A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine invited me to something called hash run. He said it’s a bunch of people getting together and combine the fun of running and drinking. They play a game in which two people are the hares who set the trail (using chalk) and the rest have to follow the signs they leave behind. It’s not at all competitive and there are 3 beer stops for the group to rest and make sure nobody’s missing.
Well, it sounded simple enough. I thought this was just a spontaneous gathering of some Beijingers who happen to like running and drinking but boy was I wrong. This wasn’t a local initiative but rather a part of a global phenomenon which is more similar to a youth movement than to anything else. They got ranks, outfits, pins, songs, rituals, developed (and dirty) nickname system and what not. The only differences are the alcohol and the average age which is not 13 but more like 31.
So what does this have to do with food? After the running and drinking part comes the eating part and the group enjoys a shared dinner in one of the restaurants nearby. On the Sunday I joined the hashing area was Chongwenmen (Second Ring Road South) and it was a Chinese dinner. It was cold but the air was clean and sky was blue, perfect for a hutong run. See for yourselves:
Hash House Harriers define themselves as a drinking club with a running problem. If you wanna join the Beijing Chapter they have a website and a Facebook page you can check out. On the website there are links to other HHH clubs in China.