"Welcome to the Oregon Hash" was first chanted on May 17, 1987. A small but dedicated group of hashers was led by the hare, Wrong Way Corrigan, through gravel roads, pastures, suburbs, wooded slopes, poison oak thickets, nettle-infested right-of-ways along Interstate 5, streams, railroad tracks, and secluded dump sites. Of three hounds that lost their way, one was rescued.
A Hash run is definitely not for serious runners trying to increase their times by a second or two, (although serious runners do join the Hash to have "fun" with their not so serious running buddies).
The Hash House Harriers (the "Hash"), is an international group of runners (hashers) whose primary goal is to have "fun". After all, the hash motto is, "If you've got half a mind ... that's all it takes." Perhaps you've heard of a group of diplomats who were hassled by the KGB and forced to run, not in the streets as any good Hasher does, but in Gorky Park? They're Hashers! One of the chants the Hash uses is "Join the Hash, Run in the Streets, Fxxx the KGB!" In London the Hash runs through the finer hotels on a regular basis. In Kuala Lumpur, Hashers are given the red carpet treatment; police escorts, the run of the city, etc. For Labor Day 1987, the Hash was invited to and presented the keys of, Philadelphia, by the Mayor on the steps of city hall. There are over 1,200 chapters of the Hash House Harriers in 130 countries.
A Hash is a non-competitive run where the course is arbitrarily set by one or more hashers called hares. The hares run out in advance of the other hashers (the hounds), and mark the course with white flour, and/or toilet paper, and/or chalk marks. The total distance is usually around 4 miles. The Hash is not a race - no prizes to the swift.
The Hash is a running club. It can be described as "the running club with a drinking problem", or "the drinking club with a running problem" or "the lunatic fringe of running". If you run in the LA marathon, you might see them at mile 21, where Hashers dispense free beer and champagne. But, during a Hash run, the first person who talks about winning or asks about "split times" is roundly hurrahed and forced to do "down-downs" (more on that later).
The Hash began 1938 in an eatery (or Hash House) called the Selangor Club Chambers, close to the British outpost in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. An Englishman by the name of A. S. Gispert, and a few friends came up with the idea of introducing a weekly dose of exercise into their routine. Gispert and company decided the run would be followed by a round of high-octane socializing. The name of the organization reflects its birth in a "Hash House". Hence the Hash House Harriers.
A Harrier is a smallish foxhound used to hunt rabbits or hares.
The "run" is based upon the 19th century British tradition of the "Paper Chase" (also known as the English schoolboy game of "Hare and Hounds"). In a Paper Chase, the runners, known as "hounds", would gather at a local pub, down a few ales and shred paper. After a sufficient amount of ale had been "downed", and enough paper torn, one of the group, known as a "hare", would set out and lay a trail using the shredded paper to mark the way. The hounds would continue drinking. After a reasonable time, the hounds would set out in pursuit of the hare, following the trail of paper.
Instead of paper, Gispert and friends decided to use flour to mark the trail, which, unlike most jogging paths, can go anywhere. Fair game for Hash trail include streams, fields, wire fences, lakes, estuaries, (and in the city, laundromats, stores, hotels, airports, malls), and other manmade or natural obstacles. (Note: Always bring along a "dry bag" with a change of shoes and some sort of dry clothes. There will be times that you're going to get wet.)
The Hare, marking the trail with a splash of flour every few yards, does his/her best to confuse the hounds by laying false trails (adequately terminated after some distance) and checks (where the trail stops and may continue in any direction within 100 yards). The checks and false trails layed by the hares tend to keep the front runners from getting too far ahead of the pack. If the trail is well marked, all the hashers finish the run pretty much as a unit.
While on the trail, hashers call out "On-On", or blow two short blasts on their whistle to signify that they are "On" [the trail].
While on a run, if you see a hasher and want to know if he/she is "On"[the trail], you yell, "Are You?" (This is beginning to sound embarrassing!). The reply to this is either "On-On" (meaning, "I think I'm on the trail. Follow at your own risk."), "Checking" ("I found a check and I'm looking for the trail. Follow at your own risk."), "Shortcutting" ("I know the trail goes in another direction, but I think I know a better way. Follow at your own risk."), or "Off", "No", or "Looking" (meaning, "I don't know where I am. Follow me and neither will you.").
The most important aspect of a Hash run, is the On-Home (or On-On-On). It's the prize at the end of the run where drink and food are found. The Oregon Hash usually tries to have the On-Home outside. But it can be held inside at a pub, dive, or saloon. It's at the On-Home that the Hash can really get down to serious socializing. There are more Hash songs than I can (or have the ability to) name. An On-Home is no place for anyone who is even mildly offended by verbal gibes, innuendo, or double entendre (remember, it's all in fun).
Lastly, there are Hash names. Usually these have something to do with a persons "other life", hobbies, personality, or stupid hash tricks. Try explaining: Burnt Lips, Hasn't Come, O, Spanky, Thorny Ass, Mule, Muffy, Woodpecker, Burnt Weenie, Weenie Roast, Moonshine, Nibbles & Snacks, Dry Ride, Snow Job, Toad Suck, Slick Cheeks, Arsephalt, Duhhh, Pussy Whipped, Robo Dick, Where's the Beer, Stink Finger, Wet Spots, Swamp Sucker, Boo Boo, Minnie Mounter, Buckwheat, Fashion Flash, Thuds, Killer, Amazon, Buttafuco, DeFloured, Mouthful, Ramming Speed, Dripping Wet, Floor Show, Boulder Balls, etc, to your grandmother.
Each Hash chapter is tyrannically ruled over by The Grand Master and/or The Grand Mistress.
Oregon Hash Lore
ON ON - is shouted loudly whenever you see a hashmark. This is to inform those behind you that you are on the trail.
HASHMARK - a splash of flour used to mark the trail. Hashers should call out "On-On" when they see a hashmark. Blasts on horns, whistles, and other noise makers are encouraged. Hounds asking "R-U?" (are you on trail?) of the FRB's (Front-Running Bastards) should be answered "On-On", which means they are on trail, or "Looking", which means they've lost the trail.
CHECK - a large X indicating that the trail goes in any direction within 100 yards from here; that is, the pack must search for the true trail. Hounds should call out "Checking" when they see a Check. (Checking is NOT Looking!)
ON-BACK - three spots of flour across the trail, indicating a false trail. The pack, upon encountering an On-Back, calls out "On-Back" or "False Trail", and goes back to the last Check to find true trail.
ARROW - indicates trail direction. Hounds may use arrows different from those used by the hares as necessary to assist hounds further back in the pack.
DOWN-DOWN - (chug-a-lug) of beer traditionally required after a hasher's virgin hash, naming hash, and other significant occasions, e.g., 25th hash, 50th hash, etc. A Down-Down is also in order for hares, visitors, and for any other reason that can be thought up. As a Down-Down could be construed as "alcohol abuse", it is permissible for non-drinkers to pour the beer over their head; a soda Down-Down or proxy Down-Down may also be elected. The primary consideration of the Down-Down is that once the mug leaves the drinker's lips, it is turned upside-down over their head.
NONE - there are no rules.
(You must be 21 years old to run with the Oregon Hash)
Not Copyright (c) 1996 - 2006 Oregon Hash
Steal as much of this as you like - just say where you stole it from