I ran, I drank, and I survived Hash.

Warning: if you are easily offended, do not click the links and more importantly, do not go to a Hash run. Like ever. You have been warned.

Because I am an amazing friend (and Dannica begged and begged me) I went on my first Hash run last week.

Hash is an international group — a “drinking club with a running problem.” It’s non-competitive running club that can be found in most cities around the world. It’s like an exclusive club that’s open to everyone… if you are brave enough!

Just imagine 50+ adults running, drinking, and acting totally crazy on a Wednesday night. That’s Hash. 

Last Wednesday, I went with Dannica (who goes regularly) to the Portland Wednesday Hash group, known as the Portland Humpin’ Hash House Harriers. And honestly, it was one of the most insane times of my life. For $5, I had an intense Wednesday night!

One of the best parts is that you never know what trail or route you are taking. The race leaders, known as the hares, dictate where the path is with flour. They leave false trails to dead ends, in which you have to find your way back to the right path. When someone yells “on on,” you know you are one the right trail. It’s an insane game of follow the leader, and no one knows where the leader is.

Along the way (after many creative/dirty/preverse songs), you stumble upon beer checks. There, everyone comes together, and drinks some beer. And then onward you go… Be prepared for other checks… let’s just say they involve body parts… (sorry people, I keep this blog strictly PG-13)

At the end of run, you have what they call religion which consists of food, kegs, crazy songs, and drinking rituals.

Dannica promised me it was just going to be a 3 mile trail run (haha). 7.5 miles later, I had completed my first Hash! The hares had us running on the freeway, through public parks, in tall grass fields, through a graveyard of moving trucks, and down steep hills. One point we were in a marsh, which was where the first beer check was. Mosquitos apparently love me…

There are all of these crazy rules that they have during their weekly runs. When Dannica was informing me of all the rules, I had a mild panic attack!

For starters:

  • If you are new, they will refer to you as a virgin. You will also wear a bright orange vest that says “virgin” on the back.
  • If you are a virgin to Hash, you must state your name as “Just ____.” So for the entire night, I was Just Roya.
  • Everyone in Hash has a name. All very creative and extremely dirty. Never refer to your friend by their real name.
  • Don’t talk about work.
  • Don’t wear your brand new Nike frees. If they think your shoes are too clean, they will make the person you brought you drink beer from your shoe.
  • Everyone new has to go through this ritual at the end. Just be prepared to finish your beer and hold your cup over your head…
  • Have fun!

Even though the rules were intense, and I didn’t know what was happening most of the time, I had a blast. Everyone was super nice and you can tell they are all a tight-knit group.

I left the run exhausted, muddy, sweaty, and a little buzzed!

It’s definitely something that I think most of my friends should do. If you are up to trying something new (and you aren’t offended easily!), then you should do it! It’s an experience, and if you are brave enough, it’s totally a fun way to spend a Wednesday night running/drinking/debauchery-ing with new friends.

There are different Hash groups from Monday-Thursday around Portland, check out the calendar to find one near you!

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