Hash House Harriers also known as “The Hash” can be found in many countries throughout the world and especially in South East Asia from where it first originated in Kuala Lumpur, way back in 1938.
The Hash is a social gathering of people known as “hashers” who meet regularly (usually weekly) for cross-country running followed by a gathering or “circle” where some beer flows, “charges” are exchanged and there is even some singing.
Hashers have sometimes been described as a bunch of drinkers with a running problem. In truth, you need be neither a drinker nor a runner to have fun with the Hash. But if you are not a keen runner or don’t run at all, don’t worry, the Hash has a choice of runs to suit everyone, as quite a few people just enjoy a gentle jog or a stroll. Indeed the Hash discourages people from taking the running too seriously although there are a few hashers, known as FRBs (Front Running Bastards), who are slightly inclined to put an unhealthy emphasis on the running aspect.
The important thing is that you have the opportunity to get out of the city, indulge in some exercise, meet a whole bunch of expats of various nationalities as well as locals and see places many expats didn’t know existed. You join the Hash by just turning up at a run. Details of how to contact the various hash groups in Jakarta are given below.
The run is set by “Hares” who mark the running trail with shredded or cut paper, including short stretches of false trails which are intended to keep both the faster and slower runners together for the duration of the run.
Sites for the Hash runs are chosen in various localities but typically runs in the Jakarta area are set in the countryside just off the Jagorawi toll road where there are still plenty of rice paddies, tree-covered areas, stream crossings and small local kampongs providing a good variety of running terrain. Weekday runs start at 5.00 pm and last for about an hour. There is a post-run social gathering, known as “the circle” after which some hashers repair for makan at the “On On”, either at a local warung near the run site or a bar or restaurant on the way back to or in the city. Weekend runs usually start at 3.00 pm or 4.00 pm.
There are several flavours of Hash House Harriers in Jakarta.
Jakarta Hash House Harriers (JHHH) were founded in 1971 and run every Monday at 5.00 pm. JHHH were formerly a predominantly male Hash but female participation has been encouraged in recent years. JHHH was the very first Hash to be established in Indonesia and has a strong tradition of joke-telling and some signing in the post-run circle.
Jakarta Hash House Harriettes or the Pussy Hash was founded in 1977 and run every second Wednesday at 5.00 pm. It is a predominantly female Hash which means it is run by ladies, but men are welcome, as long as they are into female domination.
Batavia Hash House Harrier Hoons (BH4) were founded in 1986 and run every Thursday at 5.00 pm. This a strictly male preserve, except on the last Thursday of every month when there is a mixed run. The BH4 circle is characterised by interactive repartee between participants resulting in reward or punishment. These are identical – a mug of beer!
TGIS HHH (formerly TGIF HHH) is a mixed hash founded in 1989 that originally ran on Fridays but now runs every 2nd & 4th Saturday at 4.00 pm. This is a very popular group with a strong emphasis on post run circle participation especially by those who are new to hashing.
Krakatau HHH is a family hash founded in 1992 that meets every third Saturday of the month. Krakatau HHH provides a wide variety of running terrain, including mountains, beaches, waterfalls, and beautiful rice paddies in Bantan province of West Java (within 2 hours drive from Jakarta). Runs begin promptly at 3:00 pm.
Betawi HHH, Jakarta’s youngest Hash chapter founded in 2000, is a mixed Hash that runs every Saturday at 4.00 pm. They draw on a large group of locals and generally have a picnic like format with a shorter post run circle than the other Hash groups.
Java Hash House Horrors run on the last Sunday of every month at 10:00 am. This is a kids (all ages) hash, run by kids with just a bit of help from the ‘dolts.