FAQ

Q: Who are Hash House Harriers and what do they do?
A: The idea is to spend around an hour jogging, following a trail that has
been laid in advance by the “hare”. The trail is not always easy to
find, and the hare will lay some false trails to add to the confusion. The Cantab trails are usually laid in flour, and the trail always starts and ends at the Old Spring pub at 7pm on Mondays (except Christmas / New Year and every other year for the annual River Run in October). Once back at the pub (around 8pm to 8.30pm) the socialising continues with the aid of suitable liquid refreshments.
“Hashing” was started in Kuala Lumpur in 1938 by a group of British
expats, who used to eat at a place they called the “Hash House”, hence
the name. Hashing has grown enormously in popularity, and most countries have Hash clubs which welcome visitors from other clubs. To find out more just search the web, or pay a visit to the world Hash House Harriers site
Q: How fit do I need to be?
A: The trail is designed to keep the faster front runners occupied with false trails, whilst the slower runners follow on behind. So you might expect to run between 4 and 6 miles depending on how many false turnings you take. However, it isn’t obligatory to finish the trail – it is common practice to take a short cut back to the pub!
Q: Is it obligatory to drink beer or alcohol?
A: No we welcome everyone. We have you covered whatever drink you prefer, alcoholic or otherwise.
Q: Don’t Cambridge residents object to all the flour on the pavements?
A: Strangely not, though the wife of the master of Emmanuel college did write
to a newspaper to complain about the white earwig poison that had been put down at the bottom of lamp-posts.
Q: Surely they object to all the shouting on the trail?
A: No, the British have always tended to politely ignore the mentally ill.
Q: How do I win?
A: You don’t. It’s not a competition.
Q: How do I join?
A: You don’t have to, there is no membership as such. Just turn up at
the Old Spring Pub on any Monday a few minutes before 7pm.
Q: I’ve heard stories of silly songs, disgusting things happening with
new running shoes, etc?

A: They are true. The tune goes like this, the lyrics are even worse.
Q: I want to see some historical evidence
A:

A letter from Cecil Lee, one of the founding members of the original Hash House Harriers. He was 93 when he wrote this!

Q: What are all these strange words?

Here are some, but by no means all, terms we use:

Hasher

A Hash House Harrier

Harriette

A female Hash House Harrier. Approach with caution.

Blob

A blob of flour which usually indicates you are on a trail.

Check/Checkpoint

A flour symbol showing you are on the right trail, and indicating a possible
parting of real trail and false trails.

Checkback

A flour symbol meaning go back to the previous check. Or is it check backwards
towards the previous check looking for a side trail? Something along those lines
anyway.

Turnback

A flour symbol which means the opposite of whatever the symbol above means.

Backcheck

This has to be the opposite of a checkback, so the same thing as a turnback,
right? Or maybe it’s the same as a checkback. Must be one or the other.

On-On

A shout by a hasher who has seen something white that might be a blob of flour
but often isn’t, in which case see  Down-Down

Are-You?

An interrogatory shout, made on the dubious premise that the person you are
shouting at might have some idea whether they are on trail or not.

Looking

A response to “Are-You”, given by a hasher who has veered off in a different
direction to everybody else. This is taken to mean the hasher is looking for
flour but hasn’t found any. More probably, the hasher is just trying to find
a quiet spot for a pee (see  Down-Down )

Front Running Bastard (FRB)

A hasher whose ideal trail lasts for seven miles. See  Down-Down

Short Cutting Bastard (SCB)

A hasher whose ideal trail lasts for seven minutes. See  Down-Down

Virgin

A first-time hasher. See  Down-Down. Not
to be confused with biological virgins, who are very rare in hashing and invariably
male.

Down-Down

Conducted as a sort of post-mortem at the end of each hash, in the finest British
tradition of rewarding the guilty and punishing the innocent.

Q: Surely this is all just a bunch of grown-ups, who ought to know better, behaving like children?
A: No further questions necessary.

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