Hashing - The Long Version:
The short version
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The Copenhagen Howling Hash House Harriers is part of the world-wide network of similar
clubs with members who combine beer and non-competitive exercise.
The basic idea is simple:
- One or more members of the club (the hares) mark a route (the trail), with flour, chalk or shredded paper.
- The trail can be anything from 5 to 10 kilometers and is usually completed within 90 minutes, whether you're a slow walker or a fast runner.
- The rest of the members (the pack) will follow the trail, looking for marks (checking the trail).
- At certain points the trail will run into a check point, marked by a circle. Any number of trails can lead off the check point, but only one of these will be the true trail, which will be marked by On On. The other trails will be false, and will be marked by an X. The purpose of a check point is to slow down the faster hashers by luring them off down the false trails, thereby giving the slower hashers a chance to catch up.
- In order to cater for the really fast runners who want to go the extra mile, as well as the lazier ones, who just want to get home, the trail is some times split into a trail for the Long Runners and one for the Shortcutting Bastards.
- Shortcutting is fully acceptable and sometimes even encouraged, depending on the area where the hash has been set (you wouldn't do a shortcut through quicksand or across a harbour, would you?).
- The hash is 100% non-competitive and when the trail has been completed there is a circle where one or more of the hashers - the Religious Advisor/Grand Master/Circle Master - do a recap, handing out praise and punishment to the participants for deeds done on trail.
- The praise/punishment are the same: the lucky(?) one gets a down-down - a drinking vessel of beer which has to be emptied within a certain amount of time, while the rest of the pack chants and cheers.
- Typical down downs include: Setting the trail, getting lost, arriving late, being quoted in the media without mentioning the hash, spilling beer, being a newcomer (virgin) or a visitor, limited only by the imagination of the Circle Master.
- A special down down is given for wearing new shoes: In this case the owner will drink a beer out of his/hers shoe and thus inaugurate it.
- A circle can last for 10 minutes or several hours, depending on the weather and the number of participants.
A couple of facts about hashing
- Contrary to popular belief, there are no illegal drugs involved. The Hash House name comes from the local bar where the first Harriers club was founded (in 1938 in Kuala Lumpur)
- Many hashers have nicknames, Hash Names, that are given based on some characteristic of the person. For instance, my hashname is Codpiece since I come from a fish-exporting country and was quite chubby at the time.
- There are hash chapters all over the world, including Antarctica, Baghdad and Papua New Guinea
- Denmark's oldest hash is the Copenhagen Hash House Harriers which was founded in 1980
- Other Danish hashes include the
- Special versions of hashing include the Full Moon Hashes at Copenhagen Howling H3 and Aarhus Howling Full Moon H3 which run on or near full moon nights, and the special Red Dress hashes where all participants wear red dresses (yes!)
- The Copenhagen Howling H3 runs on the Friday closest to a Full Moon. Most of the time these hashes are more like a pub crawl than a run
So how do I start hashing?
Easy - check the runsheet here or here and show up!
Dressing: There's no dress code, but some of the runs are set through rough terrain so I would recommend that you start out with old running shoes and an outfit that you don't mind getting muddy or torn.
And a set of changing clothes is also a good thing when you return back to base.
More facts can be found at the WikiPedia.