What if I can't keep up?
I get this question (or some form of it) *all the time* from newcummers. Listen, we are hashers. We are the lowest form of runner. If all the various running/athletic clubs in the world had a relay race, the Hash team would be dead fucking last (DFL!) every single time. But we’d also have the most fun on the way to the finish line, if we were even able to find it. Yes, we have some fast people, but we also have plenty of slower runners and walkers, and the whole point of the hash is to have them run a trail that ensures everyone reaches the checkpoints at roughly the same time – no one gets left behind.
How do you stay together?
In a lot of words: Generally, about 2 people (the hares) lay a trail of chalk and flour that leads to beer/liquor/refreshments, and it is up to everyone else (the hounds) to follow the trail in order to find the beer. The trail will involve some marks and tricks that specifically cause the faster runners to run a bunch of false trails. For example, a “Check” means the trail can go in any direction from that point, and there are a lot of them on trail. So the first few people to the Check have to spread out and guess which way the trail goes (the true trail will have 3 marks after the Check). By the time they figure out which way it goes and mark the correct direction, the slower people may have caught up and will just skip straight to the true trail. There are plenty of other marks that serve a similar function and really only slow down the front running bastards (FRBs!). And if you’re still having trouble keeping up, one or several other hashers will hang back with you – no problem.
What should I expect at my first hash?
Aside from all the running and drinking described elsewhere on this page, be prepared for a lot of crude, vulgar humor, intrusive questions about your masturbation habits, downing a beverage in front of a bunch of singing idiots, possibly even seeing some nudity... etc. You know, basic running club stuff. This group certainly isn’t for everyone (i.e. the easily offended), but we're a pretty progressive bunch, so we try to keep things vaguely PC here. If you can handle the above and your personality is more of the “that’s what she said” type, you’ll probably have a lot of fun and a lot of laughs.
How many people hash here?
Between Facebook and Meetup, we have nearly 1000 members, with some overlap of course. Most of our attendance comes from Facebook nowadays (note to Meetup people: there may only be 2-3 RSVPs, but another dozen will show up from the Facebook group). We've randomly had as many as 30 and as few as 6 people show up to hashes in the past, but our average hovers around 12-15 people per hash.
Where is everybody?
Hashers are not known for their punctuality. If you get to a 4:00pm event at 4:00 on the nose, you’re probably the first one there. The trail doesn't actually start until about 30 minutes after the posted start time; we usually hang out a bit beforehand and have a beer (or several). Wait a few minutes and we’ll start trickling in. We’re generally the weirdest looking people at the establishment. Look for people wearing kilts, knee-high socks, a plunger, a large pink chain, costumes, or just running gear in general. If all else fails, yell “R U?!” and if there are hashers in earshot, you will find them quickly.
How long are the trails?
Our trails are usually 3-5 miles, with the average being around 4. Thursday night (full moon) hashes are shorter - usually 2-4 miles. There is a lot of stopping on the way, and you probably won't go more than about 2 miles without some sort of stop with refreshments (and usually water) where everyone will regroup.
How long does a hash last?
It really depends on the hares, the length of the trail they lay, and how many stops are along the way. On average, a trail usually lasts about 2-3 hours start to finish. After the hash, most of us will usually hang out at a nearby bar for a while.
Do I have to run? Can I walk?
Most hashers run or lightly jog, but we usually have a group of walkers on trail as well. If you can maintain a pace just barely over a speed-walk between stops, you'll keep up with the runners just fine. But walking is fine too, and we will often lay a “turkey trail” for our walkers, which usually just shortcuts the “eagle trail” at some point to get you caught up. A good eagle trail will usually keep the walkers pretty close to the runners anyway.
How strenuous is a hash?
Not very, unless you're trying to "win" the hash (spoiler: there are no winners). If you're heaving and panting, you're probably trying too hard. Although you might go 2 miles (usually less) between stops, it's not just 2 straight miles of running. There's lots of stopping at Checks (see above) while you wait for the FRBs to solve the trail, as well as other fun marks that slow you down.
I'm a good runner; will this be too easy?
Run as fast or slow as you want. The fast bastards up front will hit all the false trails and might end up running 5-6 miles on a 4-mile trail. Those who choose to can be running constantly between beer stops, and many of us do. Run fast and you'll get a workout (and maybe an extra beer at the end).
Do I have to drink?
At no point will you be forced or coerced to drink (some hashers don't drink at all). However, it might be encouraged at certain points; after all, we are known as a “drinking club with a running problem”. Water is (almost) always available at our stops if you just don’t want alcohol. Plus, we often tend to have other flaccid drinks in the coolers, like pop, LaCroix, and even non-alcoholic beer, but we don't guarantee it. Nondrinkers pay $5 instead of $7 Hash Cash.
Wait, you drink BEFORE you run!?
Yep! Most will have a beer or two before, during, and after. But how much and when you drink is totally up to you. You may be surprised, but running with a little booze in your belly really isn't bad at all (in fact, many of us prefer it to boring old sober running).
What if I don’t drink beer?
Our coolers are generally stocked with 3 things: beer, hard cider (or, increasingly, hard seltzer), and water. There tends to be some random liquor and soda kicking around our coolers from old stops as well, but not always. If you don’t/can’t drink any of those, you’ll have to supply your own (some hashers bring those mini bottles of liquor or wine with them). You can carry it with you or, if you get it to the hares early enough, they can add it to the coolers before the hash for you. Sorry, but we do not take individual requests to stock our coolers with drinks you like, nor do we reimburse you for bringing your own (but we will charge you less; see below). That’s just too complicated and expensive.
What is Hash Cash and how much do I owe?
Virgins (first timers) and hares hash for free. Everyone else pays $7 Hash Cash before each hash to pay for beer, cider, water, trail materials, websites, and other hash-related expenses (for example, our Meetup.com group costs $200 per year). If you are not drinking any hash-supplied booze, Hash Cash is $5. No cash? You can also PayPal it to us.
"Hash"? As in the drug?
No. The Brits who started Hashing in 1938 in Malaysia lived in a building known as the "Hash House", named for its food. They invented a drunken game of hare and hounds, and so they became the "Hash House Harriers". Although recreational marijuana is legal in Illinois now, it is not provided by this group. If herbs are more your style, go ahead and bring your own, but you're on your own to find somewhere appropriate to do it (i.e. don't light up in the middle of our group in public).
Can/should I bring a friend?
Sure. Anyone over 21 can show up; we have no explicit membership restricting that. Bring a buddy (bring six!) or show up alone. Your call. (But if you actually are bringing six newbies, give us a heads up to make sure we have enough beer to go around.)
Can I bring my dog?
First and foremost, only if your dog is very well-behaved and can handle crowds of strangers and other dogs. There will be a group of drunk hashers who all want to pet and love on your dog, so make sure he can deal with that non-violently. If your dog bites/barks/growls at people or other dogs, leave them at home. Secondly, ask the hares on the event page if the hash is dog friendly - the establishments visited before, during, and after trail might not allow dogs (most don’t around here, but bars that don't serve food usually do). But if you’re comfortable leaving them outside for a bit, go for it.
Can I bring my kid?
In a stroller? That's on you, but you might be doing some off-roading - ask the hares first. Out of a stroller and under 21? Short answer: no; but we can address it on a case-by-case basis. Ask MisManagement.
What's a Full Moon Hash?
Full Moon Hashes are generally run at night on the Thursday closest to the full moon. The only real difference is that they are usually shorter (closer to 3-4 miles), so they won't last quite as long because people have shit to do Friday. They're also run in the dark, so bring a light. For no good reason other than tradition, they are titled after the names old European settlers gave to each month's full moon. It generally does not correspond to a theme, so no need to show up to the Full Beaver Moon Hash dressed as a beaver (but we'd love it if you did).
What should I wear to a hash?
We recommend wearing whatever you'd normally go for a run in, given the current weather. Jeans and work boots will not do you any favors. If it's cold, dress warm, especially regarding gloves/socks - remember, you're working up a sweat running, but you will likely also be standing still holding a cold beer outside for 20-30 minutes at certain points. Traditional hash attire often includes kilts, knee-high socks, and other stuff that makes us stand out and look ridiculous, but that's obviously a personal call.
What should I bring to a hash?
Every Facebook/Meetup event page should have a "what to bring" section, but it's almost always the same. That is, you should always bring an ID proving that you're 21 and $7.00 Hash Cash (or PayPal it), along with money for before/after the hash. Whistles and drinking vessels are recommended but not required. If the hash starts within 2-3 hours of sunset, you should probably bring a headlamp or flashlight. If it's hot out, bring some form of hydration (most people don't need it, but bring it anyway if you're unsure). If it's super cold, consider tossing some hand warmers into your gloves.
What if it’s raining/snowing/freezing/earth…quaking?
We hash all year-round, including winter, somewhat regardless of weather. There are a few conditions that we generally do not hash in, but we try our best not to cancel hashes unless the weather will potentially cause harm to hashers or result in the trail being erased/buried immediately. In that case, we usually just have 'drinking practice' at the bar and skip the trail. The number one condition we do not hash in is freezing rain, which will not only erase the trail, but will give hashers hypothermia as they slip and fall on their asses. Extreme cold/wind chill/blizzards and severe thunderstorms/torrential downpours also tend to result in us skipping trail. But if it’s just 15° with some snow on the ground, we’re probably still hashing.
What’s the general demographic? Will I fit in?
We welcome everyone over 21, regardless of demographic, as long as you're not an asshole. Some FUCH3rs are 21, others are retired. The median age is probably around 30. We have quite a few students and a decent split of men/women (speaking of decent splits... something about your mom). We are a very open/tolerant group and welcome all ages, races, religions, LGBTQ people, etc. (but if you’re super-duper religious/can’t take a joke/easily offended, you might not enjoy our group). Hatred, racism, violence, intolerance, sexism, homophobia, or any form of harassment or discrimination is not welcome here.
What's with the weird nicknames?
The premise behind the Hash House Harriers was partly to allow military officers to drink and exercise with their subordinates. Using aliases allowed them to do so by giving them "plausible deniability" since they would not know the actual name/rank of their fellow Hashers. Here (and in most non-military locations), Hash Names are just a tradition, a rite of passage, and a means of maintaining some level of anonymity (some of us don't want our Hash life leaking into our professional life). They are assigned by your fellow Hashers in recognition of an embarrassing story, accomplishment, character flaw, etc. and are rarely "safe for work." We generally will not consider naming you until you’ve been to at least 5 hashes and hared a trail*. Until you are assigned a name, you are known as "Just [your first name]".
*Note: we never OWE you a name. Want to get named? Don't blend into the woodwork. Stand out, participate, tell a joke/embarrassing story, etc.
Is this a cult?
No, cults respect their leadership.
- A-A - trail ends where it started.
- A-A' ("A to A-prime") - trail ends within reasonable walking distance of the start.
- A-B - trail ends far from the start; additional transportation plans might be necessary.
Some hash terms and other things hashers say
- Circle - The ending ceremony where stupid people drink for stupid reasons.
- Dead Trail - Hares laid the whole trail before the hash started.
- DFL - Dead Fucking Last (last person in).
- Eagle Trail - The standard shitty runner trail.
- FRB - Front Running Bastard (first person in).
- FUCH3r - The official demonym for the First Urbana-Champaign Hash House Harriers.
- Hare - A person laying the trail.
- Hound - Everyone following the trail.
- Kennel - What a local "chapter" of HHH is known as.
- Live Trail - Hares are laying the trail "live" with a h*ad start.
- MisManagement (MM) - The group of losers who poorly manage this club.
- Nerd Name - A hasher's real name.
- On-Out - The start of the trail.
- On-One! - The hasher has found one mark after a check.
- On-Two! - The hasher has found two marks after a check.
- On-On! - The hasher has found 3 marks and, presumably, the true trail.
- On-In - The end of the trail.
- On-After - The after-party location.
- Prelube - Boozy activities occurring prior to a hash.
- RU?! - Yelled by a hasher to check whether another is on trail (i.e. seeing marks).
- Shiggy - anything on trail that makes you slip, fall, bleed, get dirty/wet, etc. (e.g. thorns, creeks).
- Turkey Trail - A shorter, easier trail laid for walkers.