Hashing traditions support the premise of having a good time and getting some exercise. Hashing is not a running race. There are no timers, but there is healthy competition for the competitive, and fellowship for the back of the pack. Many Hashers prefer running in places that others might consider unrunnable, which inevitably results in slowing down from time to time.
There are also resting points called "checks," where the hare has split the trail in 2 or more directions, or set BEER, or another obstacle to delay the faster runners and allow the slower ones to catch up. A well-designed trail has checks that periodically unite the slow joggers and faster runners at the checks so that the pack can stay together.
Today, there are an estimated 1,700 independently managed H3 kennels wordwide comprising of some 40,000 hashers, including the Northboro Hash House Harriers, which was founded in 2010. Loosely organized hashing conventions include include:
These these events attract thousands of hashers from around the world.
Hashing originated in 1938 in Kuala Lumpur, (now Malaysia) when a group of British colonial officers and expatriates, led by A.S. Gisbert, began meeting on Monday evenings to run, in a format patterned after the British schoolyard game of "Paper Chase" or "Hare and Hounds." The groups stated mission was "To promote physical fitness; to get rid of weekend hangovers; to acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer; and to persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel." This Malaysian "mother hash" still operates today, and is a mecca for globe trotting hashers of the world.
Hashing combines running, drinking, singing, and socializing. On a hash run, a "hare" sets a trail unknown to the "hounds." The Hounds try to catch the hare, or at least follow the hare's trail because along the way there are checkpoints to take a drink and socialize, and at the end, there is a party. "Down-Downs" (the chugging of beer) are part of the ceremonies, but the point is to have fun and to get some exercise, so hashers never force anyone to drink.
The Northboro Hash House Harriers is a bunch of people (mostly good-looking, suburban professionals and parents) who gather about once per month to take a strong dose of beer, exercise and laughter. Most all of our trails are between 3-6 miles, with 2 or more checks. We vary in age and running ability, from lean marathoners, to fat, slow joggers, to slothful, debaucherous walkers. We're active, fun-loving people that like to make new friends and are welcoming to new and old hashers from around the world.
"Think of the Hash as kind of a social filter for great friends. It weeds out the straight-laced, responsible people. The left-over misfits are Hashers."