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Hashing On on!!!!!

I cannot believe that I have never been hashing before. In all my time teaching sports and being an avid runner!

I had so much fun today and what was so great was lots of people came together with varying levels of fitness and yet we started and finished at the same time! Many people fear to go running in a group because they worry about being too slow; and faster people tend not to run with slower people for obvious reasons. I would thoroughly recommend joining your local Hash Harriers group, if you would like to get fit, but struggle to run for anything length of time.

Today I was so focused on not missing the ‘blobs’ of sawdust (telling you if you are going the right way), 'check points' (an area with 2 or more routes that need to be explored to get you back on route), ‘fish hooks’ (first three runners re-join the back of the group) and whipping (regroup) that I thought about nothing else! I could run as much or as little as I liked; this was the same for everyone! Whether you are building up your running fitness, want to do some intervals, or returning from injury, Hashing could be for you!

A hash is a game of wits where one or more hares set a trail for the pack of hounds to follow. The hares use loops, backtracks, checks, and a clever trail to try to outwit the pack. Hashing is a non-competitive form of exercise with great entertainment, relaxation, and a weekly release of frustrations and energy.

Hashing originated from Kuala Lumpur in the late 1930’s; a group of British colonial and expatriates began meeting on Monday evenings to run, in a fashion patterned after the traditional British paper chase, to rid themselves of the excesses of the previous weekend (hangover). After meeting for some months, they were informed by the Registrar of Societies that as a "group," they would require a Constitution and an official name. "Hash House Harriers" was suggested in homage to the Selangor Club Annex, where the men were billeted, so named the "Hash House" for its notoriously monotonous food. The final word, "Harriers," refers to the role of those in the chase, where the "hare" was given a head start to blaze a trail and mark his path with shreds of paper, and then pursued by a shouting pack of "harriers." Apart from the excitement of chasing the hare and finding the "true" path, harriers reaching the end of the trail would be rewarded with beer, ginger beer and food.

Today the course was marked at 5.75 miles and I ran 8.75 miles, everyone started and finished at the same time and everyone came back having got what they wanted from the social run. Ah I forgot to mention the mulled wine, mince pies and jelly babies! Thank you for those, they were all yummy!

Apparently, once you join a Hash group you get given a ‘Hash Handle’, which is a nick name you collectively get awarded by the group. I know mine will be something related to ‘fish hook’ as I ran plenty of those today. : )

Thank you to Lynder for inviting me, some familiar faces I haven’t seen in a while (Duncan, Martin and Fiona), so that was nice and everyone else for making me feel so welcome. I had a great time and will certainly be joining you again. So, Tim get ready with those ‘fish hooks’!!!!

Below was the Constitution of the Hash House Harriers as laid out in the following philosophy from a KL city club registration card dated 1950:

• 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

 Written by Tracy Cook                                                                                                                                                                                        Posted 3 December 2017  

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