On Tuesday, April 26, Whistler Running Experience will host the second hash run of the season, and as always all runners of all abilities are invited to take part.
If youve never hashed before, a hash run is based on a British Colonial tradition that started back in 1938 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Deprived of their favourite pastime of hunting for hares, a local running group formed based out of a club they used to call the Hash House, and they created a "hounds and hare" race.
Every week the group would designate a member of the club, usually a fast runner, to be the hare. He would be given a short head-start, and would leave a trail of pieces of paper as he ran. The hounds would follow shortly afterwards, looking for the pieces of paper. When they found one they would shout to the other hounds, and theyd search in all directions until they found the next piece of paper. This would continue until the hare was eventually caught.
The format has changed slightly. Instead of a hare, many clubs use chalk or flour to pre-mark a course. Every time you hit a circle, the fast runners take off in all directions trying to find the next marker. Because the fast runners do most of the searching, slower runners have no trouble keeping up with the chase.
Some runs include a little moderate drinking during the race, and all of them finish with a social party.
Since then hash-harrier clubs have sprouted up around the world. Its estimated that there are about 800 hash runs ever week.
"Basically its just about getting people together, getting a bit of exercise and having some fun," said Duncan Munro of Whistler Running Experience. "The slower runners finish first, the fastest runners cover all kinds of ground chasing dead-ends, and everybody has a good time. Its not about having the fast splits or the best time, its about having fun."
Between 30 and 60 people turn out for each race. This weeks race will take place on the Lost Lake Park trails.
To take part, meet at 5:30 p.m. at Escape Route. The cost is $5 to enter, which includes some post-race refreshments.
Hash runs will be held the last Tuesday of every month through the summer.