Well, it’s part running, part socialising, part drinking, part seeing and exploring new places. It’s sometimes referred to as a club for drinkers with a running problem. But, not all hashers drink either. The idea came about in Mayalsia just before the start of WWII as a way to stave off boredom and get some exercise.
The idea is, broadly, this: a hare or two lay a trail for the pack to follow. If laid well the trail should ensure that the pack stays together; checks allow the back runners, or walkers, to catch up and false trails mean that front runners, or walkers, become the tail-enders as the direction is reversed. A good trail will mean that most of the pack arrive back at the start point about an hour after they left. Due to false trails and other forms of mis-direction the fastest runners, or walkers, may have covered twice the distance of the slowest runners or walkers.
When everyone is back at the start there should be plenty of cold drinks to quench the thirst. Depending on the particular hash there may then be a gathering where crimes, real or imagined, are punished. Since the punishment usually amounts to downing yet another drink, alcoholic or not, whilst listening to the pack sing a silly song out of tune it’s usually taken in good spirit. There is often a similar process for welcoming back returners, bidding farewell to leavers and getting excited about the appearance of brand new hashers.
That’s how it works here in Cyprus; each hash is a little different and has it’s own customs, songs and quirky behaviour.
What is common across the Cyprus hashes is that they are friendly, they offer a chance to see new parts of the island, there’s plenty to drink to slake the thirst of a long run on a hot evening and there’s plenty of them. With some driving it is possible to hash every day of the week.
Hashes in Cyprus also tend to have a fairly high number of visitors; folks who hash at home and are over on holiday, people who fancy trying a hash but can’t find a suitable one at home, anyone who has moved to the island and is trying to widen their social circle. All are welcome: just find a hash that sounds like it’s in the right location and on the right day and turn up. If the you need more information on where the start point is then look for contact details on the appropriate “About” section above and drop someone an email or give them a call. They are hashers so they really won’t be surprised to get an email or call from someone they’ve never met before. That’s part of the ethos of hashing.