Guidelines for Hares

Everything you need to know to “do a Hareset” for the Saigon Hash.


1) Preparations

1.a) What did you like/dislike as a Hasher on previous runs

In the weeks before your Hareset, pay attention to how the Hares then set the trail. What did you like and are there things that you would like to do better? Everything that you consciously notice will help you to do a proper Hareset on your day.

1.b) Getting a co-hare

Decide in advance who will be the Walking Hare and who will be the Running Hare.

1.c) Find a location

Finding good hashing locations is becoming increasingly more difficult. Our usual stumping grounds are in Dong Nai province, along Highway No. 51, the Vung Tau road, along the road to the Tri An lake, off Highway No. 1 (Hanoi Road) and along the toll road to the future airport in Long Than. Other sites are located along Highway No. 13, while there are some nice sites within the Saigon city boundaries, like Thanh Da island, in Hoc Mon and in District 9. Many past trails are shown on Google maps (click here).

If you open the link to Google maps you will find many past run sites. Chose one of those for your run, or decide on another one that you know is nice. For a new location, consider the following:

  • Can the run site be reached by bus on a Sunday within a reasonable time, say <70 minutes?
  • Are there large rivers that cannot be crossed, busy roads that should preferably be avoided, restricted sections (lime military areas), airports, industrial estates, golf courses that cannot be crossed, etc.? The less limitations, the easier it is to set a run;
  • Is it easy to set the run as a loop (finishing the run/walk where you start), a so-called A to A? Setting an A to B, with the Finish of the run/walk at a different location makes it easier to set the run but, on the big day, the logistics of getting the bus to the target site while you are being hare can be a nightmare. A to B runs are not recommended for virgin Hares.

2) Reccie the site

2.a) Navigation

To find your way in the field, a navigation App or GPS is very useful. For a GPS, check out

2.b) Transport

Unless you know the running area very well, at least one reccie (reconnaissance) will be needed. Best is to go on motorbike.

If you decide on a taxi instead, make good arrangements with the taxi driver, using an hourly rate rather than using the meter. Total costs for a day should not normally exceed VND 800,000 to 1,000,000. A hourly rental “Grab” may get you there.

2.c) Location for the circle

Verify that your intended circle location is good enough: Can the bus get there, is there no cross bar over the road, low hanging wires, etc.? Ask for permission if the site is privately owned.

2.d) Length of walk and run:

The run should be between 7-10 km and the walk 4.5-6 km.

Occasionally, longer runs are set, at 11-12 km, but make it as an extra option, besides the shorter run and walk.

2.e) Reccie on foot:

Try to find little running trails, single tracks. Hashers like that. While on the reccie, keep an eye open for possible locations for:

  • checks and false trails;
  • ways to interconnect parts of the run for a shorter walk (or vice versa: if you have a walk, how can you add bits for the run);
  • better locations for the circle than the one you selected initially;
  • a possible location for a beer stop.

2.f) Crops:

Never lay the trail through crops, always around the edge and whenever possible avoid crops entirely. Be considerate.

2.g) Beer stop:

Most Hashers greatly appreciate a beer stop, a location about halfway during the run with beer and bottled water.

2.h) Map the trail

After the reccie, check your trails on Google map, Google Earth, or another App.

3) Inform our Media Mistress

As early as you can, immediately after the reccie and preferably on the Monday before your Hareset, inform the Media Mistress (email about your run. Write a short story about what Hashers can expect, add a picture of the Hares, or of the countryside we will run in, and the exact location of the start of the run through a GoogleMaps link, something like:

All of this information will be posted on the website and in the newsletter. The MMC (MisManagement) will inform the bus cre

4) Laying paper, the day before the run

4.a) Getting to the site

If possible, load the shreddy on your motorbike to get to the run site. Else try Grab by hourly rental.

4.b) Shreddie

Experienced Hashers will tell you how or where to get shreddie. Bring enough, as you need lots and lots of it. For some runs, notably for town runs, the use of shreddie is inappropriate: flour should be used as a substitute.

Shreddie should be spaced no more than 50 metres apart along roads/clearly identifiable trails, 30 metres apart in open country, 25 metres in scrub and 10 metres or closer in dense jungle. You don’t want to lose the Hashers, only confuse them in places where you decided to have a check or false trail.

Use plenty of checks and false trails, to slow down the fast runners and let slow ones catch up.

4.c) Checks

Checks are marked with a circle around an object such as a tree, bush or rock. Decoy trails may be laid leading in the wrong direction, but use no more than two blobs of shreddie for these. Three or more blobs show that it is the correct trail.
A check has only one correct trail and one or more wrong directions.

4.d) False trails

False trails are very effective in slowing down fast runners. At a junction, shreddie along the wrong trail should be naturally laid, but clearly visible, in the wrong direction. The shreddie in the correct direction is more hidden behind bushes or in high grass and laid at somewhat larger distance. The runners will naturally run along the trail following the wrong trail. After a while, the trail must be marked with an 'X', to show that it was the wrong trail. Once they find out to have run in the wrong direction, the runner(s) will come back calling “On Back”, with the result that the slowest runners at the back of the pack have suddenly become front runners.

4.e) Natural checks

When coming to a T-Junction or fork in a trail, delay laying shreddie for 25-50 meters. It slows the fast runners down as it forces them to check out all directions. Natural checks are convenient if the Hare is under time pressure as it does not require any preparation, nor does more than one trail has to be provided with shreddie.

4.f) Hash Halts

Hash Halts are marked with an “H” and the runners will stop there until the Hare decides to resume the running. The aim of the Hash halt is to keep fast and slow runners together, especially useful after steep hills and monkey bridges. During the run, the Hare can always decide on an impromptu Hash Halt, if runners are getting too far apart. Just call “Hash Halt”.

4.g) Spray paint

Spray paint can be used, but never on roads, buildings and trees, as the paint will remain for many years. Only spraying on grassy surfaces is permitted.

5) The day of the run

5.a) The Hare must guide the bus

The Hare is responsible for getting the bus to the run site, no one else. The bus crew is informed about the run site, but

5.b) Hare announcements before the run

Hares are called into the circle before the run. TheHare must explain:

  • If the run is A to A (returning to the start location), or an A to B (if not);
  • Who will be running hare and who will be walking hare;
  • If there will be a beer stop;
  • The approx. length of the run;

The runners will leave first, followed by the walkers.

5.c) Hare on the Run

The Running Hares must ensure that no one gets lost. But Hare is not a guide. Hashers must find the trail themselves and guidance is only needed if they look likely to get lost. With one Running Hare, it is best to function as sweeper, keeping control from the back. A second running hare (if any) could run up front, to keep an eye on the front running bastards (FRB).

5.d) Hare on the Walk

The Walking Hare usually walks upfront and the pack follows him or her. But keep an eye on slow walkers. Keep in mind: No one should get lost.

5.e) The circle

The circle is not the Hares’ concern. You will be called in, for a proper abuse session, where you get criticised for all your hard work, probably by hounds that have never yet set a run in their life.

5.f) The ON ON ON:

It is a tradition for the Hounds and Hares to go and dine together after the run, the ON ON ON. Pick a restaurant within walking distance from the Caravelle.

5.g) Costs of being Hare

If necessary, the Saigon Hash will reimburse up to a maximum of VND 1.2millions for taxi costs upon showing a receipt.