The Original Hash House Harriers....
In 1938, A.S. Gispert, an accountant working at a Malaysian rubber plantation, organized a group of his friends for runs to work off the rigors of the weekend. They met at the Sanegal Hash House (has house being a British term for a diner), and there, played the poor mans version of the fox hunt, the "Paper chase". This involved giving one runner a few minutes head start, then following the trail of discarded paper left by the fleeing man. "G" (er, Gispert), added a twist; at various points in the trail, an intersection was set. Trail could head off in any direction, but only one direction was 'true'. Faster runners were slowed as they solved the trail, allowing slower runners (or walkers) to catch up. The Hash House Harriers were born.
Hashing in Richmond
There are, literally, thousands of Hash House Harrier groups in the world today. The Richmond Hash House Harriers meet once a week. During the Fall and Winter months, we meet on Sundays at 3:00 pm. During the Spring and Summer, we run on Wednesday nights at 6:30pm.
Is it for me?
The trail can be one of the most exciting parts of a hash run. Rather than running laps around a local track, be prepared to run through fields and woods, ford streams and jump fences. During the spring and summer months, you may even run into some briars or poison ivy, so be protected!!! Your time on trail might be 45 minutes to an hour and a half. But relax, this doesn't mean flat out sprinting, (you might often be waiting at an 'intersection' for others to find a way), and there is almost always a refreshing 'beer check' (possibly two) through the course.
After finishing the trail, the Down-Down commences. The Down-Down is both the celebration at the end of the trail, and the award handed out to hasher guilty of some "mis-deeds". A Down-Down is a cup of drink, be it beer, soda, or water, awarded by the GM for trail infractions, anniversaries, or any other reason brought up. A drinking song accompanies each, it is all great fun.
How do I Join?
Show up!! Your first "run" is FREE! After that, Richmond requests $5 per person to help with the cost of beer. If you attend the On-After (dinner party after the run), you are expected to chip in for food. There is no annual or commitment. Show up as often or seldom as you like. Keeping in mind that missing two hashes in a row (know as "backsliding") is cause for a down down.