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Drinkers with a Running Problem

Drinkers with a Running Problem

I've heard about the Hash runs before, the group famously known for their tag line of 'drinkers with a running problem' but had never tried a run until coming to Bali.

Hash House Harriers or 'hashers' as they are called, have been doing this sort of thing  for decades being a non competitive social running club. Since 1938 was when it all began with a group of British colonial officer expatriates in Malaysia began meeting to rid themselves of the excess of the previous week, quite the oxymoron when at the end of each run they drink again.

The run takes after the traditional British paper chase and caught on, eventually spreading throughout the world. With traditions dating back to the 1950's of drinking beer, singing club songs and calling new participants virgins' the Hash House Harriers have recorded on the club registration their objectives as:

 

  • To promote physical fitness among our members
  • To get rid of weekend hangovers
  • To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
  • To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel

 

In Bali the run isn't just during the weekends. I'm not sure if it's because we get more hangovers with all the parties or not, but the hashers in Bali gather weekly. There are a total of 3 runs (Monday, Thursday and Saturday) on the island within a different location each time.

At a 'hash' a trail is laid by one or more members, usually consisting of one long and one short trial. Along the way you have to really keep your eyes peeled for the paper trail, periodically checking to make sure you're on the right track because often false trails, dead ends and splits are thrown in to throw off the hashers. You feel like the Alice chasing the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland as you follow paper trails, chalk signs and other markings while "On On" is screamed out by the participants periodically to give other members a clue in the right direction.

If your a new comer make sure to bring an extra change of clothes or pants as you're made to 'down down' the contents of your drink whilst sitting on a block of ice, as a group of adrenaline pumped runners sing for you to chug. And word of warning, new shoes are not exactly the best at this function as you may be made to drink from said shoe.  

So make sure to wear something you won't mind getting dirty, be comfortable and have fun. Its an opportunity to socialize, exercise and have a drink while observing a great tradition that takes you into nature for some breathtaking action and a great way to see parts of the island many don't on the beaten trails will never venture into. 

 For more information visit www.bali-hash.com on where they are running to next.  

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