Hash runners fall in love and wed in Penang’s tropical jungle


LOVE blossomed between American Robert Sawyer and Indonesian Diana Sihombing after a chance meeting during a jungle hike in the hills of Penang.

More than 18 months after saying ‘hello’ amid the island’s tropical vegetation, the lovebirds decided to say ‘I do’ and got married at Diana’s home in Medan on Dec 22.

But they were back where they started with a ‘wedding run’ in the jungle near the Penang Botanic Gardens on Tuesday.

With smiles and cheers of their friends from the Hash House Harriers, the groom appropriately donned a tuxedo above his running shorts while the bride looked chic in a thigh-length bridal dress, complete with veil and long gloves, made for the occasion.

Recalling their first encounter, Sawyer, 44, said they had gone for a run in the jungle separately and had unexpectedly crossed each other’s path.

Finding out that Diana was a keen runner, he introduced her to the Tuesday Hash Kakis, the chapter that he was part of that do their weekly runs on this day.

“Not everyone could make it to our wedding in Medan. So, we decided to celebrate it here with a Hash wedding run,” said Sawyer, who hails from San Francisco.

He has been running with the Hash chapter for about 10 years after moving to Penang.

Diana, 27, said her special ‘running gown’ was a gift from friends from two different Hash chapters.

“It’s very comfortable! No problem to run in,” added the hospitality management student, who has been here for over two years.

In true Hasher tradition, the couple, who turned heads in their unusual running attire, began their run with a toast of red wine.

At the end of the trail, the group kicked back with a few drinks in a non-traditional tea ceremony, before adjourning to Pulau Tikus for a dinner reception.

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