has chapters (or ‘kennels’) all over the world.
The first Hashers were a group of soldiers stationed in what is now Malaysia, who decided started up a social running group. They would meet on Monday evenings to help them overcome the previous weekend’s excesses. Fashioned after the British paper chase or ‘hare and hounds’ tradition, one of the group would lay a trail which the others would have to try and follow. This is the defining trait of all Hash House Harrier runs – only the hare knows where the run will go. The rest of the ‘pack’ has to find the correct route by following a trail laid by the hare, typically using flour.
When laying a trail, the hare will use certain marks to convey information to the pack. They all have specific meanings and the most common ones are shown below. Certain marks also have ‘calls’ associated with them – these allow the rest of the pack to know what’s going on ahead of them and should be shouted loudly so as many people as possible can hear.
Blob – this is what we’re looking for and means that you are ‘on trail’. You should follow these until you get to a check.
If you are following these it’s helpful to periodically call ‘On On’ to let the pack know that you’re following flour and not making your own route up
Check – this circle of flour is a useful device for the Hare as it helps keep the pack together. They are often found at junctions. When you arrive at a check it means that there several directions the trail can go in and it’s up to the pack to work together to find the correct route and solve the check. Once a check has been solved, a hasher standing by the check should mark it as solved (see below).
The first hasher to arrive at a check should call ‘On to check’. Subsequent hashers may, on arrival at the check, choose to call ‘Are you?’ to those who are trying solve the check. If the checkers are still trying to find the route, the response is ‘Checking’. Once a Hasher has found the trail, they should call ‘On on on’ to let those waiting at the check know.
Solved check – this is a check with part of the circle kicked out in the direction of the solved trail (in this case ~1 o’clock). Anyone who is waiting at a check when they hear the call ‘On on on’ should kick out the check before continuing on the trail. This tells those behind you which way to go.
Three blobs – this is usually only found after a check and means you have found the correct route. The spacing between these blobs may vary.
If you are the first one to find this, call ‘On on on’ to let those behind you know, then continue following the trail.
False trail – this means you’re going in the wrong direction. They are mostly used after a check, but can be employed by the Hare to ensure you don’t go too far off trail. When you get to one of these, turn around and run back to the check. Do not continue past a cross as there will not be any flour beyond it.
This way – an arrow shows you the direction you should go. They are used by the Hare where there may be some ambiguity, or once a check has been solved.
This may seem complicated but Hashing is, above all, a social event. There will be plenty of people on the run who have done it before, and it is suitable for all running abilities.
Sponsored by PESGB Surrey Branch, Getech, Shearwater, SLR Consulting & Spectrum
T shirt for each runner to be sponsored by Lambert Energy Advisory Ltd