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Hash House Harriers

Author:Joseph Robbie, Issue: September 1999, Topic: Sports

The Hash House Harriers is an international running/drinking club first established in 1938 by British soldiers in Malaysia. They often met at a local restaurant called the Hash House and decided to combine two of their favorite pastimes+ staying in shape and drinking beer!

Since those early beginnings, the club has spread throughout the world bringing joy, sore muscles, new friendships and hangovers to many thousands. There are already 19 such clubs well-established in Japan, but none in Ibaraki until now.

Allow me to introduce myself: I'm Toe Jam. That's my Hash name from the Aloha Hash House Harriers in Hawaii. All members are given a Hash name following their 6th run. Names are decided on by the other members, with the one being named having no influence on the outcomel The personality, interests and past actions of the person being named are taken into account. Once you get a name, you're stuck with it, like it or not. This is not a club for whiners, wimps or sensitive egos. Examples of other Hash names from my Hawaii club are: Bimbo, Brain Fart, Hazukashii, Red Hot Twat, Famous Anus, Dr. Whoopee, Cums in a Minute, Teenie Weenie and Snot.

The runs are usually held on a weekly basis. Ours will be on Sundays. These are NOT races and competition is strictly discouraged. It's more like a game. Two "hares" (rabbits) scout a traili in advance. On the day of the run, all members gather at a selected starting point. At the signal, all Hashers blow their whistles and the hares take off, with chalk and flour to mark the trail. The tricky part is that in addition to the real trail, they’ll lead the fron runners astray by indicating some false trails as well.

Twelve minutes later, the rest of the pack (the hounds) takes off. The faster runners will usually take one of the false trails. By the time they figure out their mistake, the slower runners have caught up and avoid the wrong trail. Often, there is a beer stop (water too) in the middle of the run, giving all a chance to relax a little. At the end of the trail, usually 5 or 10 kilometers, Hashers will arrive at a pre-selected location where plentiful amounts of beer, soft drinks and snacks await.

When all runners, joggers and walkers have arrived, the traditional drinking and singing ceremony known as 'religion' begins. Here, Hash names are given, first-time runners, 'virgins' are sacrificed, and other unbelievable events occur. This is followed by the weekly partying and general socializing.

So, that's the scoop! You don't have to be a good runner or serious drinker. Some people only walk and drink cola. The main idea is to get some exercise and have fun. Now I am in the process of establishing Japan's newest hash - The Ibaraki Hash House Harriers!!! Won't you join us and become a member? Call 0298-21-9372 and leave a name and number or e-mail me at rika0520@aol.com.

The next run is scheduled for Sunday, September 26th at 2 pm.

<< Religious Activities in English: September 1999 | Master Index | Comic Relief >>

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