Monday, November 21

I almost caught the hare!

True trail! (This means you're going the right way.)
When I moved to Florida, I joined a Hares and Hounds running club for the first time.

For those of you who are wondering what the heck a Hares and Hounds run is, here's a brief explanation:
  • A group of runners meet at a pre-determined location.
  • One or two runners take off with a head start (usually 15 minutes) to mark a trail. We will call these runners the Hares.
  • The remaining runners (aka Hounds) follow the trail left by the Hares.
  • The trail - often marked with flour or chalk - may take twists, turns, or lead to dead-ends. These trail "tricks" serve two purposes -- to keep the group together (faster runners are more likely to hit dead-ends and have to back track) and to keep the Hounds from catching the Hares! (This is foreshadowing...)
  • The Hounds yell to one another. Loudly. (So please don't call the police if you see a pack of adults running through your neighborhood yelling things like "Are you?" and "On-on!" They don't bite. Usually.)
  • Generally there is at least one stop for refreshments somewhere along the trail. This gives slower runners and wrong-turners a chance to catch up. Hashing is a team sport with the goal that everyone finishes at roughly the same time.
  • At the end of the trail, there is a celebration, complete with libations. (Because, after all, hashers belong to "a drinking club with a running problem.")
  • The level of bawdiness and difficulty of the trail varies widely from group to group. (The group I run with is PG-13, which suits me just fine.)
There are several more thorough explanations of Hare and Hound runs on the interwebs. With each Hash, I learn a bit more about the traditions (because there are no "rules" only traditions), but I'm still new at this.

Yesterday's Hash was particularly excellent.

The trail wound through a playground. Two very observant girls on swings were happy to tell us which way the Hares had gone! (Thanks, ladies!)

Hubby and I ran to the meeting location, rather than driving, so we could partake in the libations. Mid-run beer disadvantage: beer burps while sprinting. Mid-run beer advantage: Forgetting that your feet are still blistered from last weekend and running all-out... Which leads to the most exciting news of all:

I very nearly caught one of the Hares!!!
This is huge.
Catching a Hare is rare.
Unfortunately for me, the Hare slipped through my fingers by sprinting into oncoming traffic on a busy road to escape capture! (Don't try this at home, kids!)
But ohhh... I was so close!
It gives me incentive to run even faster next time!


Have you ever done a Hares and Hounds run?


  1. That sounds like SO much fun! I wish there was a club like that in Philly!

  2. really sounds fun...i've heard of hash runs, but I had no idea what it was about! Going to google it to see if there is one in my area!

  3. @Kristin - There is! I have been shocked to find out how many places have HHH (Hash House Harriers) or Hares & Hounds groups:

    Let me know if you try it out! (Same to you, BreathOfSunshine!)

    Two bits of advice:
    1 - Read a group's description before you show up. Some groups are more rowdy than others, but they're all pretty good about letting you know what their particular sense of humor is like.

    2 - Never, ever show up in brand new shoes! New-looking is OK. If it's your 1st run in the pair, you might be drinking out of a shoe after the run. ;)

  4. Holy cow that is funny - I would love to have a group like that here!

  5. Sounds like great fun. Well done you! :)

  6. That sounds SO FUN! I love that idea. What a cool way to make running fun (not that running isn't always fun, but you know!)


Penny for your thoughts?