Who are these people and what do they have to do with improving our travel experience? I had never heard of such a group until I met a member sitting next to me on a plane. A fairly normal person, she and I spent hours talking and towards the end of our flight, she invited me to an HHH or H3 (Hash House Harriers) event. I resisted because she used the word runners and that would either mean drugs or worse yet, running! Neither of which I wanted to spend more time doing, quite frankly. But she continued to explain.
The Hash House Harriers were first formed by British troops in the late 1930s in Malaysia. They met on Monday evenings to go running for the purpose of getting rid of their weekend hangovers. They met at the hash house (dining hall) and went for a run and then they drank beer. OK, now I’m listening.
I’m skipping over some details here but fast forward and over the years, other groups formed and the movement earned the reputation of “the drinking group with a running problem.” Their original mantra according to Wikipedia was as follows:
- 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
It is said that once an unknowing female showed up at an event in a red dress. Realizing her misunderstanding, she ran the trail anyway and now they have Red Dress Events where everyone wears a red dress or the equivalent. They have other quirky ways such as branding each other with nicknames, performing drinking songs, and a few other strange rituals. But hey, what group worth joining doesn’t have a few quirks!?
Why is this group important and what do they have to do with travel? Well, when you’re traveling, you might find that hooking up with a local H3 group at your destination would be a nice alternative to spending the time alone in a foreign city. You don’t have to be a runner to join a gathering and the cost of entry is nominal, usually around $5. The groups are very welcoming, you’re assured a good time and it’s a great way to get to know some locals.
If you want to learn more about the Hash House Harriers, you can find several videos on YouTube including a Hash House Harriers tutorial.
To find groups in cities throughout the entire world go to: www.gotothehash.net.
Have you been hashing? Do you belong to an H3 group or hook up with H3 groups when you travel?
Christine Krzyszton lives in Northern Michigan and has been writing about her weekend adventures for over five years for weekly newsletters, a baby boomer blog and a regional men’s magazine. She is the author of How to see the World in a Weekend, available in print and KINDLE on Amazon.com. Christine currently has top status with three major airlines (AA, UA, and DL) and is working on a fourth (A3).