Written by DBR Ambassador Gary Davidson ‘Runs’
WHAT A HASHRUN IS NOT:
A Hashrun is not a race. Although many Hashers run races, Hashing could be considered the anti-race. A Hashrun is also not a Beer Mile, although a Beer Mile might be hosted by a Hash Kennel (terminology section). One Hash group I run with here in southern New Jersey, the Taco Tuesday Hash House Harriers (TTH3), took it a little further last year by hosting a Beer & Taco Mile (of which I placed second, but no one is counting).
WHAT A HASHRUN IS:
Hash House Harriers or Hashers are an international group of non-competitive running social clubs. Hashers gather for social runs, fun, and some adult beverages (although many non-drinkers Hash as well).
As a matter of fact, Hashers describe themselves as “A Drinking Club with a Running Problem.” Social runs? Fun? Adult beverages? Kind of sound like a bunch of Dirtbags don’t they? Well, yes. And we come from all walks of life, economic levels, professions, and cultures.
Some Hash occasionally while others Hash monthly, weekly or even daily. Daily Hashers are known as Overachievers and have to pay for overachieving with extra Down-downs. Hashers are known by unique names “earned” at Hashruns and its not unusual for people to Hash together for years without ever finding out someone’s “Nerd Name” (the one given at birth).
While some Hash groups assign “Family-Friendly” names others are much more risqué. Mine falls into the latter group but, luckily, I can easily abbreviate it as FLaT.
Hashing is said to have originated in Malaysia around 1938 with a group of British officers, gathering to run weekly and hydrate with adult beverages. It resembled the old kids’ games, Paper Chase or Hare and Hound where one or more runner (Hares) set a trail and the rest (Hounds) try to follow the trail.
Today you can equate it to a running treasure hunt where the treasure is the beer waiting for you at the end. Most Hashruns also include one or more special beer stops along the way known as Beer Nears such as the one below!
Like most anything, Hashing has an extensive list of terminology unique to it. Here are some of the basics:
“Hashrun” (also known simply as a Hash): A non-competitive run which includes a secret trail set by one or more “hares” with beer and other surprises along the way.
“Hash House Harriers” or “(H3)”: Another name for Hashers.
“Kennel”: An official group of Hashers. Some kennels are named for a town or state (ie. Princeton H3), while others indicate a larger geographic area (ie. NOSE which run North of Interstate 78 in NJ). Other kennels might only gather for special events (ie. Summit Full Moon H3) which run every full moon or Taco Tuesday H3 which Hash one Tuesday each month in southern NJ. All kennels are different.
“Circle up” or “Chalk Talk”: Hashers gather into a circle where announcements are made and trail marks explained.
“Hare (s)”: The person or persons that set the trail marks for the hounds to follow.
“Hounds”: Everyone except the Hares. The Hounds sole purpose is to find the true trail and their way to the finish where beer awaits them.
“Trail”: This might include pavement, grass, sand, dirt, hills, fields, water crossings, mud snow, fences, forest, parking decks, tunnels, etc.
“Shiggy”: Thorns, mud, water, and pretty much anything else to slow the Hounds’ progress.
“Checking”: You’ve made it to a known checkpoint and are now checking for marks.
“Looking” or “Searching”: You haven’t seen a mark in a while and are probably lost.
“On-one”: When a Hasher finds a mark, he or she announces “On-one” indicating one mark has been found and the search continues.
“On-two”: When a Hasher finds a second mark, he or she announces “On-two” indicating the second mark has been found and the search continues.
“On-on”: Yeah, you’ve found the correct trail, or so you think. It could be a false (see below), only the Hare(s) knows.
“Down-down”: A penalty, reward or prize depending on how its issued, for some real or made-up infraction or occurrence such as talking about racing; falling on trail; getting lost; being first or last to the end, getting bloody on trail, having a birthday or anniversary, getting fired or getting a new job, buying a new car or house. You get the point. Down-downs are issued for pretty much anything and everything.
“False”: Not the correct, or real, trail. Some kennels mark false trails with an “F” or three lines across the trail.
“You’ve been F’d”, as in you followed marks for possibly ½ mile+ only to find out it was a long false trail. At that point, everyone must return to the last known check mark and search again.
“R-U?”: The phrase yelled out when a Hasher hasn’t seen or heard anyone for a while and is probably lost. Hopefully, a response is heard and the Hasher heads into the correct direction. If not, they’re back to Searching.
Special symbols or marks are made from baking flour, sawdust, chalk, powder, paper, engineering tape, etc. All kennels are different but here are a few of the basics:
Arrows: Indicates a direction, usually the true trail, unless it’s a false arrow (LOL).
BC: A back check is similar to a False; but, sometimes includes a number. For example, BC6 would indicate the Hashers must go back 6 marks and search for the true trail from there.
“<-C E->”: Indicates a Chicken-Eagle Split where the Chickens can follow the shorter, easier trail while the Eagles follow the longer, harder trail.
Dot/blob/spot, small pile: A basic trail mark. Depending on the kennel, 2 or 3 usually indicate the true trail, unless it’s not!
Circle: A “Checkpoint” where the true trail will continue somewhere from that known point. The true trail can go in any direction from here.
X: Some kennels use the X to indicate a check.
F or 3 lines across the trail: False trail, all Hashers must return to the last known correct point, usually the last check.
BN: Beer is near.
On-In: The end of the trail.
WHERE TO FIND HASHERS:
Hashers can be found pretty much anywhere Dirtbags might be: running and hiking trails, climbing mountains, quenching our thirst in a crappy little Dirtbag bar, camped out in our cars and vans, in a hammock or tent beside a stream, or circled around a bonfire singing raunchy songs way out of tune well into the night! Many Hash kennels list their events on Facebook while others have their own webpages. A simple Google search will lead you to us; but, the easiest way to find us is to just yell loudly, “RU?” and listen for a response. “On-on”!
This is Gary’s first contribution to the DBR blog. Be sure to watch our marketplace for all your gear needs!
Facebook & Instagram: @garydavidsonruns Blog “Trail Tails”: http://garydavidsonruns.blogspot.com/