Arizona Daily Star
Date Unknown (1997?)

Harriers' Run Would Make Any Fox Howl


Harriers' run would make any fox howl

The Arizona Daily Star
Date not available, sometime in 1997-98
By Tom Collins

'Dorky' red dresses are part of the fun

He's 5 feet 8 inches tall, wearing a red tennis shirt and a wig, standing in the MacFrugal's parking lot at North Sabino Canyon and East Tanque Verde roads.

He wants to be called Cheetah.

The 46-year-old University of Arizona professor is one of 50 red-dresses runners - male and female - who took part in yesterday's JHavelina Hash House Harriers red dress hash.

The hash run, which doesn't always include the red dress, is a 70 [60] year-old tradition based loosely on the English fox hunt. A hash involves several human "hares" being pursued by the "hashers" over several miles – with a stop for drinks along the way.


HOW TO HASH

"Hares" get a 15-minute head start and leave various hints and "hash marks" to distinguish their path. Penalties, which can be assessed for anything from being a caught hare to a first-time runner, are doled out in "down downs" - the drinking of 12 ounces of beer, soda or water.


The JHavelina Hash House Harriers is a 4-year-old Tucson club devoted to the sport.

Like many pastimes in which alcohol plays a role, the red dress hash has a hazy history. This is either the first time of the third the Tucson group hash donned dresses to run, depending on whom you ask.

Cheetah said the red dress is a trend sweeping through the hash run ranks that started with a San Diego event that drew 500 people.

"It's kind of a copycat thing," said Cheetah, who was given his nickname by others in the club.

Anyone who makes it through six runs earns a nickname, everything from Parachuting Peter (a 44 year-old engineer who once jumped naked from an airplane), to Communicable Disease, a former Marine named Ed Haley.

Haley earned his name doing hash runs while stationed in Okinawa, Japan, 19 years ago. Since then he hash run more than 500 hashes, including 221 in Tucson.

"It's more of a social club than anything," Haley said.

Wendy Tong, a Davis-Monthan flight doctor, met her husband at a Washington, D.C., hash. Yesterday she brought her stepson, Justin Ladrun, 12, who wore his red dress showing no sign of adolescent embarrassment.

"I did at first," Ladrun said, "but there are other people here who look worse than me."

The group runs Saturdays at 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. in the summer and 7 p.m. on full moon nights.

Hashers yesterday were hunting Tucson's Hash Master, the Long Ranger, his wife and another runner. The three planned to lead the others on about a five-mile run - including a stop at Hooters for a "beer check" - that would end in Tanque Verde Wash.

The Ranger's real name is Scott Devlin, 33, an Army ranger turned writer who runs ultra marathons in his spare time.

Other special hashes include Hash de Tucson, which is made up of back-to-back runs, and camping hashes, which involve one hash in the evening and one in the morning, Devlin said.

As for the dresses, Cheetah said: "If you didn't show up with a red dress you'd feel like a dork. If you do show up with a red dress you feel like a dork, but you look like everybody else."

There are about 1,300 active hash groups in the world today, representing every continent, according to the Global Trash Hash Bible.

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