The Vancouver Hash House Harriers
The 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
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!