The Vancouver Hash House HarriersThe Drinking Club with a Running Problem!
Runs are Sat. 2:15p.m. in winter / Mon. 6:15p.m.in summer.
The Vancouver Hash House Harriers, an introduction:
The Vancouver Hash House Harriers, of which I am the Grand Master are a group of like-minded runners who meet weekly at locations all over the Lower Mainland. The Hash House Harriers is an institution, seventy one years old, an international running club whose world-wide membership exceeds 250,000 persons in number, founded in 1938 in Kuala Lumpur, and now found in virtually every major city of the world. The name derives from the original meeting place nick-named The Hash House, a casual restaurant, in Kuala Lumpur. Club members enjoy pseudonyms which purpose was to eliminate the social hierarchy associated with expatriate life in Asia, and this custom is retained today. Events are typically a weekly run of 6-10 KM, followed by refreshments and casual dining together. Members range in age from the very, very young, to people in their eighties, and from ambassadors and generals, to clerks and missionaries. The Hash House Harriers is utterly egalitarian. Families are welcome. I welcome any questions you might have.
We are always seeking new runners.
The Grand Master,
Vancouver Hash House Harriers, 2009
1. Plan your run to be 50-60 minutes long. A suggested guideline for a street run is to keep the real trail inside a box, 2.0 km by 2.0 km. Checkbacks can wander outside if need be. A great hour long run can be set in an area considerably smaller, if you are careful.
2. A good run requires some planning and help to organize. Use your charm to recruit some co-hares, the earlier the better. With 2 hares it should take about 3 hours to set a run, with 3 hares about 2 hours.
3. Choose your location carefully. Give the hashers something special. A bad run in a great location gets better reviews than a great run is a bad location. Look for an interesting neighbourhood, hills, a view, shiggy, etc.
4. If possible, set the trail at the same time of day as it will be run. This is especially important for night trails where visibility is an issue. Note areas that are particularly dark with missing or burnt out lights and mark accordingly.
5. Try to avoid starting your run with a check. This causes confusion as the pack scatters in all directions and makes for screw-ups. Give the pack a clear direction in which to start and get safely out of any parking lot or traffic situation.
6. Make your marks frequent and obvious. The purpose of the marks isn't to slow people down but to suck the fast runners into going faster and farther than they ever cared to go. (They are slowed down by a devious trail, not by devious markings.)
7. Be careful when your trail gets close to itself. Either mark the possible overlaps with checkbacks or guard it during the run. This may break guideline 17.
8. Set lots of checks. The goal at any check is to have at least 2 good options and sometimes 3 or more. Choose the non-obvious direction once in a while. It's extremely hard to have too many checks. If setting checkbacks on them, remember that this can take a lot of time. If you say every checkback is marked, then mark them, damn it!
9. Be aware that trail markings will last differently depending on location, weather conditions and marking surface. Marks on open sidewalks and the exposed sides of poles will disappear during a rainstorm. Flour becomes brown, weathered and almost invisible after a small amount of rain. Be particularly careful when setting marks around schools. You may have to remark those sections. Some non-hashers have been known to erase or remove trail marks. If possible, check your markings just before the run.
10. Try to avoid having your run peter out. You can set the end first. After you've been marking the trail for 2-3 hours you get a little tired. This may cause the end of the run to be sloppy. Don't have the trail go too near to the On-In unless you want the hashers to ignore the rest of your trail.
11. Use a regroup to keep the pack together. Hash holds can be useful but keep them to a minimum since no one enjoys just standing around. In bad weather, look for a sheltered location. For obvious reasons, a beer regroup is more enjoyable near the end of your run.
12. When setting a run in flour/toilet paper/tape in the bush, have a co-hare come behind you afterwards to ensure that the trail is as well marked as you think.
13. Try to use the terrain to your advantage. You can tempt the fast runners with an uphill or downhill. Try to make the fast runners' shortcuts into longcuts.
14. Be aware and sensitive to the running conditions. Don't attempt overly steep terrain in wet or icy conditions.
15. In non-freezing weather, water crossings are always kind of special.
16. Always consider the slower runners and their need for shortcuts especially after a stretch where the others have raced on ahead.
17. At the run, sweep your trail for the slow runners. Don't run with the front of the pack. If the fast runners muddle, so be it. If your markings are clear, they will eventually find the trail or waste themselves trying.
18. Unless you are going to host the On-In at a private residence, you need to check out and reserve a suitable place.
A pub/bar may need to bring in extra staff. Make sure they know that we will be a little noisy.
Use your skills to negotiate menu specials and a decent price for 60 oz. jugs of beer. Anything up to $12/jug is acceptable. If the pub or bar seems too expensive, go elsewhere to get a better deal. If you choose a great On-In with lots of cheap beer then, 1 - 17 really won't matter a whole lot.
HHH Links of interest• Vancouver Sun Newspaper photo [ click here ]
• Hashing info [ click here ]
• Hash Song Book1 [ click here ]
• Hash Song Book2 [ click here ]
What is Hashing?Here's a Hash Primer
Hashing . . . it's a mixture of athleticism and sociability, hedonism and hard work; a refreshing break from the nine-to-five routine. Hashing is an exhilaratingly fun combination of running, orienteering, and partying, where bands of harriers and harriettes chase hares on eight-to-ten kilometer-long trails through town, country, jungle, and desert, all in search of exercise, camaraderie, and good times.
Hashing, as we know it today, began in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1938, when a group of restive British company men started a hare & hounds running group. They named the group after their meeting place, the Selangor Club, aka the "Hash House." Hash House Harrier runs were patterned after the traditional British public school paper chase. A "hare" would be given a short head start to blaze a trail, marking his devious way with shreds of paper, soon to be pursued by a shouting pack of "harriers." Only the hare knew where he was going . . . the harriers followed his marks to stay on trail. Apart from the excitement of chasing down the wily hare, solving the hare's marks and reaching the end was its own reward, for there, thirsty harriers would find a tub of iced-down beer.
Hashing died during World War II (Japanese occupying forces being notoriously opposed to civilian fun), but came back to life in the post-war years, spreading slowly through Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand, then exploding in popularity in the late 70s and early 80s. Today there are thousands of Hash House Harrier clubs in all parts of the world, complete with newsletters, directories, and regional and world hashing conventions.
Despite its growth, hashing hasn't strayed far from its British and Malaysian roots. A typical hash "kennel" is a loosely-organized group of 20-40 men and women who meet weekly or biweekly to chase the hare. We follow chalk, flour, or paper, and the trails are never boring. When forced to, we'll run the occasional street or alley, but in general we prefer shiggy . . . fields, forests, jungles, swamps, streams, fences, storm drains, and cliffs. And although some of today's health-conscious hashers may shun a cold beer in favor of water or a diet soda, trail's end is still a party. Perhaps that's why they call us the "drinking club with a running problem!"
So . . . if you'd like to spice up your running program with fun, good company, new surroundings, and physical challenge, try hashing. Just remember one thing . . . never wear new shoes to the hash!