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Mixed All Seoul Hash
MASH Hash # 72 Report
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Date: 2 November 2003

Hares: PaperMate & Royal Norse & Posh Up

Location: Central Seoul - Oksusan Area

# of participants: ...

Newcomers/Visitors: Mark & Ray Remmert, Roger Hatridge & Kyoung-hee Sim, Norma Bjorge & Steinar Forberg, Kris Bailes, Marit Andreassen, Jesper Iversen, Gustav Vig, Yoo-young Kim, and Tommer Bengal

Awards: Olav Nortun - 10 MASH Hashes Award Patch

Summary: What brought as many as 41 MASHers and MASH wannabees to Oksusan on that Sunday afternoon? Maybe it was the easy access to a city-centre venue only a few minutes' walk from the subway station. Maybe it was the fine weather on what may prove to be the last warm Sunday afternoon this year. Maybe it was the prospect of another exciting raffle. Or maybe it was curiosity about what kind of trail the three hares would set. Some may even have been naive enough to imagine that, being ladies, they would not set a particularly long or difficult trail. But these hares are Norwegian ladies! There was some apprehension about the trail when it became clear that the son of one of the hares was not going to take part. How tough must a trail be to make even him -- an enthusiastic runner with several hashes under his belt -- refuse to take part?! Even the usually hard-running husband of another hare disappeared before the start on some pretext involving unexpected work conflicts.

Those apparently without inside information on the trail included twelve newcomers (apparently a record), one of whom had heard about the event only ten minutes before he arrived. Unsurprisingly perhaps, he did not have suitable shoes for hashing and he had arranged to meet a friend so he didn't stay on the trail to the end. Tripwire took an opportunity to find out better who's who in MASH by taking care of the signing up. Note that this is a task which could be delegated ad hoc to almost any but the most irresponsible hasher. (That is not intended as a comment on Tripwire's ability to fulfil such responsibilities.)

Not long after the start, both the runners and the walkers faced a steep climb up some irregular concrete steps. This was just a taste of things to come! The trails took the groups through a variety of scenery and terrain: wooded hillsides, the grounds of Dankook University, flights of steps, apartment complexes, a maze of little backstreets, longer flights of steps, a short stretch along a main road, well maintained parkland paths, steeper flights of steps, hilltops with spectacular views across the city, but no shiggy. (Come to think of it, I don't think I've enjoyed any serious shiggy on a MASH trail yet.) And all the way -- so it seemed -- there were climbs and descents, and more climbs and descents ... (Actually there was a little bit, at this year's Easter hash, I think.)

Not surprisingly, the pack tended to get a bit spread out and at one point PaperMate had to go back (down and up) to retrieve a straggler, then run (down and up again) to catch up with the pack. Elsewhere some front-runners announced an impromptu holding check to bring the pack together and it turned into an excellent hash flash opportunity. There was also a premeditated holding check at a hilltop pavilion and, whether due to skilled planning or sheer luck and coincidence, the two packs arrived almost at the same time. Towards the end of the trail (which, by that point, was already more than long enough) the runners completed their tortuous -- and sometimes torturous -- loop and started retracing their steps for the last half kilometre or so. Some parts of this stretch were difficult to recognise from the opposite direction and in places the trail marks didn't help to sort out the confusion because they were placed for people going in the outward direction.

The running and walking packs completed their gruelling trails at approximately the same time -- skilled planning or sheer coincidence? Tripwire and his offspring set to work on the on-after barbecue almost immediately, kids broke out the badminton equipment (and used it), hashers tucked into snacks and beverages while Daddy Long Legs grilled people in a desperate quest to discover some genuinely punishable hash crimes.

The hares were cheered for their trail-laying efforts and jeered for the arduous results. Two waves of newcomers were honoured in the customary manner. The next down-downs were for hash crimes and the two genuinely punishable offenders became guinea pigs for two proposed new imbibement vessels. It is something of an honour to drink from the MASH pewter tankards so it might be more appropriate for guilty to drink from these rather less glamourous containers. Olav Nortun received a MASH award patch for reaching the milestone of ten hashes nearly three years after his first MASH hash.

Another in the series of apparel raffles was held, with several lucky hashers winning a chance to choose from a range of generously donated second-hand hashing attire. Even one-year-old newcomer Jesper Iversen won something, which he should grow into before too long.

Despite the good-natured grumbles about the trail, MASH72 will be remembered for its terrific trio of hares, the cheerful atmosphere, the diversity of its scenery, the easily accessible venue, the fine weather and other minor factors too numerous to list here. Daily Male also deserves a mention for his invaluable support to the hares.

On! On!

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