Babe the Hashing Pirate

I don’t think I’ve ever posted on here about hashing.

I know I’ve written about running. Yeah, we try to stay pretty active and running is my go-to exercise. Running is also a way to combat my love for food and beer. That love of beer and inclination to run are two big reasons why I enjoy hashing.

If you are familiar with the hash house harriers, please forgive my explanation, but I’m assuming that most people reading this are not actually aware of this worldwide network.

So, to put it simply, there are over 2,000 chapters of the hash house harriers across the globe. They describe themselves as a “drinking group with a running problem.” The groups do not condone organized racing or even running for that matter. In fact, when discussing hashing, the word “run” is treated as taboo, or a swear word and will generally be censored: “r*n.”

Hashing in Grenada

Hashing in Grenada

But running (or jogging, walking, hiking and stumbling) is what we do. The trails are marked and are usually off-road. They don’t typically stick to a beaten path, so there is a certain amount of mud, bush, prickers, etc. (“shiggy”) to be expected.

On top of a variably wild trail, the marks along the route are inconsistent and split at sections, leading the group on false trails, forcing them to backtrack. Other trail marks may indicate hidden treasure, a beer stop or require the group to stop and dance or sing an inappropriate song.

There are penalties for everything from using someone’s “nerd name” (as opposed to their “hash name”) while on trail, to short-cutting or wearing a race participant shirt at a hash (known as being a “race-ist”). The punishment is always the same — drink beer.

There are lots of songs and ceremonies and, in general, it’s a bunch of lighthearted, goofy fun.

If it sounds like something you’d enjoy, I recommend Googling your town (or the closest large city) + “hash house harriers” and see what pops up. Chances are there’s one in your area.

So, on to the story. Ivan and I first discovered hashing in Grenada, where we went on a couple dozen hashes across the island.

When we moved to Brooklyn, we found a group in the city, but the “hash cash” (cost to participate) was $20/person, which was just way too much. So we never went.

In Connecticut, we finally found another hash group and went on our first hash with them earlier in September. We took Banjo on that hash and she was a total nut. But it was a ton of fun.


Photo courtesy of “Cherry Poppins” NH4

The hashes are every other week and we weren’t free for the next one, but last Saturday we were, and we took Babe this time. The theme of the hash was pirates, so naturally we dressed up. Even Babe got in the spirit of things.

2016-10-08-13-12-43 2016-10-08-16-15-33

This was a proper hash, including forested areas, rain and mud up to my knees (no joke!). Babe pushed through the whole thing and was utterly pooped by the end.

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If you want to read up a little more on hashing, CNN did a great article HERE.

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