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What is the Hash House Harriers?
The Hash House Harriers is an international network of social running clubs, whose essential aim is to work up a decent thirst by going for a run, and then work it down again in a pub. Not for nothing do hashers proclaim themselves to be "Drinkers with a Running Problem". We like to remind ourselves that after running it is important to restore the body's supply of liquid and carbohydrate, and that some muscle relaxant wouldn't go amiss, and that beer is a natural product containing all of these key ingredients!
The Hash House Harriers was founded in 1938 in Kuala Lumpur by a group of British ex-pats, and since then has spread around the world. Hashers who travel abroad, whether on business or on holiday, can usually find that there is a hash somewhere near where they are staying, which contains a group of friends that they haven't yet met.
What's a "hash"?
A hash run comprises a marked trail that includes loops, dead ends, check backs and other traps to ensure that the faster runners cover significantly more distance than the slower people, because they have to run all of these false trails in order to find the right path. A typical run lasts about an hour, covering about 3-4 miles for the slowest runners, who will only finish a few minutes behind the fastest, who will cover a rather greater distance. The Scarborough Hash has a wide variety of abilities and ages, from club runners to people who enjoy a gentle jog (with a bit of walking thrown in for variety). If you can walk reasonably briskly for an hour, you're more than fast enough to hash!
So, who and what is the Scarborough Hash?
Back in 1983, a returning hasher from Hong Kong, George Whiteman, realised that Scarborough was missing something. So he started the Scarborough Hash (SH3), and things went rapidly downhill from there. Over 25 years later we're still here, and running on a ridiculously regular basis. twice a week, Sundays and Mondays, we're out and about. Because of this lunacy in running twice a week, we have clocked up our runs faster than Linford at a dodgy car dealer, and therefore reached the giddy heights of 2000 runs in November 2008 - the first hash in the UK to do so (even though many others had quite a head start on us!)
When does it happen?
We run twice a week on Monday and Sunday. The run on Sunday usually is usually from the Alma Inn at 11.00am. Monday runs, which start at 6.30pm are from locations, usually pubs, in and around the Scarborough area, including the town itself and the woods, forests and other public areas. Wear old running clothes and bring an extra set of something dry to change into after the run. We always make sure there is somewhere safe to leave spare gear at the start.
So what's in it for me?
The whole point of the hash is to be a social event. After the run, the pack gathers in the pub and each stays until (s)he has had enough, or the pub is closing, or (just occasionally, but it has happened) the pub runs out of beer. Just to ensure no-one gets too serious, misdemeanours on trail are rewarded with a forfeit, normally involving a drink to be downed, and particularly memorable events result in the hasher being awarded a nickname.
In memory of George "Captain Oates" Whiteman - 1927 - 2009.
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