North America, Photography, Story

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. – Onin.com

“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 thoughts on “WTF is Hashing? Cedar Key, Florida”

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!!

  6. 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 😉

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