A Historical Review of the Hash
The history of such an underground organization as the Hash House Harriers (a.k.a. HHH or Hashing) is hard to pin down, continued research uncovers various items of interest. The single greatest effort of hash history was researched and written by Tim "Magic" Hughes. More history can be reviewed at the links below.
Background . . .
Harrier running clubs date back to the mid 19th Century in the United Kingdom. For runners, Harrier clubs are synonymous with other running clubs (e.g. Crowborough Runners, Egdon Heath Harriers, Blacksburg Striders, Thrift Green Trotters). These clubs tend to be more serious running clubs that focus on fitness and preparation for races and have spread all over the world. The Hash House Harriers originate from that same vein, but took on a subtle twist by combining adult running with a common children's game called Paper Chase with various accounts dating it back as far as 1837, or the more adult version of "Hare and Hounds" with the oldest organized club being the Thames Hare and Hounds, dating back to 1867.
The Premise of Hashing . . .
The only thing required to have a Hash Run is a hare to set a trail with paper, flour, sawdust, chalk, etc. or a combination of these items. Length varies, but a reasonable trail would be between 7-12 Kms, preferably over a cross county terrain, but many clubs run through city streets. Trail can be set live, meaning the hare gets a 12-15 minute head start, or set dead, with the trial being completed prior to the pack setting off. With the trail being set, all that is left is a willing pack to make chase. The shear brilliance of Hashing is the complete austerity of it. You only need something to mark the trail , a hare to set the trail, and someone to follow.
Hunting . . .
In the beginning . . .
The Hash House Harriers is a less competitive offshoot of Harrier clubs, and the first instance of this ideology dates back to 1938, in Kuala Lumpur, the capitol of the Federated States of Malaya (now called Malaysia). Mother hash celebrated run # 100 on 15 Aug 1941, and a total of 117 runs were held, but due to the spread of World War II further activity was suspended on 12 Dec 1941. The first rebirth run was held in Aug 1946, as the world recovered from the war.
1950 the city of Kuala Lumpur began requiring clubs of all kinds to register
with the city. While a common theme of hashing is "there are no rules,"
the club registration was the original "Rules." Written
with wry jest of a good Brit, the objectives of the Hash House Harriers were
The hash spreads out . . . slowly at first . . .
The first branch club was formed in 1947 in Bordighera, Italy (near Milan). The Hash House Harriers Bordighera is believed to have lasted until the early 1960s, but details are sketchy and its existence had gone unnoticed until many years later. Until its existence was confirmed, it was believed that the Hash House Harriers Singapore was the first branch of the club, and was thus dubbed "Father Hash." After the hash appeared in Singapore, it was not long before several others started in Borneo. By 1965 the first 10 clubs existed, and by the mid 1970's there were nearly 50 clubs in as many as 14 countries. Clubs have continued to form (and fold) in the years since, and while an exact count is nearly impossible, there are approximately 2000 active hash clubs running in nearly every country on earth (exceptions currently include North Korea, San Marino, Monaco, Iran, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, and a handful of others). Contacts for HHH clubs around the world are maintained by a small group of regional webmasters.
Building on the brilliant work started by Magic . . .
Recommend another hash history website.