Hashing . . . it's a mixture of athleticism and sociability, hedonism and hard work. Hashing is an exhilaratingly fun combination of running, orienteering, and partying. Harriers and Harriettes chase "hares" (see below) on three to five mile trails through town, country, and beach. All in search of exercise, camaraderie, and good times.
Hashing began in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1938, when a group of British colonial officials and expatriates founded a running club called the Hash House Harriers. They named the group after their meeting place, the Selangor Club, nicknamed the "Hash House." Hash House Harrier runs were patterned after the traditional British paper chase. A "hare" was given a head start to blaze a trail, marking his/her devious way with shreds of paper, all the while pursued by a shouting pack of "harriers." Only the hare knew where he was going . . . the harriers followed his clues to stay on trail. Apart from the excitement of chasing the hare and solving the clues, reaching the end was its own reward . . . for there, thirsty harriers would find a tub of iced-down beer.
My wife and I were first introduced to the Hash while we were living in Kuwait City. As I have mentioned before in my blogs, Pam and I come from a long line entreprenuerial enterprises. One of those businesses was a Internet consulting company with a partner in Kuwait which required our residence there. Anyway, we were invited to a Hash hosted by a contingent of European and Austrailian service providers to the various governmental and private sectors after the first Gulf War. What a hoot! Just imagine, twenty or so men and women, running through the night following a sporadic trail of white flour, shouting, "On, On, On!" That means if you had drifted off into a potential mine field, just follow the sounds to safety. I was very tuned in to that call! Once the trail ended, everyone spread to the four winds to pick it up again. "On, On, On" meant that someone had found it. Never once in nearly two years was it me!
There were always strategically placed "oasises" where some of us could catch our breath and be refreshed. At the end of the Hash there was a ceremony welcoming the new Harriers. For the uniniated, you should never wear good running shoes to a Hash. We looked forward to this weekly event. Oh, by the way, why not good shoes? They are not liquid proof! Do your research.
My wife and I may explore setting up an official chapter of the Hash here on Hutchinson Island Florida. After the sale of our last business, we relocated to Hutchinson Island where we are making our permanent home. Hutchinson Island is the perfect place for the running of a Hash. Miles of beaches, winding streets, parks, bicycle paths, and best of all, no one would be upset with 20 or 30 Harriers running along, shouting "On, On, On!"