Have you heard of Hashing?

Today I stumbled upon the seemingly secret world of Hashing – a type of running club, which doubles as a drinking club and secret society.

Members – referred to as Hashers, Harriers or Hounds, follow a trail of cryptic signs left by the leader – Hares, in formations of circles and X’s laid in flour, a mixture of flour and sawdust, or flour coloured with chalk.

A few example markings… Though permeations are plentiful and often include triangular markings and the letters YBF, QZ, BN, SV, SC & CB

Trails can be urban or rural, leading Hounds through a veritable assault course during the run (participants are advised never to wear new trainers!) Runs are testing, but cater to people of all fitness levels.

Hashers are never referred to by their real name, instead a Hasher name is invented – often one which is nonsensical. Hashers are known to run in red dresses occasionally too, but that’s a whole other story!

The history of Hashing

Hashing originated in Kuala Lumpur in 1938, when a group of British colonial officers and expats founded an informal running club to run of the weekend’s excesses.

The group was informed by the Registrar of Societies that they needed to register their group, and so it was suggested that they become the Hash House Harriers, so called after the Royal Selangor Club – their member’s club, which served notoriously bad food, and was fondly referred to as Hash House.

The reward for their sporting pursuits were beer, ginger beer and cigarettes.
Due to the outbreak of WWII and the invasion of Malaysia the sport virtually died out, but regained popularity in the 1970s and now boasts around 2,000 chapters spanning every continent.

Original club manifesto:
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 older members they’re not as old as they feel

Hash facts

  • The activity: HHH, H3 or Hashing
  • Hashing group: Chapter, Kennel
  • Members: Hashers, Harriers or Hounds
  • Management: MisManagement
  • Leaders: Hares
  • Dead end trails: Check
  • Most clubs are free, though some charge a small fee: Hash Cash
  • As a running and social club fusion, after parties often occur: Hash Bash
  • Hashers are known to gather under full moons: TONIGHT'S A FULL MOON! 

 To find your nearest chapter: www.gotothehash.net

Hooooooooowl!!! run like 'elle