Thursday, June 28, 2012

My first Hash

I had wanted to go hashing for a while but the perfect opportunity never really arose until yesterday. I had heard lots of good things about it so wanted to try it out. After being picked up and driving to the middle of nowhere (sat nav failure, but that’s another story) we arrived at Fyne Court. Everybody was already there ready to go. Harriet had tried to explain the hash rules to me but seeing it in action made me realise what it was all about.

The hare sets the course usually between 5 and 7 miles and leaves a flour circle at a check point. This means that everybody runs off in different directions trying to pick up the trail. The trail is marked by dollops of flour. If you see one you shout "ON ONE" and then continue until you see another one which means you are on the right trail and then you tell your fellow hashers by shouting "ON ON" then everybody follows the right trail. From my experience last night "on one" sounds very similar to "on on" so I blindly followed the group. When you run over a dollop of flour on the trail you also shout "ON ON" so everybody knows they are still going the right way as the group can tend to stretch out. When the trail has been picked up you have to rub out the flour circle in the direction of the trail just in case anyone gets lost or needs to pick the course up.

The course last night was muddy, hilly and followed routes through streams, woods, and fields. I have never had so much fun running blindly around a wood watching everyone run off in different directions like wild animals trying to hunt down its prey. All of a sudden you will hear the "ON ON" and if you can pinpoint where it came from you head off in that direction. I was so amused watching this organised chaos and every time I heard the shout it seemed like they were shouting “I’M ON ONE" and I had visions of cheesy old skool quavers running around free parties. This just made me chuckle even more. The group were of mixed ability and some were a lot keener than others and rummaged through the undergrowth trying to pick up the flour dollops.

At one point we ran through a field which was full of farmers collecting in the hay and I could see their bemused faces watching a string of about 20 oddly dressed maniacs running around shouting..... it must have been a sight!!! The best part by far was stopping by this pond where everyone is given the chance to catch up and we all eat sweets but there was 2 swans protecting their signets and oh boy were they protective.... it was a short sprint session for some hashers!!!! The barrage through the fence and into the wood resembled a January sales queue at Next as everyone wanted to escape the swan who had now left the water and was approaching us with evil intend etched all over his face.

At some points the trail was hard to pick up especially with tractors driving down through the tracks and this where the hare comes in who stays at the back and then gives guidance if needed. So after 5.85 miles of stops and starts and some fun running we ended back at the start. I was covered in mud, scratched bitten and sweaty but I had a big grin on my face. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it others who wanted to try it. The group I was with was mixed ability’s, nice friendly group and quite relaxed about the whole affair. The evening also ends up in the pub!!! Bonus.  A big thank you to Harriet and Nick for taking me along and Harriet for driving!

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