21 August 2014

Got my red dress on-on...

hash house (slang), n.: 
a cheap restaurant. 
harrier, n.: 
1. any of an English breed of dog used for hunting rabbits. 
2. A cross-country runner 

Two evenings ago, I participated in the 2nd Annual Red Dress Run for charity, put on by the Downtown Wilmington Hash House Harriers (DWH3), which just happens to start and end at The Pour House, run by Joe A., who is a MARSOC Marine turned bar owner, and who also raises funds for the MARSOC Foundation through several events held at the bar each year.

For anyone who is not familiar with a Hash Run, the premise is simple, one person (the hare/harrier), marks a course using flour or chalk, and when it's time, the group (the hounds) follow the marks to various ends, some of them being false trails, some leading to beer, and some leading to drinking games, and ultimately ending up at the original starting spot for, yes, more drinking. The concept was created by the Brits, with its origins in cross-country running.
The logo of the Hash House Harriers
The history of "formal" hashing dates back to the 1930s in Kuala Lumpur by British civil servants and military personnel stationed there.  While a common theme of hashing is "there are no rules," the club registration was the original "Rules." Written with wry jest of a good Brit, the objectives of the Hash House Harriers were listed as:

(a) to promote physical fitness amongst its members 
(b) to get rid of weekend hangovers 
(c) to acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it with beer 
(d) to persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel

In that vein, there was much imbibing before the run even commenced on Tuesday (caveat: not by me, hello, single motherhood), whose Red Dress theme was for the non-profit Dance Cooperative of Wilmington (a RDR must have a charity recipient). There is also a twist which reminds me of my rugby days in that crude, ok, really crude, nicknames are dispensed amongst the veteran hashers (others are either "virgins" or "just"), bawdy songs and NSFW chants are catcalled out in standard echo and response method. 

As a "virgin" I was paired with a veteran, whose real name is Max and who is a MARSOC Marine and well, he's HUGE.... During introductions, a virgin must state their name, where they're from, their occupation and something interesting about themselves and the crowd responds accordingly. I'll leave those unanswered here, but according to the DWH3, I am unemployed and meet a standard prerequisite to work at the Pour House. Excellent. 
And me in my muu-muu
Done with formalities downstairs, up to the start. 
The group thickens.
Market and 3rd Street crossing
The run started off just as another wave of rain began and we made our way through the downtown streets, looking for chalk marks. There are also symbols along the route, which give guidelines and directions and are prepped prior to the run. We found circles, arrows, lines and false routes. The first stop brought us to the Duck & Dive where another round of drinking commenced.

Sadly, at this point, it was nearing 8pm, and I hadn't realized that the run would go on longer than two hours (now, I am educated), and I had to get back home to the munchkins. I gave Joe a hug, thanked Max for his instruction and trotted back in my dress to my car. What a great cause and what a fun group of people; I will be back, with a better child-care plan next time! 

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