A couple of weeks ago I found my way to a night Monday Hash. We usually go to the Saturday Hashes which are mostly outside of the city and give us a chance to explore the more remote areas of the country. Monday hashes are also held every 2 weeks, but they are primarily in the city.
Two weeks ago I was in the height of my preparation for Fusion and I figured that a hash would be a good opportunity for 1 last good run before the big event. I didn't know that I was in for a different kind of experience for sure.
I arrived at the bar where the run started (and finished) complete with my hashing socks pulled up and trail running shoes. Standard attire for Saturday hashes. As I looked around and saw a lot of familiar faces there were no long socks and everyone was wearing road runners. We wear long socks to prevent cuts and scratches from thorns and razor grass because we are often in remote areas with no trails. It was obvious that we weren't going to be hitting the bush at all at the Monday hash.
At about 5:25 there was a bit of a ruckus as people were cheering (and jeering) the hares who left with their grocery bags of flour. "Cool", I thought as I realized, this was a "live" hash. The trail has not yet been set. Off they went, with random comments following, to create the trail for us. Just five minutes later someone shouted "ON ON" and we were off to try to catch them!
As it turns out, there is a lot less planning on Monday and the "live" hash means that the hares have to act quickly. So they're trail makers are fewer and farther between to give the group more of a challenge. The majority of the trail is on roads or sidewalks. The Monday hares are also very good at hiding flour behind trees, in ditches and around corners.
Two days was my second live Monday hash. This one was really unique as the hares names were drawn from a hat from the people that showed up. The two hares were one experienced and one inexperienced hasher. Neither wanted to be hare because it is extra work, a lot of thinking and a serious challenge to confuse a group that is only 5 minutes behind. At one point the entire group was standing in a intersection totally confused by the seemingly dead end trail. In the end the hares had set a huge, 11 km, trail for us that took us downtown Port of Spain and finally ended in the dark. Good fun!
Unfortunately we are down to just 3 hashes left (2 Saturday and 1 Monday) before returning to Canada. I have signed up to be a hare for the July 4th hash near Piparo in central Trinidad. We've been out to tour the area with a bush-man so the next step is to design a trail. I will let you know how it goes.