Have you ever heard of Hash House Harriers? No, it’s not a tongue twister; it is actually a world wide association or community of people who like to run non-competitively and then drink beer afterwards. Lots of beer. According to wikipedia, hashing started in 1938 by a group of British people in Malaysia.
The objectives of the Hash House Harriers as recorded on the club registration card dated 1950:
- To promote physical fitness among our members
- To get rid of weekend hangovers
- To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
- To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel (clearly this was a bunch of old folk)
Through Meet-up (a really cool online way to connect with people) Dirk discovered this group who call themselves the Santiago Hash House Harriers, The only drinking club with a running problem. We’ve been wanting to go running with this group of people, but we haven’t been brave enough. They seem to be a pretty tight-knit group and it can be awkward to be ‘the new people’ in such a situation. Also, we didn’t know the extent of their so-called drinking problem. This past Saturday we decided to be brave and climb on a bus to Pirque (about two hours South of Santiago) to attend a weekend camping Hash at a brewery.
At arrival we were welcomed by a loud man on crutches. Our legendary tent ended up being pitched between a castle tent and a midget tent on the camping ground.
At 4pm when it was officially time to start the hash/ race, there were about 30 of us ready for action. We did a warm-up routine to that ‘Father Abraham has many sons’ song and we received our briefing. We were to follow a path that was marked by flour on the ground. Every time you spotted flour you had to yell “On-on!” This hash was unique, because we had to find clues (and beer) along the way that would guide us in the right direction. So, off we went on the rocky road. We jogged for a while, screaming “On-on!” every so often. It was good to rest for a while when we got to a circle of flour, the signal that we had to look for a clue. I spotted the first clue -two beer cans and an empty coke bottle tied up in tree! The second clue was harder to find.
When we completed the race…it was time to drink beer. We were treated to a quick tour of the brewery.
The Hash House Harriers is not much different than a frat house, really. After the brewery tour, we had to stand in a circle, drink beer from plastic cups and sing songs about beer.
Luckily I was familiar with one beer song that I learned at a church camp in University. It’s to the tune of ‘Do, Re, Mi.’
DOUGH… the stuff…that buys me beer… RAY….. the guy that sells me beer…
ME…… the guy… who drinks the beer, FAR….. the distance to my beer
SO…… I think I’ll have a beer… LA…… La la la la la la beer…TEA….. no thanks, I’m drinking beer…
That will bring us back to…DOUGH
The Hash House Harriers meet every two weeks. Your second hash is free (yay) and once you’ve attended five hashes, you are awarded with a special (usually offensive) name. I have to say the hashers are a great bunch of people and they were really welcoming and friendly. I’m sure we’ll be joining them for a hash again soon! On-on!