The Hash House Harriers (H3), also known as the international drinking club with a running problem,
is an international running and social club that has its roots in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was founded in 1938 by a group of British expatriates who sought to enjoy a run and a social gathering after a weekend of partying. In 1950 the first official Hash registration was submitted in Kuala Lumpur after the city required all clubs to register. The “Basic” rules were:
This Association shall be known as the Hash House Harriers.
Its place of meeting shall be at any club or premises in Kuala Lumpur at which permission to meet has been obtained, and its address for correspondence shall be at 633 Circular Road, Kuala Lumpur, until further notice.
Its objectives are:
(a) to promote physical fitness amongst its members
(b) to get rid of weekend hangovers
(c) to acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it with beer
(d) to persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel
The club has since grown to over 2,000 chapters globally, with thousands of members in countries such as Australia, Canada, United States, South America and Europe. It is said to be the biggest social running club in the world.
The primary goal of the Hash House Harriers is to promote physical fitness and camaraderie among its members. The club’s events, known as “hashes,” involve participants following a pre-set trail through scenic or urban areas.
The trail is set by one or more “hares” who lay out a series of markers, such as flour or chalk, to guide the runners. The runners, known as “hounds,” follow the trail.
The hashes are also an opportunity for socializing, as participants often gather after the run for drinks, food, and conversation. The club has a unique culture, with its own traditions, jargon, and customs. For example, the club has a songbook filled with humorous and ribald songs that are sung at the post-run gatherings. Additionally, the club has its own system of awards and recognition, such as the “Down-Down,” which is a ceremonial drinking of beer to celebrate achievements such as completing a milestone number of hashes or to “punish” people.
The Hash House Harriers is an inclusive and welcoming club, open to runners of all abilities and backgrounds. Members range in age from 10 to 80 and include people from all walks of life, including professionals, students, and retirees. The club’s philosophy is to promote physical fitness and socializing, without the pressure of competition or performance. This makes the club an ideal place for people who enjoy running, but who may not want to participate in formal races or competitions.
The Hash House Harriers is also known for its charitable efforts.
Many chapters regularly organize events to raise money for local and international charities, such as disaster relief, environmental causes, and medical research. The club’s global reach and its commitment to charity have made it a positive force in the world.
The Brasilia Hash House Harriers (BH3) were founded in 1989 by diplomates from the Australian and English embassy. Over the years there were many restarts as unfortunately the Hash depends a lot on the individual Hasher that organizes the events, so if they move away - the Hash dies. The existing Hash was formed in 2012 and before the Corona lockdown measures in Brasilia attracted up to 50 participants. At the time of writing this, we have between 20 and 30 participants.
Besides the Hash, which happens every second Sunday, the BH3 have a weekly Stammtisch and organize every 3 month a Hashers – Not Trashers event were volunteers collect trash in and around Brasilia. And there is the yearly Weekend Away Hash in June that is very popular.
The Hash House Harriers are a unique and vibrant club that has been promoting physical fitness, camaraderie, and charitable giving for over 80 years. Its inclusive and welcoming culture, combined with its commitment to social good, make it an appealing option for people who enjoy running and want to be part of a supportive community. Whether you are a seasoned runner or a newcomer, the Hash House Harriers offers a unique and enjoyable way to experience the benefits of running and socializing.