Hash House Harriers in the TRNC
A Brief History of the Hash House Harriers – Part 2
by Richard “Brad” Bradley
Some members of The Foreign Residents in the TRNC (TFR) enjoy the monthly H3 at Lapta-Baspinar. The season´s last Hash is on the 7th June in Akdeniz forest starting at 1600hrs prompt. There is a pause during summer and the season begins again in September.
Part one of the Hash history you can read by clicking here!
Follow on from the History of the Hash (HHH or H3)
Most chapters gather on a weekly or monthly basis, though some events occur sporadically, e.g., February 29th, Friday the 13th, Typhoon ‘T8′ or a full moon.
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”). Sawdust, flour, chalk, and toilet paper are used to mark the trail. 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 despite differences in fitness level or running speed, as front-runners are forced to slow down to find the “true” trail, allowing stragglers to catch up.
Members often describe their group as “a drinking club with a running problem,” indicating that the social element of an event is as important, if not more so, than any athleticism involved. Beer remains an integral part of a hash, though the balance between running and drinking differs between chapters, with some groups placing more focus on socialising and others on running.
Generally, hash events are open to the public and require no reservation or membership, but most require a small fee, referred to as “hashcash”, to cover the costs incurred, such as food or drink.
The end of a trail is an opportunity to socialise, have a drink and observe any traditions of the individual chapter . When the hash officially ends, many members may continue socialising at an “on-after”, “on-down”, “on-on-on”, “apres”, or “hash bash”, an event held at a nearby house, pub, or restaurant.
In addition to regularly scheduled hashes, a chapter may also organize other events or themed runs.
A common special event is the “Red Dress Run”, which is held annually by individual chapters. In 1987, a young lady by the name of Donna Rhinehart, wearing a red dress, emerged from an airplane that had landed in southern California to visit a friend from her high school years. Shortly thereafter, she found herself transported to Long Beach, where her friend intended to introduce her to a zany running group called the Hash House Harriers.” One member, noting her gender and attire, urged that she “just wait in the truck” until her host returned. With that goading, she ran into history sporting her red dress and heels.
The following year (August 12, 1988), to commemorate the event, the San Diego Hash House Harriers sent “The Lady In Red” an airline ticket to attend the inaugural Red Dress Run. Hundreds of male and female hashers adorned themselves in red dresses for a spectacle widely covered by California newspapers and TV news. In addressing the crowd, The Lady In Red suggested that Hash House Harriers hold the Red Dress Run annually as an occasion to be used to raise funds for local charities.
The tradition of the Hash House Harriers Red Dress Run quickly spread to every corner of the globe, including Beijing, Montreal, Ho Chi Minh City, Helsinki, Moscow, Tokyo, Washington, DC, Hobart (Australia) and countless other locations. Over the years, the Red Dress Run has been very successful in raising millions of dollars for a wide variety of local charities. The New Orleans Hash House Harriers attracted 7,000 participants to their Red Dress Run in 2010, raising more than $200,000 for 50 local charities.
Today the Red Dress Run is an integral part of the Hash House Harriers’ heritage and is as iconic as the Royal Selangor Club where the Hash House Harriers was born and as sacred to them as founder A.S. Gispert’s drinking vessel. It’s a tradition born before few organizations turned to running events as a way to raise money and long before anyone ran in a dress of any color.
The Hash House Harriers enjoy common-law protection for the phrase “Red Dress Run” with additional protections in place and still more legal protections pending. The protective measures were taken to prevent dilution of the event’s unique appeal necessary for charitable fundraising success.
The Lady in Red passed away unexpectedly on April 13, 2013, just as the Hash House Harriers were celebrating the 25th anniversary of their Red Dress Run.
Most chapters count the number of runs they have organized and use round figures – run no. 100, 200, 777, 1000, etc. – as an opportunity for arranging a weekend with several runs and nightly celebrations.
Hash House Bikers (Bike hashes or bashes) follow normal hashing traditions with the hare and pack riding bicycles.
River hashes or snorkel hashes(rashes, splashes, or snatches) follow normal hashing traditions, but take place in an aquatic environment with participants using snorkels, fins, kayaks, floats, and other rafts.
Snowshoe hashes are much like normal trails, but the hare and hounds are in the snow, on snowshoes. Marking trails with white flour or with colored chalk is impractical on snow, so squirts of colored water may be substituted.
Hash-a-thon, tour-duh-hash, Hash challenge and tri-hash-thon are special “competitive” events. Hash-a-thons involve multiple trails (normally 4) in 24-hour period totaling up to 26.2 miles (a marathon). Tour-duh-Hash is 7 days of hashing. Hash challenge is a team event (3-4 hashers) who complete a 42 km hash through the Malaysian jungle. Tri-hash-thon is an event consisting of 3 trails, 1 running, 1 swimming/snorkeling/river float, and 1 biking(bash).
Family hashes welcome children (sometimes called hash house horrors or ankle biters) with soft drinks replacing alcoholic beverages and drinking songs toned down appropriately.
Pick up hashes – Hashes that follow traditional hashing guidelines minus the pre-selection of a hare. At a pick up hash, the hare is decided randomly at the beginning of the event.
Disaster Hash – A disaster hash is basically an impromptu hash that can be called by any hash member whenever a disaster occurs. The disaster can be anywhere in the world and can range from an earthquake to a flat tire. The disaster hash differs by two major hash components, the hares and hash names. The hare is chosen on the spot, given flour, a destination, and a one-minute head start. Whoever catches the hare, becomes the hare. They take the flour and continue along to the destination, this repeats as many times as the hare is caught. Secondly, disaster hashers are given special disaster hash names. All virgins get named at a disaster hash, usually having to do with the disaster in question and the disaster hash name is completely separate to a normal hash.