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Running Amuck?

Feb 14, 2011 11:54PM ● Published by Anonymous

Last week I talked about running in the mud, but if that’s been there, done that for you, you can take it one step further. You can run in the mud while having little idea where you’re going. End your run with an after party, with good friends, good beer and – err – interesting songs, and you have the basic gist of hashing. Dubbed as “a drinking club with a running problem,” hashing groups have sprung up all around the area in recent years. There are 15 in Delmarva alone (well, if you fudge it a bit and include D.C.). And, according to the World Hash House Harriers webpage, there are over 23,000 hashers worldwide, located in over 1,200 different cities.

Here in Annapolis, we are fortunate to have the Baltimore Annapolis Hash House Harriers, also known as the BAH3. I was lucky enough to attend my first hash with them yesterday afternoon. Since I am new to hashing, I had to introduce myself to the group as a “virgin” and was asked to come to the center of the circle before the run. Everyone in the group, about 30 people, then told me their hash names. A couple of the more tame ones were “Barf Bag” and “Micro Brew.” Since I don’t have an official hash name “until I do something stupid,” I have to introduce myself as “just Kate” for now. I’m pretty well known for doing stupid things, so I know I will be official before long.

The hash leader then explained the markings on the trail that would tell us where to go: some sort of combination of arrows, and Xes and colored bottle caps – and I still have no idea how it works. I decided to simply follow everyone else and hope not to get lost. So far, so good, since I made it back to my desk today. I got to enjoy another song at the after party, and I didn’t get dinged for any “safety violations,” so I think it was a pretty good afternoon overall. I’ve been a runner for a long time, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve had so much fun at a running event. Usually, by the end of the day, I’m whining about how much my feet hurt and asking myself why I put myself through this again and again. Not after this one.

If you’re interested in hashing, the Baltimore Annapolis group meets every Sunday at 3 p.m. a different location. You can find all the details on its website. It’s also hosting a Green Dress Run on March 12 at 2 p.m. on the St. John’s College Campus. Yes, you have to wear a green dress to run in this; regardless of your gender.

Note that hash events are not family events. Your kids will definitely hear some, let’s just say, “colorful” language. Most are, however, dog friendly – since pooches rarely repeat what they hear. Don’t forget to bring dry shoes and socks and about $10 to cover the cost of beverages and snacks. Most hashes are followed by optional happy hours.

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