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- What happens on a KVH3 Hash?
- We meet at the designated pub at 11am and someone (the Hare), who will have volunteered to lay the trail beforehand, gives a speech of welcome and explains anything specific about that day’s event. The trail is organised like a paper chase, except that it will have been marked with flour rather than paper. The Hare should have laid two versions of the trail, a longer for the runners and a shorter for the walkers. The trails are out in the countryside along footpaths, bridleways and quiet country lanes. We set off, searching for the flour markings and working as a team to determine the way to go. The lead runners / walkers do most of this work and once they have it sussed, they let the rest of us know. However, the slower members may at times find themselves in the lead if the faster members have gone off down false trails. If the Hare has laid a good trail, everyone will finish back at the pub at much the same time – hopefully just after midday. We’ll have a drink and some social chatter; those who wish have a pub lunch.
The Grand Old Master will make a speech of thanks to the Hare for the trail, then we drift off home. Someone (the Scribe) will have volunteered to write up that day’s events – this will be posted on this website.
- How can I join in?
- Look at the information on the right to find out where we’ll be, then just turn up for the 11am start, ready to participate in either the run or walk. We’ll make you welcome and try to ensure you enjoy it.
- Who takes part?
- Anyone. We usually have 5-10 runners and a similar number of walkers, and the age range of participants is typically between 10 and 80. You don’t have to be particularly fit, just able to enjoy the outdoors and to participate at you own speed.
- How far do you run?
- The intent is that the event lasts about an hour, so that we are back at the pub soon after midday. This means that the run is typically 5 miles and the walk nearer 3 miles.
- Is the run competitive?
- Not at all. Whilst the keen runners will often be up in front searching for the trail, that just means they’ll be running around a lot trying to find the way. The slower runners can jog along at their own pace, waiting where necessary until the correct route has been identified. With luck, everyone finishes at much the same time.
- What does it cost?
- Absolutely nothing, apart from a smile, the petrol to get there and any drink(s) you might buy yourself. Some will stay on for lunch at the venue.
- Will I have to help out?
- No, we never expect that – it’s only if you want. The main tasks are volunteering to lay a trail or write a hash mag. Some enjoy this and eventually do it quite often, others don’t, so they don’t. It’s entirely voluntary. However, if after coming for a while you feel inclined to do either then we’ll always support you on your first attempts.
- Who’s in charge?
- Good question – we all sometimes wonder that. The Grand Old Master has overall control and his main role is to ensure a Hare and Scribe for each event, to make entertaining speeches and to manage the general level of chaos. We also have a Webmaster who looks after this website. The rest is up to you.
- Where do you hold your Hashes?
- Whilst the river Kennet runs from the Marlborough Downs to join the Thames at Reading, our hashes are mostly in an area bounded by Calne, Andover, Newbury and Lechlade.
- How long has KVH3 been in existence?
- It started back in 1998 when Navy Mike moved to Great Bedwyn. He’d been a Hasher for many years, including a period as the Grand Old Master (GOM) of the Churn Valley Hash. One Sunday morning, he turned up at Ramsbury to join what was then a small irregular group from the village who met for a short Sunday morning 2-3 mile jog. No doubt it must have been a wet day, as Mike, knowing that “It never rains on a Hash”, subsequently proposed that instead of a jog he’d arrange a Hash on one of the following Sundays. So, on Sunday 1 March 1998 we met up at The Bell in Ramsbury, together with a vast number of other runners, mostly from the Churn Valley Hash. Not only did Mike lay the trail, he also wrote the hash mag (twice), made all the speeches, and toasted everyone, including of course himself. He then announced that the Kennet Valley Hash was formally in existence with himself in charge and that Hashes would henceforth occur on every alternate Sunday morning at 11am precisely – and so it came to pass.
And recently, we returned to The Bell to celebrate our 500th Hash – so something seems to be working right.
- How many GOMs has KVH3 had?
- To date just seven:
Navy Mike From Hash 001 on 1 Mar 1998 Margaret From Hash 101 on 16 Dec 2001 Jeremy From Hash 191 on 01 May 2005 Maurice From Hash 326 on 09 May 2010 Brian From Hash 380 on 29 Apr 2012 Keith From Hash 507 on 22 Jan 2017 Kevin From Hash 602 on 25 Jul 2021
- Anything else you do?
- Occasionally we have a celebratory black tie dinner, usually linked to some milestone of KVH3’s existence. Most recently we had the 2000 Mile Dinner to commemorate having probably covered some 2000 miles in our events since we started back in 1998. Of course no one really knows the exact distance, but it seemed a good enough excuse since we hadn’t had a dinner for a few years. We have also been regular participants of Marlborough Running Club’s Ridgeway Relay, on one occasion winning the wooden spoons for coming last!
- Why is it raining now?
- It must be because we aren’t out having a Hash at the moment.
- What are the origins of Hashing?
- It started in Kuala Lumpur, Malaya, now Malaysia, in December 1938, when a group of British colonial officers and expatriates began meeting on Monday evenings to run, in a fashion patterned after the traditional British Paper Chase or “Hare and Hounds”, to rid themselves of the excesses of the previous weekend. The original members included Cecil Lee, Frederick “Horse” Thomson, Ronald “Torch” Bennett, Albert Stephen (A.S.) Ignatius “G” Gispert and John Woodrow.After meeting for some months, they were informed by the Registrar of Societies that as a “group,” they would require a Constitution and an official name. A. S. Gispert suggested the name “Hash House Harriers” after the Selangor Club Annex, where the men were billeted, known as the “Hash House” for its notoriously monotonous food. Apart from the excitement of chasing the hare and finding the trail, harriers reaching the end of the trail would be rewarded with beer, ginger beer and cigarettes.
The Constitution of the Hash House Harriers is recorded on a club registration card dated 1950:
- To promote physical fitness among our members
- To get rid of weekend hangovers
- To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
- To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel
Unsurprisingly, Hashing died out during World War II after the invasion of Malaya, but was re-started after the war by most of the original group, minus A. S. Gispert, who was killed in the Japanese invasion of Singapore.
Apart from a “one-off” chapter formed on the Italian Riviera, growth of Hashing remained small until 1962, when Ian Cumming founded the second kennel, in Singapore. The idea then spread through the Far East, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, and North America, booming in popularity during the mid-1970s.
At present, there are almost two thousand kennels (hash groups) in all parts of the world, with members distributing newsletters, directories, and magazines and organizing regional and world Hashing events. As of 2003, there were even two organized kennels operating in Antarctica.
- What are Run..ches?
- They are a short Run followed by lunch – a few of us meet up Wednesday lunchtimes for the run (typically less than 3 miles) then have lunch and a gossip at the chosen pub.
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