A veteran runner and virgin hasher runs for beer (and boobs)

When I arrived at the meet up spot I was a bit nervous. People were milling about wearing what I termed hasher flair. This flair consisted of necklaces with their hash names (Tie Me Down Dick, Fist Deep, Goo, Gay Rodeo Clown, Lost My Balls), shiggy socks (I'll get to that), whistles, and sashes denoting the number of hashes participated in. Most of them also had their own cups.  


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As soon as the beer truck pulled in, the drinking was on. I watched as the hashers filled up their beer cups and prepared for the run. A few even smoked cigarettes. What the frack? Drinking and smoking before a run? Okie dokie. Works for me. I decided to skip the pre-run beer as I didn't want to toss my cookies in front of these hard core folk.


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About an hour later the Religious Advisor (leader of the circle) told everyone to circle up. During this circle the hares were announced and gave instructions on the hash. The hares are the folks who set up the trail. It's very similar to a scavenger hunt, minus the collecting of items. You are told to follow chalk markings and each marking means something different. For example, when you see a circle with a dot in the middle that means you must stop for a tit check. The group you are with must have a female flash before you can continue. Thank the lord that I ran with Fist Deep who was willing to take one for the team when we got to this check point. Fist Deep also came in handy with the shiggy socks. Shiggy means that the trail will run through brush, mud, and water. Thus, the shiggy socks she brought me were invaluable.


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During this time they also made us virgin hashers stand "cheek-to-cheek" and introduce ourselves. This is also where we were informed that we had to entertain them after the run. This entertainment could be a joke, dance, song, or body part. Wonder what they have in mind here.


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The hares were given a ten minute head start and then the rest us were off. We started quickly and ran into the first tit check within about a half mile. We avoided that one and ran into some high grass area. As we continued we came to some barbed wire and lovely thorny vines. I thought to myself, "Ninja please." But on we went. Hashers are no joke when it comes to trail running. Our next check point consisted of a four pack of 16 oz. Natural Light cans. We could not continue until all four were drunk. Luckily, we had a good number of folks at this point and we sweatily passed them around. Again, these hashers don't eff around.


I noticed during the hash that these folks shout "On On!" to let others know they have found the right path. The tricky hares set up faux chalk marks to throw the runners off. Sometimes the hashers shout "R U?" - meaning "Are you on the trail?" The whistles come in handy for this as well.


Continuing on (on!), we wound up running through a backyard. I don't think this happens often but I just went with it. "No officer, I wasn't aware this was private property."


As we passed and got passed by those walking in the group, due to trail confusion and trickery, they kept calling us racists. I was a tad confused by this. But then I realized the play on words. They actually meant "race-ists." Get it? There was a BN marked and this meant beer near. This check point allows everyone to catch up to each other and drink before continuing on to the finish.


The hash run finished at about 3 miles and I am happy to report I was one of the first back. I am in marathon training now so it'd be a bit sad if I didn't come in near the front.  


After everyone got back we circled up again. This is the part where hashing becomes similar to a live action game of Three Man. This involves a lot of singing and drinking. The drinking is often referred to as "down, down" meaning chug your drink. What you don't finish in your cup, you pour on your head. The songs are quite hilarious and naughty. The hares are celebrated, and told to drink. The trail is celebrated, and everyone drinks. Those who commit offenses (like not climbing the hill on the trail) are called out, and told to drink. The virgins have to entertain the circle, and are told to drink. A hasher is named, and told to drink. You get the idea. I told a joke for my entertainment, even though there were some shouts for body parts.


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It's really a lot of fun. And you don't have to drink, obviously. Some folks had water in their cups. They also had some snacks at the end. I would definitely hash again and encourage anyone interested to contact their local hash group. But again, be warned, it's not for the faint of heart...

As promised, I attended a hash run last night. Let me start by saying that hashing is not for the meek, shy, conservative, or anyone opposed to running through backyards and barbed wire. Hashing is also not really for those in training mode, unless you use it as a recovery run.

I heard that every hash group is different. Some place more emphasis on the beer and socializing aspect and some on the run. I think that it's safe to say that the Jolly Roger Hash House Harriers in Tampa enjoy the beer and social aspect a wee bit more. This is not to say that we didn't run, but more time was spent singing, joking, and drinking. Works for me.

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