The Hague Hash House Harriers  
-  Your Very Own Drinking Club ....
With a Running Problem

Frequently Asked Questions: 

A virgin's guide to hashing

Q: What are The Hash House Harriers?
(This answer was stolen from Likk'mm without his knowledge or approval) The Hash House Harriers is an international group of around 80,000 people loosely organized in around 1500 groups worldwide. This group consists of men, women and children of all races, colors and ethnic groups and can count a significant number of diplomats (aka Embassy Trash) and other "respected" members of the community as adherents. It is mainly a social group which features a selection of the following activities:

  • Social intercourse - For many "hashing" is one of the main focuses of their social life. Imagine the plight of Westerners living in strict Muslim countries. It is a traveler's network - wherever you go there's a group of open-minded people to give you an introduction and a hand if necessary.

  • Consumption of alcohol - moderation is recommended but not always observed. But personal freedom is respected and participants that are not inclined to partake of alcoholic beverages are provided substitutes.

  • Non-competitive jogging - Running and walking through cities, dumps, woods, neighborhoods in groups of 2 - 200 following temporary markings made from flour, chalk or paper.

  • Singing of bawdy songs - Inherited from the all-male rugby circles, the variations on well known songs may be juvenile, rude and unpalatable, but are mostly usually so extreme as to be totally unbelievable. Purely for entertainment - not encouragement. Look for a SongBook elsewhere on this website

No, Mr./Ms. Vice Squad Snooper, if you think the word HASH in the title is a cause for investigation, you've made a hash of it yourself. Because, although, due to the moderately hedonistic nature of the club, consumption of THC containing substances is not banned in some chapters, it is not encouraged either. The attitudes of the membership generally reflects the society from which it draw its participants

We can guarantee that if you search a bit further on the InterWeb, you will find completely different things about who we are and what we do. So ...

Q: How does does a run look like?
A: What we do is a modern version of the old English boarding school game with the hare and the harriers. Back then, the two fastest runners of the school took off with a few minutes head start, they left a trail of paper shreds and the other students had to try to catch them. Nowadays we play the game with a 'dead hare', this means that the trail has been set in advance (live hare runs still exist though), and the hare keeps an eye on things. Racing is strictly forbidden. The trail is set in such a way that the FRB's (Front Running Bastards/Bitches) and the walkers keep up with each other. You run as fast as you want. If you cannot run, you walk. If you cannot walk, you crawl, take shortcuts, hitch a ride with the beer truck or order a taxi. Whatever, as long as you enjoy yourself.

A very very important part of the run is the Beerstop. At about 2/3rd of the trail is some beer hidden in the bushes or in the trunk of a car or at the house of some poor hashers who happens to live there. For reasons yet unknown, some of the FRB's refuse to run after a beerstop.

Q: If I want to do a run, what do I do?
A: Show up, you are welcome. 

Q: Should I feel stupid if someone asks whether I am a virgin?
A: No, you should not feel stupid if someone asks whether you are a virgin.

Q: I am not a very sporty type, is that a problem?
A: You cannot possibly be less sporty than Mule, proper shoes help though.

Q: I am a very sporty type, is that a problem?
A: That is not a problem either, unless you make it one. You will have to accept that we will call you a FRB (Front Running Bastard/Bitch). Just keep in mind that racing is strictly forbidden, see rulebook.

Q: Where can I find the rulebook?
A: Huh !?

Q: I don't get it. Are you a Running Club with a Drinking Problem? Or a Drinking Club with a Running Problem?
A: We don't get that part either. We have lost many nights' sleep over this one and have not been able to reach consensus or even a simple majority on this issue. But... our current GrandMistress has a preference for the Drinking Club thing, probably because she does have a running problem. So... there you have it. She is the Boss after all, for a while, sort of... 

Q: How does one recognise a hasher?
A: Age and gender have nothing to do with it. Hashers quite often expats, English is the leading language, although sometimes foreign languages are heard as well when, totally unsuspected, fellow countrymen show up. The main discriminating characteristic is the complete absence of uniformity in t-shirts, some are extremely vulgar. Hashers can be recognised from far by there strange way moving around, slightly bend forward and the head turning from left to right, searching for markings on the ground. When they find some, they shout ON-ON or blow a whistle or honk a horn. It is their way of communicating. Hashers can only be studied in their natural habitat. Hashers do not even recognise each other in their civies. 

Q: What does this hashing cost me?
A: You pay 5 Euri for a run or 40 Euri for the winter or summer season (=half a year), this is excluding special events such as the Queens day run. But this does get you all the beers, sodas, potato chips, peanuts and fun you can handle. 
After closing the circle, we generally continue having fun at a pub, restaurant at your own expense. Or at some hashers place, who will charge a few Euro for food and drinks. 

Never done a run with us? Then you are our guest.

Q: What if I don't have cash on me?
A: Send it to HashCash

Q: If I break a leg, feel confused or have a hangover next morning. What should I do, who should I sue?
A: Dunno, the hash does not accept any responsibility for things that go wrong. We do not have any insurance, it has no use to try and cash in. We will even deny our very existence. There would be no end to it, everything always goes wrong. We specialise in that.... sort of. 

Q: What is the circle?

A: At the end of the run, the event is thoroughly evaluated by the RA (Religious Advisor. Anyone who did something right is called into the circle and punished by drinking a beer (downdown) while the rest is singing a silly song. Everyone who made an ass of themselves is called into the circle and is rewarded by drinking a beer while the rest is singing a silly song. The most horrible punishment is for not doing anything remarkable, you will be completely ignored and never ever get a proper name.

Q: What is that with all those silly names?
A: At the first couple of runs, hashers are very modest and introvert, they try to be social and adapt to the group. But after a number of runs, they start misbehaving and make an ass of themselves just like everyone else. It is unavoidable. Once that point in resocialisation has been reached, the RA will find a suitable name that reminds you of the foolishness for the rest of mortal life and beyond. 

Q: How do I stay informed about what is going on?
A: Bookmark this website in your favourite browser. 
Or visit our FaceBook pages

Q: What is that I hear about new shoes?
A: Only one way to find out.

Q: Do I have to go all the way?

A: No, you can shortcut, take the tram or hitch a ride with the beer truck. It is called 'smart hashing' Just keep an eye on Mule and learn, he is the smartest hasher on the northern hemisphere. 

Q: Do I really have to drink all that beer?
A: No, drinking beer is not compulsory, it helps to cope with the madness though. We also have water, water, water and soft drinks.

Q: Do you only run in and round the Hague?
A: No, you can find Hash House Harriers in 1500 main cities all over the globe, check the internet or the internet, book a flight and off you go. Buy a t-shirt from the local haberdasher to show off when you get back. We will not be impressed.

Q: It is really that simple?
A: Yes, it is really that simple. A warning for the less athletic types amongst us, there are hashes (a minority) where everybody actually runs (spit!). Send an e-mail to find out whether there is a walkers trail. It is a valid question and you will get an answer.

Q: What if I feel lonely and in despair, somewhere in a strange country?
A: Wherever you are in the world, you can turn to the local hash for whatever it is you need. It is the worlds largest social network.

Q: I still have a few questions left!
A: Contact any member of mismanagement or any other hasher

Do you want to know even more? 
Don't stop reading then.

Hashing . . . it's a mixture of athleticism and sociability, hedonism and hard work; a refreshing break from the nine-to-five routine. Hashing is an exhilaratingly fun combination of walking or running, orienteering, and partying, where bands of harriers and harriettes chase hares on eight-to-ten kilometer-long trails through town, country, jungle, and desert, all in search of exercise, camaraderie, and good times. And best of all, it is not competitive, racing not allowed. 

Hashing, as we know it today, began in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1938, when a group of restive British company men started a hare & hounds running group. They named the group after their meeting place, the Selangor Club, aka the "Hash House." Hash House Harrier runs were patterned after the traditional British public school paper chase. A "hare" would be given a short head start to blaze a trail, marking his devious way with shreds of paper, soon to be pursued by a shouting pack of "harriers." Only the hare knew where he was going . . . the harriers followed his marks to stay on trail. Apart from the excitement of chasing down the wily hare, solving the hare's marks and reaching the end was its own reward, for there, thirsty harriers would find a tub of iced-down beer.

Hashing died during World War II (Japanese occupying forces being notoriously opposed to civilian fun), but came back to life in the post-war years, spreading slowly through Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand, then exploding in popularity in the late 70s and early 80s. Today there are thousands of Hash House Harrier clubs in all parts of the world, complete with newsletters, directories, and regional and world hashing conventions.

Despite its growth, hashing hasn't strayed far from its British and Malaysian roots. A typical hash "kennel" is a loosely-organized group of 20-40 men and women who meet weekly or biweekly to chase the hare. We follow chalk, flour, or paper, and the trails are never boring. When forced to, we'll run the occasional street or alley, but in general we prefer shiggy . . . fields, forests, jungles, swamps, streams, fences, storm drains, and cliffs. And although some of today's health-conscious hashers may shun a cold beer in favor of water or a diet soda, trail's end is still a party. Perhaps that's why they call us the "drinking club with a running problem!"

So . . . if you'd like to spice up your running program with fun, good company, new surroundings, and physical challenge, try hashing. Just remember one thing . . . never wear new shoes to the hash!