EVEN the rain came to a stop to make way for the Royal Sungei Ujong Club (RSUC) Hash House Harriers inaugural 7.5km run through the scenic route surrounding the club in Seremban recently.
The rain, which showed no signs of letting up a few hours before the run, slowed to a trickle just before the Harriers and Hariettes set off on the trail off the beaten path.
More than 100 hashers showed up for the run and it being a working day, many were seen frantically changing from their shirts and ties into more appropriate running gear.
Virgin hashers (as novices are referred to) mingled freely with more experienced hashers, some of whom had travelled from Johor, Malacca, Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya just to take part in the run.
Hash runs organised by hash groups which are social and drinking clubs are meant to be fun and non-competitive.
“We like to call ourselves a drinking club with a running problem. It’s all about having a good time, camaraderie and the hash spirit,” quipped RSUC HHH member Chris Bell.
The run was also a family affair as some hashers brought their spouses and children.
Austrian expatriate Max Missbichler completed the run with his three-month-old son Melvin strapped to his chest and his wife Anna by his side.
“This was one of the best runs I’ve had especially since I had my wife and baby with me,” he said after the run.
Like Missbichler, experienced hashers Girish Kumar and his wife Shayamala Devi also ran with their children Haarish, 15 and Harshini, 13 in tow.
“Hashing is great fun. It beats working out at the gym and you get to enjoy the run with your family and also meet new friends,” said Shayamala.
The run took the hashers up and down hills, past a river, through a little kampung and to the famous hilltop Then Sze Khoon Chinese temple popularly known as the Centipede temple before ending at the club.
Hashers followed a paper trail route laid out by the “hares” who are the people who set the run.
The run ended with what is called a “circle” where runners sang hash songs and took part in fun games that added to the merriment.
RSUC president Bernard Kanny said his committee decided to go give the go-ahead for the club’s first hash team after receiving many requests from members who were also hashers.
“Health and wellness activities are one of our key priorities here and we want to encourage our members to be more sports-minded.
“It was also a great opportunity for members to wind down after a long work week and have some fun with like-minded people,” he said.
Kanny also added that the club had recently hosted national squash champion Ong Beng Hee who conducted a squash workshop there last month for members and their guests.
“It’s all part of our initiative to get members involved in healthy pursuits. By conducting sports workshops, we may be able to develop new sporting talent among our members, especially the younger generation,” he said.