During the 19th century some British schools developed a running sport known as a "Hare and Hounds Chase" or "Paper Chase". The basis of this sport was similar to the sport hunting of the time, in which dogs were used to hunt down a hare. In the school version the hares and hounds were replaced by people. The hare(s) would be given a head start and would mark a trail using paper or flour or some other material. Shortly thereafter the rest of the group, the hounds, would attempt to follow the trail and catch the hare. Thus developed the "Hare and Hounds Chase".
The Hash House Harriers is a hare and hound chase club started by British Expatriates in Malaysia in 1938. The name "Hash House Harriers" came from the Harrier, a type of hunting dog, and the Hash House, a nickname given to the Selangor Club in Kuala Lumpur where the expats ate poor quality food they described as "hash" after their runs. Since the founding of the Hash House Harriers, the group has spread and formed many hundreds of chapters across the world, and can be found in almost every country on Earth. San Diego contains one of the most active groups of Hash House Harriers in the world, with runs happening several nights per week.
Essentially a running sport, the basis of a typical modern "hash run" can be described as follows: the "hare(s)" get a 15 minute head start and mark a trail using flour. The flour represents the "scent" of the hare that the hounds have to follow in order to track down and "snare" the hare. In order to fool the hounds and avoid being caught, the hare may mark trail across rough terrain known as "shiggy", which slows the passage of the hounds. The hare may also use "checks", places where the direction of the trail is uncertain and the hounds have to find the direction the hare went. Also along the trail are "beer checks" for the hounds to gain refreshment, which is usually some beer and water hidden somewhere along the trail. These beer checks also allow the hare some time to escape. If the hounds, or "pack", catches the hare then it is no big deal, they don't devour them, but merely wait a few minutes for the hare to get a head start again, but the "snare" is noted. After about 3-4 miles of trail the pack arrives at the ending of the run, which is known as the "On-In". Often the ending is at the same location where the run started. Once at the On-In everyone eats food and drinks beer, and the hares and hounds are honored with "down-downs" for their achievements on the trail by making them drink a beer while the pack sings short dirty drinking songs to them. Typically the location of the start of the run is random and is posted online. Runs usually start at the same time each day. The ending of the run is often a mystery and the pack has to follow the trail to find the ending location.
Once a month on a Tuesday, one particular chapter of the Hash House Harriers starts and ends at the Green Flash brewery in Mira Mesa, the Green Flash hash House Harriers. The hare(s) leave at 6:15pm each time, and the pack follows 15 minutes later, attempting to follow the trail and snare the hare. After the run the group meets at a private location within the brewery and has food and beer and then begins the honoring of the hares and pack with "down-downs".
New people to "the Hash" are usually known by their "mortal" names, but after 6 runs with the Hash House Harriers people are given nicknames, often involving sexual innuendo, and thus become fully fledged members of the hash, or "Hashers" as they are known.
The next running of the Green Flash Hash House Harriers will be at 6:15pm on Tuesday May 28th. The cost is $8, which includes enough tickets for 2 beers or 4 tasters at the brewery, plus enough food to fill your belly. It's the best deal for food and beer that you will find anywhere.
Anyone is welcome to show up, meet in the tasting room of the brewery shortly before the run and pay your money. Expect to run 3-4 miles, or short cut back to the brewery if you cannot do the whole trail or get lost. The hares may offer longer and shorter trails that you can take based on your running ability. After the run we will meet in a private area of the brewery for food and beer and "down-downs". Be sure to tell people that "Dr.Dave" made you come