Hash House Harriers (or HHH, H3 or also called Hashing)
Is simply an international group of non-competitive running social clubs. An event organized by a club is known as a hash or hash run, with participants calling themselves hashers or hares and hounds.
It is not a drug reference.
It is not a bizarre sex cult.
It is not a secret society.
It is a place for people that enjoy a good time, get a little exercise while having a laugh and feeling free to be a little juvenile without being judged.
Preparing for your first hash
After you’ve decided this is for you, you may be wondering how to get started. That’s the easy part. Check out the calendar, find an even that works with your schedule and show up. We won’t even ask you to pay the first time.
Fitness: You don’t need to be a runner or even fast. Most of us aren’t! We are an eclectic group with a wide variety of abilities. We have hashers that are thin, overweight, college age, middle-aged parents who struggle to get the gym semi-regularly and retirees. Some like to run “events with medals”, but hashers firmly believe, race is a four letter word and “race”-ism is wrong.
Attire: Nothing nice! Certainly don’t wear any clothes you got from a 5K or half-marathon. Something you won’t mind when it gets dirty, or pulled on jaggers (we call it shiggy). Because that WILL happen. But it’s all part of the fun. Avoid new shoes. Looking like you are ready for a fashion show puts too much focus that you are a serious athlete and you may get a good-natured ribbing about it.
Whistle: Bring a whistle! All hashers should, but they rarely listen to what they are told. Some people’s kids… They are used to signal to other hashers you have found the right way to go or, if you get lost, you signal for help. But like most outdoor activities, we suggest “the buddy system” and stick with your buddy. That way if we have to send a search party we get a two for one deal. 😉
Flashlight: Usually the hares will be generous enough to suggest if you will need a flashlight to make it back safely. But if you think you my need one, it’s a good idea to carry something to light the way. Good news is, these days, LED flashlights are very light and easy to carry. If you are going to come out to many dark trails, invest in a nice headlamp, you’ll appreciate being hands-free and are awesome if you decide on a camp out.
After: A dry bag is always a good idea with a change of clothes including socks. Fording a stream is not uncommon and there is always some sort of social gathering afterward. May as well be comfortable.
Hash Ambassadors: It can be daunting showing up somewhere without knowing anyone. Drag a friend along if you like. We always love sharing our “sport” with new people and the more the merrier.
If you check out the mismangement page, you will find a list of people who are dedicated to helping h5 keep rolling and would be happy to help guide you how to get started.
Dot: Flour dot. This is a mark that may indicate you are headed in the right direction.
Check: These can be in flour or chalk. At this mark, the trail can go in any direction. It’s up to the pack to find the proper direction.
False: This mark is laid by the hare. It means that you are going the wrong way. Go back to the check and try a different direction.
Beer Near & Shot Near: Beverage stop… take a break and join up with the pack.
Check Back: Count back the number of dots listed and that dot is now a check.
True Trail: This mark is only laid by the hare. It means the correct way to go is this direction. The pack can lay an arrow to indicate someone went in a direction but the three slash tail arrow is reserved for the hare.
Boob Check: Men must stop at this symbol. Only women can go look for true trail and the men can follow after. If the ladies want help finding trail… they have the option to ask for help. You’ll see when you get there.
Naughty Check: An intersection check where the first person must stop and assume the “spanking” position. The next person give them a swat on the butt and takes there spot while the first person goes and looks for trail. It’s a fun way to bring the pack back together.
There could be other marks too, but the hare will (should) explain them before they head off for trail.
Some more thoughts to ponder, submitted by Holy F*ck (S.H.I.T./Dayton):
Just Do It! A Hasher’s Moral Obligation…
I know it’s an ironic topic for someone named Holy F*ck. Do hashers have any moral obligation to contribute to the hash or is okay to just show up, pay a few $$$, run/walk a cool trail, drink beer, and hang with some cool like-minded folks? I say, “You bet your @ss you do!!!”
I know not all half-minds feel that they have the confidence, ability, or time to lay a trail. I say “You bet your@ss you do!!!”
Some options to consider:
Find a mentor. This should help with confidence issues. Most kennels have hare raisers; they can usually make some good recommendations.
Co-hare. This way you don’t have to be a bad @ss runner.
Pre-lay. Be careful, some kennels will kill you for this. Check with your hare raiser or…keep it a secret.
Relax…haring a trail is probably the simplest problem you have solved since high school and besides, it’s okay to screw up.
There is much more work required to throw a successful hash then laying a good trail. I have seen a lot of “I don’t have to do anything (except be entertained) because I paid my money”. Again, “You bet your @ss you do!”
Some things you can do to contribute:
Be a designated driver…this might be the greatest thing you could do :o)
Offer your car as the bag vehicle. This may require you to stay with your car instead of running the trail.
Volunteer for the brew crew. This may require you to abstain from drinking.
Help pick up trash at the start and end circle. This may require you to take a bag of trash home with you.
Scout cool bars for on-afters or on-on-ons. This may cost a bit but if you’re going to be out getting drunk you might as well call it research.
Participate in mis-management. This may cause you to loose your half-mind.
In closing, I would like to say that not everyone has to contribute to every trail they run or every kennel that they hash with but hashing is a give and take social club.
Please be a giver.
On-On! *Holy F*ck (S.H.I.T./Dayton*)
Here is a checklist of things to consider when haring a trail. It’s not the hashing bible or anything, (because the only rule is…there are no rules) but it’s a decent guideline.
I often find locations for trails simply by looking out the window as I’m driving, but you can’t really know what’s in a given area until you go there, get out of your car and scout the trail.
Things to consider:
Parking – Is there a place for a large number of vehicles at the beginning of the run? Keep in mind that while waiting for the start and, a bunch of wankers will be milling about and socializing. So, try to stay away from places where it is clearly posted that booze is prohibited, places where our presence will be closely observed, or where there are people likely to get perturbed.
Trail – Are we crossing any property where we are likely to be pissing off the owners? Usually commercial properties that are not open for business when we go through are not a problem. Rental residences like apartment complexes are seldom problems either. Individual residences are the sticking point, and if you want to go through one, you must get permission first. Try to avoid places where there are lots of people who might mistake flour for anthrax. Keep off road if at all possible.
Checks – Find good places for checks first. Remember that there will be a bunch of folks standing around yelling to the rest of the pack, so try to find places that are far enough off the beaten path so that this won’t arouse any suspicion, but at the same time, you want to make them accessible enough that you aren’t lugging coolers for miles through tough terrain (Fart). I learned this the hard way on my 2nd trail, hauling a cooler up a steep grade and being already exhausted by the start. If it’s a place where we might draw attention, consider making it a shot check. People don’t linger at those as long. This is also an alternative for checks that are far off the roads, because carrying a bottle is much easier than a whole cooler.
On-in/after – Try to end the evening somewhere where people who drink a lot have the option of not driving. If you can’t use your home, find somewhere that people can camp or even stay at a motel. Bars can be good, but they cost everyone more, and people can get kicked out (Cause, Bushmonkey, etc.) Not all bars are prepared for H5’s level of revelry or debauchery, so keep that in mind.
Scouting – Make sure you run/walk the trail yourself at least once, preferably several times, before the hash, so you can find out if the terrain is really passable, (DFM). Pick a date to hare a month or so in advance so you can tell Sister and have plenty of time to scout. You want to make the trail hard enough that it’s not a cakewalk, but you don’t want people getting hurt, or getting pissed. Remember, we want to get people to come back (especially if they are hot chicks) and having the trail go through a quarter mile of briers is not likely to accomplish this. If you want to do some treacherous terrain, consider having a separate Turkey trail that bypasses the hazards for the less hard core hashers.
The object is to keep the pack together. This means, hose the FRBs, but try to go places where the back of the pack can keep up. Avoid long straightaways, which allow the faster runners to really break away from the slower ones. If you must go a long way in one direction, use lots of checks, and place them so that it really seems plausible that the trail will turn at that point. Double back on yourself frequently so that the back of the pack can shortcut to where the FRB’s are going.
Always get enough beverages. (unless we end at a bar) It’s always better to have too much than not enough. It sucks having to go out and get more.
If the trail ends pretty far from the start, arrange to have a vehicle at the end to take people to get their cars at the start.
Have a bag vehicle to bring everyone’s dry clothes and shoes to the end, and For God’s sake, make sure there’s beverages at the start and beverages and snacks at the end.
Stage extra flour along the way so that you don’t run out (Fart).
Make sure there’s enough at the beverage checks and plenty of water, especially for warm days. I generally go with the guideline of 1-and-a-half to 2 gallons and 1 liter of water. Usually 20 cups is sufficient, since folks will share.
Try to post the hash info as far in advance as possible. If it’s a good trail and date, people will plan around it if they have enough advance notice.
When sending directions to the list, try to put tha actual address of the start if it is available. That way, KY can set up a map link on the schedule.
Send reminders to the mail list and talk up your trail. Remember, these are half-minds you’re talking to, they’ll believe the hype. (Well, at least the first time. If your first trail sucks they may be more skeptical next time)
Try to come up with a theme for your hash. People get into theme hashes, and if it works out, then you can turn it into an annual event. For instance, the Guy Fawkes hash in November, the Hanukkahash in December, the St. Pat’s hash in March are all looked to with great anticipation, and are always good turnouts. If you can match the beverages to the theme, cool. Some ideas:
February-Valentines day (14th)
Mardi Gras (end)
March- St. Pat’s (if you want to Co-hare with Tour) or
Spring break- anything
April- Paul Revere/Patriot’s day (18th)
May- we already have Stinko DeMayo, that’s enough
June- beach party/D-day, (6th )
July- independence day,
August- you’re on your own
Sept.- Labor day, Rosh HASHannah
Oct.- Columbus day, Yom Kippur, Halloween
OK, you get the picture. You can always pick some famous’s birthday too.
Figure on 20-30 people for food purposes, if it’s a special/annual event, then figure 25-35. Once again, it’s always better to have too much than not enough. For snacks,
pretzels, chips, salsa are staples. If you can have food match a theme, great. If not, try to do stuff that doesn’t require much prep. Burgers and dogs are OK, but someone has to cook them. Having cold cuts and rolls for make your own sub bar is something that anyone can deal with and no prep is required. Stew, Chili or something else than can be prepped ahead of time are also options.
Figure out a place where folks can change, shower, or both. Have a place for the circle where spillage and noise isn’t a problem. If you’re at a non-remote location, try to keep folks inside, or alert neighbors to be prepared for noise and weirdness. Having place for folks to crash is good. Don’t be afraid to ask folks to help out. Someone’s always willing.