Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hash House Harriers

Hash House Harriers originated in 1938 in Kuala Lumpur.  A group of British officers and expatriates noticed they were getting a little thick around the waist from excesses provided by the hash house.  They began meeting to run, in a fashion patterned after the traditional British “Hare and Hounds."

Harriers reaching the end of the trail would be rewarded with beer, ginger beer and cigarettes.  Today, harriers are satisfied with just beer, socializing, food, and more beer.

According to Wikipedia there are almost two thousand HHH chapters in all parts of the world, including two in Antarctica.  The Grenada Chapter tries to gather on a weekly basis, however that sometimes slips to bi-monthly, or monthly.  In Grenada, hash events are open to the public and require no reservation or membership.

Fellow Cruisers Kathy & John

Cruisers are encouraged to join what is describe as "a drinking club with a running problem."

At a Hash, one or more members ("Hares") lay a trail, which is then followed by the remainder of the group (the "Pack" or "Hounds"). The trail periodically ends at a "check" and the pack must find where it begins again; often the trail includes false trails, short cuts, dead ends, back checks and splits.

These features are designed to keep the pack together regardless of fitness level or running speed, as front-runners are forced to slow down to find the "true" trail, allowing stragglers (us) to catch up.

Hashing has not strayed far from its roots in Kuala Lumpur. The hare(s) mark their trail with paper.

Special marks may be used to indicate a false trail, a backtrack, a shortcut, or a turn. The most commonly used mark is a "Check", indicating that hashers will have to search in any direction to find the continuation of the trail.

Trails may pass through any sort of terrain and hashers in Grenada may run through rain forest, alleyways, residential areas, city streets, farms, or take the “Iron Man Route,” which we avoided.

Along the trail, we encountered numerous goats that found us to be annoying and quite strange.

As did the local kids.

Because we would be hiking through farms, we were told not to pick any of the fruit along the way.

 “Sweepers” were available in case any of the hashers failed to return.

Newbies, like us, were referred to as “virgins” until we finished our first hash.

"Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun"

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