HASH HOUSE HARRIERS
A drinking club with a running problem
WHAT ARE THE HASH HOUSE HARRIERS:
You only have to have a half mind to hash
You only have to have a half mind to hash
Hashing . . . it's a mixture of athleticism and sociability, hedonism and hard work; a refreshing break from the nine-to-five routine. Hashing is an exhilaratingly fun combination of running, orienteering, and partying, where bands of harriers and harriettes chase hares on eight-to-ten kilometre-long trails through town, country, jungle, and desert, all in search of exercise, camaraderie, and good times.
Hashing, as we know it today, began in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1938, when a group of restive British company men started a hare & hounds running group.
They named the group after their meeting place, the Selangor Club, aka the "Hash House." Hash House Harrier runs were patterned after the traditional British public school paper chase. A "hare" would be given a short head start to blaze a trail, marking his devious way with shreds of paper, soon to be pursued by a shouting pack of "harriers." Only the hare knew where he was going . . . the harriers followed his marks to stay on trail. Apart from the excitement of chasing down the wily hare, solving the hare's marks and reaching the end was its own reward, for there, thirsty harriers would find a tub of iced-down beer. Stolen from half-mind.com http://gotothehash.net/history/rules.html
The Original Hash House Harriers
By 1938, "G" Gispert, "Horse" Thompson, and "Torch" Bennett had all moved to Kuala Lumpur and, joined by Cecil Lee, Eric Galvin and H. M. Doig, they founded their own club, following the rules they had learnt elsewhere. Gispert is credited with proposing the name "Hash House Harriers" when the Registrar of Societies required the gathering to be legally registered. Other early members included Frank Woodward, Philip Wickens, Lew Davidson, John Wyatt-Smith and M. C. Hay. After 117 runs, KLHHH was forced into temporary hibernation by the arrival of the Japanese. Sadly, Gispert did not live to see his extraordinary creation revive, being killed in the fighting on Singapore Island on February 11th, 1942.
The philosophy of the original Hash House Harriers from the 1938 charter:
• To promote physical fitness among our members
• To get rid of weekend hangovers
• To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
• To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel
There are now over 2,000 hash kennels around the world and well over 2.5 million half-minds.
RULE NUMBER 1 - THERE ARE NOT RULES
Most chapters gather on a weekly or monthly basis, though some events occur sporadically, e.g., February 29th, Friday the 13th, or a full moon. In addition to the regular ‘run’ there are several national and world-wide events.
Ottawa Hash House Harriers (OH3) every Monday at 7pm from a pub or home (http://www.oh3.info)
Rideau Hash House Harriers (RH3) every other Thursday at 7pm from a pub, ideally between the two rivers and Rideau Canal or within the Greenbelt ( http://rideauhash.weebly.com )
Perogie Hash House Harriers a very relaxed hash on a Saturday afternoon closest to the Full Moon from someones home (details on http://www.oh3.info)
In addition to the regular local events there are several national and world-wide events:
Many ‘hard-core’ hashers make a very concerted effort to attend these special events.
There are several international events, where hashers from different groups get together to run and socialize, but the most famous is the biennial Interhash http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interhash, where hashers from around the world gather. These major events can draw in excess of 5,000 avid hashers.
NEXT INTERHASH - 2016 Bali, Indonesia, 14 - 19 May 2016 www.http://interhash2016.com
In addition to Interhash, there are also many regional and continental hash events, such as the InterAmericas, InterAfrica, InterGulf, InterScandi, EuroHash and PanAsia. While the numbers for these national events is usually limited visiting hashers are always welcome.
NEXT INTERAMERICAS - Portland Oregon (SOLD OUT) http://www.interamoregon.com
See http://gotothehash.net for a list of published interhashes
National hash events primarily bring together hashers from one particular nation, although visitors from other countries are actively welcomed.
See http://gotothehash.net for published nashhashes
RED DRESS RUN
The Hash House Harriers qualify as the world’s largest running club. Despite their size and having been founded in 1938, their Red Dress Run may be the only completely original idea they have ever had. And it happened nearly by accident.
On August 7, 1987, a young lady wearing a red dress emerged from an airplane that had landed in southern California to visit a friend from her high school years. Shortly thereafter, she found herself transported to Long Beach, where her friend intended to introduce her to a zany running group called the “Hash House Harriers.” One member, noting her gender and attire, urged that she “just wait in the truck” until her host returned. With that goading, she ran into history sporting her red dress and heels.
The following year (August 12, 1988), to commemorate the event, the San Diego Hash House Harriers sent “The Lady In Red” an airline ticket to attend the inaugural Red Dress Run. Hundreds of male and female hashers adorned themselves in red dresses for a spectacle widely covered by California newspapers and TV news. In addressing the crowd, The Lady In Red suggested that Hash House Harriers hold the Red Dress Run annually as an occasion be used to raise funds for local charities.
The Hash House Harriers of Ottawa have a joint Red Dress Run with the other Ottawa groups on Canada Day, 01 July, every year. The money raised at this event is donated to local charities nominated by the pack.