How to Hare a Run


  • Set a trail
  • Bring Orange Food, munchies, and any drink check materials-- you have a $75 firm limit for your out-of-pocket expenses. Bring your receipt to the trail for reimbursement. This includes any chalk/flour you choose to purchase. Buy economically!
  • Talk to HandPump (, phone# 415-713-0423 ) about Keg Selection
  • You are responsible for cleanup of your run.

Haring Checklist:

Did you:

____ Select a start, prelube, and on-after and update the website with the info using the link from the hareraiser?

____ Buy $75 of orange food, flour (5+ lbs) and white chalk for your trail?
____ Tell Hand Pump (, phone# 415-713-0423) or the designated beermeister your beer selection and where you would like a beer check?
____ Scout your trail (physically-- no e-scouting!), designing a route with plenty of checks, backchecks, and falses to keep the pack together?
     A. Do you know what all of the marks mean to the SFH3 pack? (see below if you are not sure)
     B. Is your trail designed so that everyone reaches beer check in about 50 minutes or less?
     C. Have you described any special marks at chalktalk or to someone giving chalktalk?
     D. Did you check to see if other hashes (Gypsies, BARH3, our own trails) might be running near you which could interfere with the pack following your trail?
     E. If prelaying, are you laying trail within a couple hours of the start so no one (NIMBYs, ghosts) or thing (rain, micturating canines) fucks with it?
     F. If live haring, are you going to leave in time so the pack can go at 6:45? (The answer is yes.)
____ Did you make trail maps (10 copies) of your route so the walkers can see where your beer check is and the runners can take one if they want to?
____ After the run, did you pour down downs for the RAs and help clean up?
____ Did you call your mom today, she misses you.
Help, I need more information!

Definitions of hashing marks:

  • General marks: Large arrows and blobs of flour. Flour is easier to place while running trail live and stays better in rain and is key for any dirt trails. Flour also frightens people on Nextdoor. Arrows can be used to show more definitive directionality and are useful in places where suspicious shopkeepers might wash away flour quickly.
  • True trail: arrow with three dashes through stem. This is a bona fide, you're-definitely-going-the-right-way-no-matter-how-confused-you-are mark. Often used as the third mark on the real trail after a check, especially one that includes falses or back checks.
  • Check: circle with X and flour in middle to be kicked by pack. From here, the trail can go in any direction except back the way it came*. To be on trail after a check, you must find three whole marks (either flour or arrows) in a row. *If you do want to make a check with trail going back on the other side of the street then it must be explicitly emphasized at chalk talk.
  • False: Three straight lines across trail. This mark is found after a check to signify that you've gone the wrong way (false trail), as or after the 3rd mark after the check. From here, trail must lead off in a different direction FROM the last check.
  • Back check: Open circle. This mark is found along trail, generally a few blocks or less from the last check. From here, trail can lead off in any direction AT ANY POINT between this mark and the last check. Only ONE mark in the new direction is required to be ON following a back check. If you have gone very far from the check, and want the pack to go several intersections back to true trail, consider using a numbered backcheck.
  • Back check (#): Open circle with a number in it. This signifies that pack must go back exactly that many marks (be careful with your flour and chalk for this) and then find trail that veers off in a new direction from there. Used to annoy the FRBs and confuse half-minds, it can be fun to lay these in places with lots of paths / street corners.
  • Turkey/Eagle split: Split arrow marked with T and E. This signifies that you're laying two trails, the turkey being shorter and/or easier than the other. Be sure to make this mark very visible at the start of an intersection and then mark the next few arrows on both trails with a 'T' or an 'E' for clarity. Remember that slower runners shortcut-- if the pack can shortcut before your T/E mark, they may not see it!
  • YBF: You've been fucked. A particular kind of false trail that leads quite a long way before telling you to turn back.
  • Circle jerk: This is when you successfully lead the pack in a pointless circle or almost-circle that slower people can short cut to keep the pack together. This is not an actual mark.
  • DGK: Don't get killed. Write this on the sidewalk before crossing the street, not in the middle of the street, you half mind.
  • Tit check, dick check, song check (#). You must wait for the appropriate number or type of person to show you their joke or sing a song before continuing on trail. Fun for big trails with lots of visitors.

Other Information

There are 6 basic parts to haring a trail

  1. Pick a good run start
  2. Design a good trail
  3. Running the trail on the day/night
  4. Have a good On-On-On
  5. Have good Down-Downs
  6. Cleanup

Sounds simple? Hopefully you can get most if not all of these things right, but ya gotta be careful. OK, here are the details

Pick a good run start.

The run start should have the following characteristics

  • Within a short walk of the On-On-On
  • A comfy place for 70 hashers (eg not on a main road or in the DMV parking lot or the Housing Projects)
  • Good for Down-downs (not next to the police station)
  • Easy parking, especially for the Beer Truck - this isn’t always easy!
  • Avoid places that we have been ticketed (Kezar Stadium, Dolores Park, Aquatic Park). Ask Hand Pump for suggestions (, phone# 415-713-0423). Ask the hareraisers if you think you have a workaround.
  • Try to choose places that we are not going in the weeks before and after your trail. Starts are first cum first served, so updating your start location sooner rather than later is advised.
  • If you are unsure, try checking the Receding Hareline for past r*n starts or ask the hareraisers for suggestions.

Set a good trail

This is the core of the whole hash. Try and recall the trails you’ve enjoyed before and copy where you can.

Here’s a list to help …

  • Use the heavy, white DryWall chalk (try dumpster diving to get it!) — the purple /blue/red kids chalk is almost invisible. 
  • Any reimbursement for chalk and flour is included in your limit of $50 for orange food.
  • Use a lot of visible marks - every 10 paces … or 5 per city block. Hiding marks (except for the first few marks after a check) tends to slow the stragglers more than it does the FRBs.
  • Mark the corners at intersections … it’s really easy to confuse hashers here!
  • Have at least a half dozen checks. Fewer could make for a boring trail, and a lot more can make for a much longer run.
  • The beer check - have one, they’re great, but be sure to tell the beermeister (HandPump) where it is and double check he will be able to bring the van there. Don't take Hand Pump for granted!
  • Get the distance right by running the entire trail yourself at Pack speed so you can make sure it’s not too long. Ideally r*n around the time the pack would in order to make sure any gates are not locked.
  • Set the whole trail yourself (or together with your co-hare) - don’t set half and have another hare set the next half! Two cohares not meeting their ends of trails up together will lose the entire pack.
  • Checks bring the pack together, as front runners look for true trail from a check while the rest of the pack reaches the check waiting for an inkling as to where to go next. Live hares can buy themselves lots of time with checks-- you do not need to mark in any other directions than where your true trail goes, but the pack doesn't know that!
  • Be careful of your trail going too close together so that the pack doesn't find your return route. Live haring makes this less likely to happen, as does good, clear marking! Assume that for each check the pack may travel as far out as two blocks from that point, especially if the check is not solved quickly.
  • The trail should start up within 100 yards of the check (one standard block). Backchecks should be less than 1/4 mile long.
  • The true trail should come out of check in a forward direction, on to the right or left, (not back in the direction of the original trail). If you want break this rule please explicitly have this mentioned at chalk talk.
  • At a check, a trail cannot ‘die’. If a trail is marked with three blobs in one direction and it is not true trail there will be a false mark (or YBF) made by three lines across the trail.
  • Circle jerks and BackChecks are a great way to keep the pack together too!
  • A trail should be easy to follow when you are on trail, marking placement can be clever (especially after a check), but should not be hidden.
  • Trails should not go through private property without owners’ permission.
  • Dangerous places, such as unstable cliffs on night runs or heavy traffic areas, should be avoided.
  • Keep the pack together and screw the FRBs - use back-checks, long false trails and circle jerks
  • You can hide marking stuff (not flour!) on the trail so you don’t have to lug a 30 pound bag around (this is for Live trails mainly)


Live versus Dead haring

  • Dead haring is perfectly acceptable, but live haring is tons of fun! See below for the advantages of live haring and some tips if you choose to do so. However, if you prefer to walk rather than run, are intimidated by live haring, or just plain don't want to, please follow this advice:
    • Prelay your trail on the same day as the hash!
    • Double check the distances if you are prelaying! It's easy to over- or under- estimate the difficulty of your trail if you are walking.
    • Consider holding off on laying the first couple of blocks of your trail until the r*n start. People traveling to the start might see it, so if you leave at 6:30 you could easily lay those blocks and keep the pack from knowing where trail is heading.
    • Consider sweeping your trail (running behind the pack), especially if you have set trail in areas where locals might scrub away the marks.
  • Live haring means that you are less likely to get your trail wiped away and you can travel nearer to the start of your trail (because the return marks won't be there until after the pack has passed!)
  • Live haring takes much less time-- instead of leaving work early you can show up at the usual hash time and just set the trail instead of r*nning it!
  • Live haring does not mean every single mark must be set after you start! Feel free to prelay a backcheck or false or two.
  • Live haring does not require you be a fast r*nner, just a smart trail setter. Checks will immediately delay the pack, and you can r*n on in your intended direction without making any marks for the next block. Song checks are also great for delaying the FRBs, especially if they must wait for a certain number of hashers to arrive and sing. Backchecks will require a little more effort on your part than a check does, but if the pack doesn't guess your true trail direction immediately, they can buy you loads of time.
  • Consider carefully your strategy for Turkey/Eagles when live haring.
    • If you have a cohare, you could lay them separately, but be very careful that you are able to meet the trails up again. If the Turkey and Eagle progress to the beer check separately this will not be a problem.
    • If you are laying alone, it is advisable to lay the Eagle dead (especially longer Eagles), so that any FRB that just so happens to run the Turkey doesn't get ahead of you.
  • If you get caught while live haring:
    • Tell the FRB that did it where the beer check is and have them live lay trail from that point OR
    • Set a check, have the FRB help you by laying a false, and escape from the clutches of the pack!


Running the trail on the day/night

  • Hand out a few decent maps for the walkers — mark the BeerCheck clearly on the map.
  • Give the Chalk Talk to the Newby’s - or grab a volunteer to do it for you
  • Blow your whistle and get the Pack to shut up and then tell them any special intructions
  • Sweep the trail - This is very important and not done nearly enough! If you set a dead trail you'll get to laugh at the pack! You want to avoid losing people who aren’t smart enough to follow your fabulously clear trail (ie most of the pack!). If you have doubts about your trail and can't sweep yourself, post on the mailing list or the Facebook group to ask for an assistant-- plenty of hashers are happy to be sweep, especially if you bribe them with compliments or beer.

Have good Down-downs

The Down Downs are the highlight of the night for many hashers and certainly for the Religious Advisers. This is when everyone gets together and says what a great trail you set, that the beer is terrific and what an all round swell person you are. It will definitely help if you ….

  • Make sure the pack gets to the orange food after returning to the start from the beer check
  • Help the R.A with the Down-Downs …the R.A’s are usually too busy to pour the Down Downs, so you have to help him/her by pouring the beers and handing then a beer for each Down Down. Pick a warm, quiet spot for the Down-downs, preferably out of the wind.
  • As down downs are progressing, keep an eye on the number left and pour more if necessary.


Make sure all trash is disposed of, that the keg gets packed away in the van, and that all hashers know where the On after is.

At the On-On-On

By now everyone’s happily hashed out and all they want is …

  • good, cheap beer
  • good cheap grub

Try and cut a deal at the Pub/Restaurant. You will probably have 30 - 40 people coming in on a Monday so you should have some clout! on on

Cuming Mutha (and a few other people and places that I copied from!) with edits by Do Her Well