San Diego Magazine
September 1989, pp 42
By Judith C. Williamson
Perhaps you've seen them: On a
dark night in December, as you drove down Park
Avenue, scores of runners (all brandishing
flashlights) appeared from nowhere and swarmed down
into Balboa Park's trail-less canyons. Or, on a lazy
Friday evening in June, when more than 100 runners
all in full Hawaiian regalia stormed
past you in downtown P.B.
They're the Hash House
Harriers, and they've been staging more than 50
years. Local Hashers, active here for more than a
decade, base their runs (loosely) on a hounds and
hares-style cross-country chase and are usually in
costume. Despite their unlikely public displays,
they've kept a surprisingly low profile.
Not anymore. A recent annual
Interhash united many hundreds of
enthusiastic Hashers, from all over the globe, at the
Omni Hotel. What with four days of nonstop running
and revelry, 800 happy Hashers could not pass through
this town unnoticed.
Hashers readily admit health is
not their primary motivation they run for fun
and beer. Specifically, they run to a prearranged
site where ample food and drink await. The chug-a-lug
and chow-down finale is accompanied by amiable
roasting of newcomers and general carousing.
Though Hashers are by
definition noncompetitive, they are in fact a breed
apart, delighting in unusually challenging routes and
ever willing to boldly go where no one (sane) has
ever gone before. A typical hash run stretches over a
six- to eight-mile course, laid out by two
hares who mark their trail with chalk or
paper. Occasionally some of the hounds
catch the hares. In some countries (not America) the
hares must then complete the run san shorts.
Ready to hash? The San Diego
Hash welcomes all comers.