Hashing 101

Hashing . . . a mixture of exercise, tomfoolery, and delicious beverages. It combines running, orienteering, and partying!

Hashing began in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1938, when a group of British colonial officials and expatriates founded a running club called the Hash House Harriers. They named the group after their meeting place, the Selangor Club, nicknamed the “Hash House,” a British term for a “greasy spoon.” Hash House Harrier runs were patterned after the traditional British paper chase. A “hare” was given a head start to blaze a trail, marking his devious way with shreds of paper, all the while pursued by a shouting pack of “harriers.” Only the hare knew where he was going . . . the harriers followed his clues to stay on trail. Apart from the excitement of chasing the hare and solving the clues, reaching the end was its own reward . . . for there, thirsty harriers would find a tub of ice cold beer.

Hashing hasn’t strayed far from its Kuala Lumpur roots. A typical hash today is a loosely-organized group of 20–40 people who meet weekly or biweekly to chase the hare. We follow chalk, flour, or paper, and the trails are never boring . . . we run streets and back alleyways, but we also ford streams, climb fences, explore storm drains, and scale cliffs(usually with an easy option too). And of course we drink beer!

Commonly Used Words/Phrases:

On-On!: typically heard when you’re on the right trail

: front-running bastards; people who are fast

: dead fucking last; people who are slow

: a first-time hasher

: Grand Mattress in charge of our sorry asses

: Religious Advisor who conducts circle

: A celebration after the hash for accusations and down-downs

: punishment for stupidity on trail

: thorns, rocks, mud, etc. Ithaca is Shiggy!

: talking about real running events; not permitted at a hash

Hash cash: $ collected per runner to cover beer costs

On-After: a place to meet following the hash; usually for sustenance and more beer

Commonly Used Chalk Marks:

ih3 chalk marks