Welcome, Virgin! You are probably wondering what you have gotten yourself into. Read on...
WTF is hashing? A drinking group with a running problem! Hash House Harriers are an international club that have been around for over 80 years! We are one of several hashes in Connecticut, and the most recent incarnation of the Groton kennel.
The goals of the Hash from the 1938 charter of the Kuala Lumpur Hash House Harriers
-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
The way hashing generally works is this: we meet up at a designated location, socialize a bit, and then go running/walking along a trail set by a member (the hare). Our trails wind through Southeastern CT and Western RI, involve at least 1 beer check (for those 21 and older), and end with a festive, baudy and welcoming gathering (the circle). Afterward, we grab a bite somewhere.
Hashing is a fun way to get in a bit of exercise with your socializing. We welcome runners and walkers of all abilities. The majority of our members range in age from mid-20's to mid-50's. Many of our trails are easily run-able/walk-able with a dog, but check out the event details just to be sure.
Ok, so you wanna give a little more detail? Hashing is a combination of all that is good about running, hiking, socializing and beer. There is an active de-emphasis on racing because the point is to run hard and have a great time, not to compete (we mock the competitive). We meet at a designated location and one member (the hare) starts off laying trail behind him/her. Soon after, the rest of us follow. At the end, we circle up, and "honor" the hare/trail and those who did anything stupid. If you’re new, you’re called a “virgin”–which just means you’ve never been hashing before. We make no claims about your purity. Over time, you’ll get a chance to hare your own trail and earn a bawdy (but affectionate) nickname based on your misadventures.
I Don’t Run (or I’m super fast) Can I Still Come? Absolutely! We’re not kidding when we say that we welcome runners of all abilities. The purpose is to have a great time running/walking. Whether your great time is a 6 minute mile or a 20 minute mile, you’re equally welcome! If you’re fast, you run the risk of catching the hare (technically the goal of this endeavor), and if you're slow we'll be there with beer for you when you finish. The trail can be a great way to break up the monotony of a beginning or advanced running program because it adds the elements of problem solving, mystery, and fun.
What Should I Bring? At the very least, bring a mug for your beer, a $5 bill to offset costs, and your sense of humor/fun. You should also have a whistle, but don't let the lack of it keep you from coming. Depending on the time of year and the trail, we suggest you bring bug spray, long socks (to prevent poison ivy or ticks), and chalk to mark your trail for those behind you. If you’re a complete running nerd, and many of us are, and you have a gps or garmin you use to track runs/walks. You should bring it because hash trails tend to wander places you’d never go on a normal run, and looking at the map later is always interesting. What Should I Wear? Wear an old pair of walking/running shoes. You will trash new ones, and there's a nasty tradition of making you drink your first beer from them. So, unless you like your drinks foot-flavored, don't wear new shoes (and for pete's sake, if you scuff up new shoes to make them look old, don't tell anyone . .'cause you're going to be drinkin' from 'em if you do). Otherwise, wear your running gear. Layers are great, you know the drill.
How do I Join? You show up. You have fun. That’s pretty much it. We’re pretty inclusive.
How much does it cost? It's $5 to offset costs of beer, flour, chalk, and other fun stuff.