Summer is finally here in West Virginia. That means muggy, hot, thick air and the constant threat of a thunderstorm. I thrive in the heat. The feel of the sun’s burn on my skin, the sweat profusely dripping off me, and the smell of stale beer that I’ve somehow come to weirdly enjoy in this college party town all urge me to keep running. How far can I go? How many more hills can I climb? Another one….another one….another one. Now I’m as high as I can get. The clouds roll in from time to time, blocking the sun’s rays granting me a moment to cool off and catch my breath. Then the clouds break and I’m off again, bounding down the hilly streets, zigging and zagging until I finally ending up back where my run began.
Today was one of those days. A new urban “trail” in the books, 8ish miles and 1100 feet of elevation gain. My run today however was purposeful. I was scouting for a running scavenger hunt that I am leading tomorrow.
It’s called a Hash Run. Here’s how it works:
The ‘hare’ or trail maker, begins running his trail making marks for the rest of the group, the ‘hounds’, to follow. Along the way the hare can make forks in the road, false trails, and ‘checks’. A check is a circle symbol that means the trail can diverge in any direction, 360 degrees. It is up to the hounds to spread out, find the true trail, and continue on. The goal is for the hounds to catch the hare. But that rarely (if ever) happens. That’s because along the way the hare has previously hidden coolers of beer to slow the hounds down! After the hounds have had their fill of beer they continue on the trail, eventually ending up and a restaurant or pub to join the hare for dinner and drinks and talk about the trail and have a good time.
We like to call our group a running club with a drinking problem 😉 Hash runs are usually around 6 to 7 miles long with one or two quick beer stops. It is a great way to get people excited for running, and what better way to hydrate for a few hilly miles of running than an ice cold beer.
Tomorrow should be a great time, hopefully I manage to not let the hounds catch me. Be sure to bounce back for a recap of the hash!
P.S. In the meantime, check out the new song from the Gorillaz called ‘Ascension’. I’m currently listening to this on repeat, it’s so good!