The Mercury
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
January 29, 2000

Adding a dash of panache
in the run-up to Hash bash

 
By ANNE BARBELIUK

THEY call him Hash Potato, but he's anything but stodgy.

The Texas Hash House Harrier, the first of the 4000 strong international contingent to arrive in Hobart, travels non-stop around the world for Hash meets.

"I am a Hash gypsy. I follow the hash wherever it goes," he explained.

Hash Potato is here to help social running club Hobart Hash Harem prepare for Interhash 2000 in February.

The 15-year Hash veteran has run with Harriers through North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

He has lost count of the actual number of countries he has run through, but will never forget turning up for a meet in Turkey immediately after the devastating earthquake last August.

Unperturbed, Hash Potato volunteered to erect tents for the hundreds of Turkish homeless.

And he also found time for the run

He has run past the Rock of Gibraltar and through guerrilla warfare in Guatemala.

But one of his most intriguing experiences was turning up in Melbourne on the day of the Melbourne cup.

"There were no cars on the street and people were drinking champagne at 8am - I thought 'This is my sort of town'," he said.

Wherever he goes in the world, Hash Potato - those real name is Richard Montamat - knows he'll find fellow Harriers and Harriettes.

"The Hash is like a family to me. I could call up a Hasher and they would get me out of jail - but if I called my family they might not show up," he joked.

But seriously, Hash Potato said the contacts he had created through social running around the world were invaluable.

 

First of thousands: Hash Potato in Hobart to Herald Interhash 2000 in February. Picture: FRED KOHL

"If I wanted to set up a set of contacts like this it would cost millions, it's an incredible asset," he said.

The chemical engineer said he originally joined the Houston Hash House Harriers because he was looking for company after splitting up with his wife.

But since then he has grown to appreciate the Hash for its own sake.

"I love the satire and the parody. The Hash makes fun of conventional mores of society... they tease each other unmercifully," he said.

As the first international visitor to arrive for Interhash 2000, Hash Potato warn that thousands more are following his farcical footsteps.

"There's Slum Bag, Mighty Mouse, Torpedo Tits," he continues... and the long list degenerates and therefore cannot be printed.

Other articles on Interhash 2000:
The Mercury - 19 Jan 00 (Red, set, go for wardrobe clean-out)
The Mercury - 10 Feb 00 (Smash fails to stop big Hash bash)

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