AN ASHBOURNE running club is inviting new members to its next meeting to find out what exactly it is that Hash House Harriers do.
With clubs, or kennels as they are commonly referred to, all over the world, hashers enjoy their exercise with a social beer at the end.
Often referred to as ‘a drinking club with a running problem’ the Hash House Harriers originated in 1938 in Malaysia when a group of British colonial officers and expatriates began running on Monday evenings, in a style loosely based on the traditional paper chase or hare and hounds.
Ignatius Gispert, one of the founders, suggested the name Hash House Harriers after the Selangor Club annex, where several of the original hashers lived and regularly dined, which was known as the “Hash House”.
The Ashbourne club normally meets on the first Saturday of every month, but has put the January run back a week to allow for members’ New Year plans.
Anyone who wants to join in should meet at 11am on Saturday, January 11 at the Stepping Stones pub in Carnation Way.
There is no charge for first timers.
The pack generally runs a 5 mile route which has been laid with flour by the ‘hare’ earlier in the day.
Following cryptic clues and trail markings the more athletic runners at the front of the pack work out the correct route by checking for false trails, and they then let the walkers and slower runners know which way to go.
There is always someone at the back of the pack to ensure no-one gets lost, and often the hare has marked a shorter route for walkers.
Hash Grand Master Robin Eyre said: “It’s a great way to get some exercise and meet new friends.
“You don’t have to be super fit to join in, and our kennel welcomes all abilities from elite runners to joggers and walkers.
“It’s a kid friendly club too, although most of our runs will be off road with stiles and the occasional river to cross.”
Graham Martin has been hashing with the club for four years and he said: “My hash name is Non-Runner, because I hate running.
“But the great thing about hashing is that I can still join in and walk the trail, and the way the hares mark the route means we all stick together and usually get back to the pub at the same time.
“It’s great fun with a bit of silliness along the way.”
More information on the club is available by calling 07557 980669 or online at www.ashbourneh3.co.uk