do it as often as possible
Nelson County Times
by Jim Manner
More than 60 runners descended
on Crabtree Falls National Park Saturday, equipped
with running shoes and their own lingo. They
converged from at least four different states and
indulged themselves in the annual Hash House Harriers
The outing was a crossbreed of
social activity and ritual steeped in tradition.
Voices lifted in song at specific instances - festive
sings with off-color lyrics - and each person was
known by a "hash name."
"It's a great way to get a
little exercise without worry about, 'Oh, I'm not
fast enough to run with those guys,'" said
hasher August Zumbuhl of Virginia Beach, who is known
as "Coldcuts" to his hash friends.
"Hashing" - as the
participants refer to the running event - was formed
in 1938 by a detachment of the English military. The
event was first held in the Malaysian city of Kuala
Lampur and continues to have a strong military
Hashing is unique among running
activities. Whereas other runs follow a specific
course, hashing features challenging terrain and
"The whole thing is, a
couple people are the hares and they lay a trail of
flour and chalk," said Ed Howell of Quantico,
also known as "Hazukashii" (Japanese for
"bashful"). "They get a 15-minute
headstart, and all the other people who are there are
the pack ... and they follow the tracks."
There were true trails and
false trails that branched from various intersections
along the run. The true trail would span 4 to 6 miles
from start to finish, but additional distances could
be amassed by following false trails.
Howell specified that hashing
does not derive its name from any type of drug
involvement. A "hash house" was a 1930's
term for a restaurant, where the runners would
retreat after running the course.
Finding the 1990's version of a
hash house in Montebello would entail more mileage
than suffered during the run itself. This problem was
remedied in part when Howell asked his mother-in-law,
Barbara Otto of Montebello, to prepare a meal for the
group of 60-plus runners.
And how many meals can a single
women cook for 60-plus runners?
"Just one, thank God ...
and I've been cooking for three weeks now," Otto
said prior to the event.
"Down-downs" - form
of celebration - are held after each run. This is a
time to recognize runners who made a
"significantly dumb act" during the event
and honor longtime participants, according to
"Party Favor" Susan Jakuback of
"There's a lot of
socializing and a lot of partying," Jakubak
said. "people get invited to attend, and they
come back, and they come back, and they come