WTF is Hashing? Cedar Key, Florida

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I glanced at my Facebook one last time before heading out on the road to Florida.

“Also on New Years day we will be hashing, so bring a comfortable pair of running shoes. The theme of the hash is All Holidays attire meaning you dress according to your favorite holiday.”

Wait, what?

WTF is hashing?

A small giggle escaped from my sisters lips as she quickly googled it.

Hashing . . . it’s a mixture of athleticism and sociability, hedonism and hard work, a refreshing escape from the nine-to-five dweebs you’re stuck with five days a week. Hashing is an exhilaratingly fun combination of running, orienteering, and partying, where bands of harriers and harriettes chase hares on eight-to-ten kilometer-long trails through town, country, and desert, all in search of exercise, camaraderie, and good times. –

“Have fun with that.”

I was a bit baffled. What exactly did we get ourselves into?! Running? I just started my Couch to 5k program so I wasn’t exactly comfortable with running… but in conjunction with partying – I think I can do that.

So we stuffed a few things into our already full suitcase and didn’t think much of it.

Come New Years day, we rouse our partially hungover selves around 11am to prepare for the “early” hash at 1pm.

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Gratuitous picture of Cedar Key.

Shaun is full of mystery as he disappears for a while collecting his costume. I quickly put on an orange shirt and black leggings.

“Look! I’m Halloween!”

“You’re not just wearing that are you?” Maria smirks. She rustles up some black electrical tape and we quickly turn my shirt into a jack-o-lantern making my already rotund belly a perfect fit.

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What I didn’t realize at the time is that hashing is a culture. It is a way of life to addicted hashers.

Maria is the 4th of July. Complete with an American flag shirt and red white and blue coming out the hoohah (not really but you get the point) all topped with a PBR tropical straw hat.

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Brian was Saint Patty’s. He even gave himself a festive trucker beard to go with it. With a painted green mohawk and a green beard to go with his prized Saint Patty’s drinking run shirt, he was ready for his hash.

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…but Shaun was still nowhere to be seen.

We arrived to the meet-up spot and Shaun opens up the trunk. He starts grabbing out a couple of branches and a massive palm frond while sticking them in pockets, in his belt, and out his pants.

“Look! I’m arbor day!”

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What a motley crew we were. 2 Talk like a Pirate Days, a May Day, A Monster Easter Bunny, 2 normal people and the four of us.

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So hashing in a Readers Digest version is something like a hunting dog game. You, the runners are the dogs. The people running away from you are the hares (or in this case, the harriettes). They leave various markers around town in flour to send you on trails. Sometimes the trail is false but when the trail is hot, screams of “ON-ON!” and whistles tell you where to go, like hounds howling over a scent.



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A quick explanation of the trail markers.

There are beer checks where you have to chug beers.
There are shot checks where you have to take shots.
There are tick checks where you have to strip down “and make sure no one has ticks” (which does need to be done sometimes).
There are joke checks in which people need to stop and tell jokes.

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So we were a hot mess running down the streets of Cedar Key (a community of 100 people) doing a scavenger hunt dressed as random holidays… beers in hand.

“Did anyone care to check the open container laws?” May Day asked.
“I don’t think anyone cares.” I said.

We clinked our Bloody Marys and slowly made our way to the end of the chase.

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“What is your mother hash?!” cried Maria.

Shaun and I look at each other confused.

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May Day stuffing more branches into Shaun’s pants.

“The Titty Hash!” (Also known as the Trailer Trash hash – har har we are in an RV park)

Was it worth running 6 miles that day? Yes.
Would I do it again? You bet’cha.

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But next time I know what to expect. Future hashers beware – I guarantee there will be another one of these things on Over Yonderlust.

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5.17 miles at a beer check.


28 Responses to “WTF is Hashing? Cedar Key, Florida”

  1. Debby and Bill January 23, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    soooo great to meet you guys and turn you on to hashing!!

    • Erica January 23, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

      Thanks for leading it Debby! It was so much fun!

  2. Brian January 23, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    You’ve definitely managed to capture the spirit of hashing…especially the still pic of me dancing and whistling.

    • Erica January 23, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

      I couldn’t help it. I had to add it!

  3. Steph January 23, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    Mike did this in Buenos Aires and loved it! I … an not convinced about all that running business.

    • Erica January 23, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

      I rather enjoyed the running part but it does get a bit difficult with a beer in hand.

  4. Peg January 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    Holy fun! How have I never heard of this before?!

    I’m SO in. Now I need to find some events. Brian will love this as long as he gets to be Burns Night and wear his kilt. And drink beer.

    • Erica January 24, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

      I don’t think that will be a problem. Each hash has a different theme but good luck finding the one that speaks to you!

  5. Anita Mac January 25, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    Hilarious!!! Have never done a hash but have friends who do! More of a 5K color runner. White t-shirt to start….have paint thrown at me ever K! Crazy after pics!

    • Erica January 30, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

      I thought about doing that one but apparently the one in Austin was in November! Looks amazing.

  6. Nico January 28, 2013 at 1:30 am #

    Looks like a great laugh, but quite a strange name none the less.

    Nico recently posted top 150 Travel Blogs Using Comment Luv

    • Erica January 30, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

      Totally! I was so confused when my friend told me it was on our agenda. And old tradition with an old name!

  7. Hogga January 28, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    I have never heard of this but it sounds like so much fun!

    • Erica January 30, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

      With your drinking… you would be fab.

  8. Sebastian @ January 28, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    Haha I have never heard of hashing before and I expected something else when I heard the name for the first time!

    • Erica January 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      I was just as confused as you sir.

  9. Pete January 30, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    Love this! I’m a sucker for scavenger hunts, but with costumes, wicked!!

    • Erica February 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

      Anything can be fun with costumes, right? 🙂

  10. Alex January 31, 2013 at 7:06 am #

    I have heard of hashes before but just thought they were running clubs… I had no idea costumes were involved! I am all over this!

    • Erica February 5, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

      Not all of them are costume related (each have a theme) but I’m down with running clubs that drink. 😀

  11. Ayngelina January 31, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    That looks like so much fun I want to do it!

    • Erica February 5, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

      I’m sure there is a hashing community in Canada!

  12. Emily in Chile February 2, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    I know some people who’ve done this in Santiago and said it’s lots of fun, but so far I think I prefer to keep my working out and my drinking separate. I love the costumes though!

    • Erica February 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

      It makes working out less painful. 😛

  13. Abby February 2, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    Thank goodness I can live vicariously through you two. Sneakers and costumes are two things I swear I’m allergic to. Of course this looks fun when you do it!!

    • Erica February 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

      You need to let go a bit lady! Costumes are so fun and can help you adopt a persona!

  14. Camels & Chocolate February 2, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    Yep, there are hashers in pretty much every city around the world! Back when I was training for my first marathon, I looked into joining some runs in the international cities I was visiting at the time…but, uh, never got around to it 😉

    • Erica February 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

      GET ON IT! xoxo

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