Drinking club with the running problem ;)

Half Ass Hash - 2/23/08 - #1
Image by espanol via Flickr

I have been getting out of shape and my wife has been looking to explore new avenues to meet people. So at the recommendation of my cousin we decided to try hashing (AKA Hash house harriers).  Here is quick overview of what wikipedia says about Hashing

The Hash House Harriers (abbreviated to HHH, H3, or referred to simply as Hashing) is an international group of non-competitive running, social, and drinking clubs. An event organized by a club is known as a Hash or Hash Run, with participants calling themselves Hashers.

We ended up driving to Hennur Rd for Run 400+ (Forget the number) at 4PM on a Sunday afternoon. This group meets once in two weeks for a hash run/event. We ended up there without any expectation other than it was a good run. We found the crowd to be fun! Met a people from varied backgrounds: An Ex-US Navy on assignment, expats, french citizens. We paid 100Rs to join the club for the year. (Very nominal).

The group is divided into two: the walkers & the runners. We decided to run. Here is how it works:

A group scouts the area the previous day and lays the trail (with white powder marks). The trail often includes false trails, short cuts, dead ends, and splits. These features are designed to keep the pack together regardless of fitness level or running speed, as front-runners are forced to slow down to find the “true” trail, allowing stragglers to catch up.

The fast runners (Hares) end up running ahead scouting for the trail and making sure the right is found (often end up in dead trails). The terms to know when you end up hashing are

“Are You?”     Question shouted by the pack to FRBs, meaning “Are you on the trail?”

On On     Shouted by FRBs or hounds to indicate they’re on trail, sometimes used only to indicate true trail; trail mark indicating true trail

Our run was about 10 kilometers, through farms, so called trails and villages. The villagers must have been looking at us thinking, “what about bunch of weirdos!”.  I feel flat on face once, had my legged scratched all over (make sure you dont wear shorts). Worn out shoes are a must! We even had a pit stop for water.

After the run we were catching up with folks and the group gathered for the Circle

Most hash events end with a group gathering known as the Circle. Led by kennel leadership, the Circle provides a time to socialize, sing drinking songs, recognize individuals, formally name members, or inform the group of pertinent news or upcoming events.

Circles may be led by the Kennel Grandmaster, the group’s Religious Adviser, or by a committee.

We were the virgins (Aka newbies) and hence we had to sit on big block of ice and drink the beer up while the circle sings. I was punishing for wearing a so called “new shoe”! (some dude got a hold of me cuz I threatened to get him on the ice next time around). Its referred as a Down-Down:

A Down-Down is a means of punishing, rewarding, or merely recognizing an individual for any action or behavior according to the customs or whims of the group. Generally, the individual in question is asked to consume without pause the contents of his or her cup or mug, or risk pouring the remaining contents on his or her head. Individuals may be recognized for outstanding service, or for their status as a visitor or newcomer. Down-Downs also serve as punishment for misdemeanors real, imagined, or blatantly made up. Such transgressions may include: wearing new shoes to an event, pointing with a finger, or the use of real names.

All in all the event was a hoot! Just need to have a dry sense of humor and be ready to run in some rough terrain. If you are looking for something fun to do in Bangalore or any part of the world where there is a hash join in 😉 It helps if you are drunk! LOL

Here are links that you would find useful:

http://www.gthhh.com/

http://www.bangalorehash.com/

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