COVID-19 Framework for Herts Hash House Harriers’ Trails


As an organised outdoor activity, but without a national governing body, Rutland Hash House Harriers running group has developed the following guidelines for use during the COVID-19 outbreak, and alignment with government measures to prevent the spread of infection.


·         Background


Herts Hash House Harriers (H4) are a ‘non-competitive’ running group, with a social element, in which the participants follow a pre-set trail in an outdoor environment.

Based upon a ‘Hare & Hounds’ style ‘Paper-chase’ it is a slightly diverged version of this Victorian past-time and has been actively known as the Hash House Harriers since 1938, with Hashes being established Internationally in a large number of countries.

The activity is organised at the club (chapter/kennel) level, without a formal national or international governing body, as so local chapters have developed their own traditions and rules.


·         Operating model


Each event organized by a club is known as a Hash or Run. This activity is known as ‘Hashing’, with participants calling themselves ‘Hashers & Harriettes’.

Prior to the event, a Trail is marked out with flour, chalk or shredded paper.

The group then gathers, runs the trail and at the end, forms a social circle for songs and a drink.

The purpose of the event is to keep the group moving forward at an overall similar pace, despite differences in participants’ speed and running ability, through use of checks, false trails, turn-backs and short cuts.


·         Guidelines for COVID-19 relevant to H4


Reference date: 16th December 2020

2-metre social distances should be maintained

Social groups meeting outside should be limited to 6 persons (with exceptions for organised sport or exercises classes or licensed outdoor physical activity)

You can continue to take part in organised sporting or licensed physical activity in groups of more than 6. This can be in any public place – indoors or outdoors – or a private outdoor space like a garden; but not inside a private home.

These activities either need to be organised by a national governing body, club, registered instructor/coach, business or charity; and/or involve someone who has received an official license to use equipment relevant to the activity. In all cases, the organiser must conduct a risk assessment and ensure compliance with COVID-19 Secure guidance.

When participating in organised sport or licensed physical activity, you must not mingle in groups of more than 6 before and after the activity. You should also ensure you socially distance from people you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) wherever possible.

You are encouraged to download and use the NHS COVID-19 app to help protect yourself and others.

The assessment of the H4 management is that as an organised club with a risk assessment and guidelines to be followed (listed below), this outdoor running club can continue to operate events at the current time - both safely and within the government guidelines.


Herts Hash House Harriers Event Delivery During COVID-19


·         Setting up events


HSE Risk assessment has been undertaken

Laying the trail - the "Hares" set the trail before the Hash event, they should maintain social distancing (vehicles, walking) and ideally be from the same household/social bubbles. Arrival at events

The Hash management will keep a list of attendees and their contact numbers as required by Covid-19 regulations.

Hashers should not congregate at the beginning of an event, maintaining a greater than 2 metre social distance.

Hash starts will have be staggered, with groups from two participants to a maximum of six participants setting off in Pods with a gap of 10 minutes between each (H4 participating numbers are normally around 15 - 20 persons).


Most of Hertfordshire is currently in Tier 2 under the Government change to lock-down beginning 16th December 2020, which means no one from a Tier 3 Area can join us on Trail, as we can not stop in a Tier 3 area.


Members who reside in Tier 3 areas of Hertfordshire (Broxbourne, Hertsmere, Three Rivers, & Watford) should not travel to Tier 2, Trails will avoid entering Tier 3 areas.

You can check your Covid-19 Tier Area by entering your Post Code in the Government Webpage via this link: Coronavirus Tiers



·         During the event


Groups should not mingle on the checkpoints, but stay within their 2 - 6 person running groups (Pods) of roughly the same running ability. 

Hashers are required to carry face-mask and hand-gel

No Calling of “On! On! or ‘Are you?’ on Trail

In the event that one group catches up with another during the Trail, then they should pause for at least 2 minutes at an appropriate place, allowing space for the others to overtake if need be, while still maintaining suitable social distancing.

The Hash (event) finishes when Hashers reach the written “On Inn” at the end of the Trail.


·         After the event


The social circle with all participants is suspended until further notice. 


If Hashers go for refreshments after the Trail, they can only sit inside a Pub in family groups or home social bubbles, there they can only have alcohol* if they order a substantial meal & abide by any establishment’s Covid-19 operations – wearing facemasks until seated by the establishment’s staff.  *If you are drinking softies then you are exempt from having a meal, as are groups of six unrelated people having a business lunch (Yes its as clear as mud!)