2. The marks

It takes 2 to 3 hours to set a trail that will take the hounds 1 hour to run. This includes the time needed to mark false trails etc.

A trail is best marked with flour, saw dust or chalk. You will need 4 to 6 kg of flour, two to three packs of sawdust (supermarket size saw dust for pets).

Blobs (or arrows if using chalk) - The trail is marked with blobs/arrows at about 20 to 40 meter intervals or more often if needed.

The trail is interrupted by particular signs, such as:

A circle which is a check. The check is used to keep the runners together by slowing down the fastest runners and allowing joggers and walker to catch up. At the check, the trail is interrupted and the runners that arrived first, the so-called  Front Running Bastards (FRBs), have the task to scatter round to find out where the trail continues. Checks should be placed at points where there are several choices of paths to continue. The trail should start again within 100 meters in any direction of a check. Vary the direction of the trail from the check, so the run is not always in the same direction, and not every check is similar. The distance can be less than 100 meters, especially if there are few runners or in difficult terrain. Set checks often enough that the runners do not get too spread out.

An X (cross) at the end of a 100 – 200 meter length of trail is a false trail, used to confuse the FRBs. Put the first dot of false trails nearer to the checks than the first dot of the correct trail, so that the false trail(s) will be discovered first, but don’t make it too simple as the runners will soon figure out your tactic. The false trail may consist of anything from one, two to several dots of flour/sawdust. Some hares prefer to say that “three marks and you’re on”, i.e. a false trail will have no more than two dot-marks. A good run will have a few false trails. The runners will have to go back to the check and look for the trail in other directions.

Arrows let you mark the trail better, for example at sharp turns (unless you want to put a check there to confuse the runners), mark the arrow with chalk, or juts by using the flour or saw dust.

Walkers’ trail - Setting a separate trail for walkers is another way of making sure the walkers and the FRB's arrive at the end at the same time. The split into a runners and walkers trail can be indicated with arrows and using an R and a W respectively.

Regroups (RG), can be introduced if you think the pack needs to come together again, e.g. after a long, hard climb. Mark it with a circle and the letters RG next to it. This can be a good way to keep the runners together after a long stretch of run, or after a long uphill, or a tricky part of trail that will have spread the runners out.