The Gazette Telegraph
June 1, 1993

Talk About Making a Mad Dash

Talk About Making a Mad Dash!

Twisting Trail Leads Madcaps to Hash House

The Gazette Telegraph
Tuesday, June 1, 1993
By Joe Hrbek


Terry Weathers polished off his first margarita of the run and posed the question many of his colleagues probably were wondering:

“Do I have to run another lap to get another drink?”

Weathers had just circled part of Prospect Lake – barely distance enough to break a sweat – and already he was wondering where he would find the next refreshment.

Weathers asked the question in jest, but he clearly was participating in the run for reasons other than getting into shape.

He was there to party, to meet new people and to discover parts of Colorado Springs on foot that he'd never seen before.

He was there as a Hash House Harrier, immersed in a crowd of 30 or so men, women and children who are part of a growing international fraternity of recreational atheletes.

In the Pikes Peak region, the Harriers gather for runs twice a month.

There are six chapters in Colorado; worldwide, there are more than 700.

Hashing began in 1938 in Malaysia and was brought to the United States largely by returning military men and women.

It now exists in more than 100 countries around the world, and some hashers travel from town to town and country to country like rock fans following the Grateful Dead.

Auckland, New Zealand, will host next year's international hash in February.

Sport Developed from old English game

Hashing is based on the old English game of hares and hounds. Before the run, two hares set up a course using flour markings as guiding points.

The hounds follow the courses through malls, down ski runs, and over trails, overcoming false markings set up as decoys.

And along the way, there is at least one resting point to take in the sights, grab a beer, show off a costume, meet a new member or catch a breath.

The finish line, usually a park or participant's back yard where beverages and barbecue await, is the ultimate goal. The course and the final destination can be as unique and creative as the hares who create them.

“We've ended up in a lot of bars and livened them up,” says Bob Hough retired truck driver and a senior member of the group who has participated in about 100 hashes.

“I'd probably be watching TV if I wasn't here today.” Said Kelly Willard, 29, at a recent hash. “We get to see more of the city, and a lot more of the parks. There's lots of Manitou Springs you can't see from a car.”

Bob Campbell, another senior member of the Pikes Peak chapter, has his own reasons for hashing.

“It keeps the joints lubricated.” He said.

The hashes attract all ages, genders, and athletic abilities.

Randy Mimm, a core member, was a competitive race walker.

Dave Garrison is an ultramarathon runner who, believe it or not, see similarities between a 100 mile race and a leisurely hash.

“They're a lot the same,” Garrison said after legging a 32-mile training run on and around Pikes Peak before joining a hash earlier this month. “How can you take an ultramarathon serious, and how can you take a hash serious?”

The course can pose challenges beyond jogging to the next beer cooler.

Jill Sarff, a frequent runner who works in space operations at Cheyenne Mountain, recalled a hash earlier this month that required a good deal of endurance and even some two-hand, two-feet hill-climbing ability.

After the run, she said, “my ankle was killing me.:

Lest they start to get too serious, however, organizers will throw in an easier hash like this weekend's, which produced more resting points and margaritas than it did mileage.

Strange faces appear in strange places

Despite all the good intentions, the sheer weirdness of the events can produce uncomfortable situations.

In Dallas this year, hashers were seen spreading white power in minority sections of the city.

Police investigated the power spreading as a hate crime because the course lead through a predominantly black apartment complex.

Residents of the complex charged that the hashers were “skinheads”, and Dallas police tested the powder to make sure it wasn't an illegal drug.

The Pikes Peak chapter has escaped similarly severe controversies, but with its course markings, strange costumes and parade-like processions, the group has raised some eyebrows.

“People think that we're defacing their property,” Mimm said, “but the next rain, it's gone.”

For more indormation about the harriers call 576-0331.

Cut Line: SPORTS: INSIDE: HASHING THINGS OVER: Photo: Shoes in one hand, thirst quencher in another, Pat Weathers leaves the party as fellow Hash House Harriers gather at the end of a recent run. The Harriers gather for runs twice a month. Complete report/C6

Photo: From left, Liz Shannon, Anna Hanson, Jill Sarff and Mike Teller of the Hash House Harriers make their way around Prospect Lake. Runners follow a course laid out by two fellow club members and the trail always includes at least one stop for rest, relaxation and a choice of liquid refreshment.

Photo: Bob Campbell, also known as “Barnacle Bob,” uses a bugle to help the Hash House Harriers find the correct route during a recent run through the city. The group has six chapters in Colorado.

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