THIS IS AN ADDITION TO THE POST FROM A LOCAL SMALL TOWN IN INDIANA...NOTE AND EXPLAIN THE PHALLIC SYMBOLS BEHIND THE YOUNG QUEENS. WE HAVE SOME STRANG CUSTOMS HERE IN THE HEARTLAND OF AMERICA...http://www.greensburgdailynews.com/youth2/local_story_190113919.html
A couple of years ago I read about this sport in a magazine, I had no idea Indianapolis was so progressive. Cool...
July 10, 2006
Run, chug, run
Central Indiana residents are discovering hashing, a game that marries exercise with beer-swilling
By Cordell Eddingshttp://us.f528.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?Toemail@example.com
July 10, 2006
Exercise can be a drag, unless you're a "hasher," in which case pulling on your sweats includes a good measure of socializing and beer-drinking while getting your heart rate up.
Indianapolis has become a playground of sorts for a small number of adults, members of a group called Hash House Harriers, who pant for miles around the city, following a trail as much for camaraderie as for a workout.
But don't call them a running club. They're not a swim club. Really, they're not an exercise club at all -- not in the strictest sense, anyway.
But these people do walk, run and occasionally swim, often through arduous -- and bizarre -- 3- to 5-mile courses. They may pass through gushing rivers, across uneven terrain (sharp rocks are a favorite) or through abandoned buildings, manure-covered fields and construction sites.
The game begins when two members of the group head out ahead of the others with flour and mark a trail the rest are supposed to follow to find them.
Call it adult hide-and-seek.
There's a beer (and water) break halfway through the trail as a reward and, at the end, everyone gets together for traditional (often bawdy) hasher songs. Some also may be punished for "hash crimes," which could include coming in first or last or making the trail too hard to follow.
The punishment? Drinking more beer.
Competition is frowned upon. The only rule to hashing: There are no rules.
Some hashers participate while slightly inebriated, any risks to their health notwithstanding.
"People think it's childish or immature, but we would be sitting on our (duffs) drinking beer anyway, so we might as well get some exercise," said hasher Cari Crowe, Indianapolis.
"It's a frat party for adults and a great way to get exercise," said Dorothy Kenckel, an Indianapolis resident who founded the local IndyScent chapter in 1999 and has seen it grow to around 30 regular members.
"Everyone who comes has a great time. There are people from all different backgrounds. It's an instant social club," she said.
Indeed, hash clubs have introduced husbands to wives, who have gone on to have kids who have become hashers.
Kenckel said hashing also has allowed the group to see parts of Indianapolis they never would have seen otherwise.
"You would never believe all of the neat things that are in and around Indianapolis," Kenckel said.
Hashing came to Indiana relatively late. The game is believed to have started in Malaysia in 1938 before spreading around the world. Groups have formed throughout the Americas, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Islands. There are now nine clubs in Indiana. Word of mouth and the Internet allow members from each club to meet up wherever they go, creating a global social network.
At the "Freedom Hash" here July 3, participants included hashers from Tokyo and Burma. Participants had taken part in hashes in Thailand, Scotland, Nigeria and across the United States.
"You can show up anywhere in the world, spend 10 minutes online and find a group of people to hang out with," said Chris Kallner, a medical technician.
The Indianapolis club includes teachers, doctors, bankers, lawyers, even rocket scientists ranging in age from their early 20s to mid-60.
While athleticism is not necessary, endurance is crucial to complete a hash. It's not for everyone.
"I didn't know what to expect," said Erin Hannan, a graduate student at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis who was invited to a hash by her roommate. She brought her boyfriend, and now both are hooked.
"I tell people, just come out once," she said. "Give it a chance, and you will love it."