Hash House Harriers

We have had the luck to come across an excellent group of people all belonging to what I thought was a long past colonial relic, the Hash House Harriers (HHH). It turns out this concept is alive and well around the world, usually in places with large expat communities. Here in Yaounde every Saturday at 3:30pm, a group of around 30 or 40 takes off into the green hills around the city for an hour or so run and then some social drinking afterwards.

Last week was a little damp and therefore muddy, with the allocated trail leading through fields and and up and down muddy slopes. The route for the run is laid out by some volunteer 'hares' in the morning using some standard little markings at junctions. The 'harrier' runners come along and have to search and find the correct route. This means lots of extra running and searching for the fitter and faster members, and a more social slower time for those bringing up the rear.

Turns out that the concept started in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in 1938 with the Hash House name coming from the place some of the first runners were living. HHH is apparently often described as "a drinking group with a running problem", and uses as it's anthem "Swing Low, Sweet Chariots".


BSox said…
Richard -

My wife and I are avid hashers, but are having trouble connecting with the Yaounde H3 since we arrived here in July. We tried today, for instance, but found no one at the Hilton. Undeterred, we ran home, and stopped for beer & pizza along the way!

Can you post a good contact for the hash so we can coordinate with them? We'll look for you on trail.

On-on, Burnt Sox
Richard said…
Oh dear, that's no good. They always meet just down the road from the Hilton (outside about the Kodak shop) after about 3:30pm Saturday, leaving in what ever vehicles are there at 4pm. Look out for the orange HHH t-shirts. I'll try and get a contact for you as I am now in the north west region and not in Yaounde.
Royster said…
The error may have been ours. We arrived at 1500 h and stayed until almost 1550 h; we'd been told the starting time was 1515 h. We were in the Hilton itself, though we certainly walked all around the area.

We'll have another chance in a few weeks and hope to see you on trail.
Royster said…
We sorted it out and had a fun run through the muck and mud near the main mosque in Yaounde. Turns out it was an interpretation problem to figure out the meeting place: "Meet at the Hilton at 1515 h" should be interpreted as "Meet down the street from the Hilton around 1600 h."

A great time was had by us. On-on!

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