Abu Dhabi Weather

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hash House Harriers

I first hear about the Hash House Harriers about 15 years ago when a friend's father came to visit him in Japan and he was telling us about living in the Middle East. The way he was drunkenly describing this club of people who just run around in the desert following trails then getting drunk afterwards sounded insane. After my experience with the Abu Dhabi Hash House Harriers, it seems no less insane, but I feel that this "drinking club with a running problem" is the perfect combination of fitness and alcoholism that I have been looking for.

 I'd always meant to look into it when I originally got here, but I got caught up with running triathlons and my "serious" training. Fortunately, I'm past that for now. Finally, things have settled down at work and I'm done with my master's degree, so I have time for this sort of thing. Another stroke of luck was that a couple of friends of mine are members of the Hash.

My friends were kind enough to pick me up and give me a ride home so I could fully partake in the beer afterwards. We arrived at 6:30 for the 6:30 start time and were congratulated for being early. Fifteen minutes later, we began following arrows drawn on the side of the road in chalk. At some points we saw a circle and x pattern that indicated a turn so we had to find the trail. Sometimes I was near the person that found the trail and other times I was further away. I learned to just stay near the person who designed the trail because he wasn't going to run any further than he had to.

After the run, we drove the cars into a circle and had a mock award ceremony where I had to introduce myself. This seemed to be the real social aspect of it with a bunch of singing songs and hazing each other. While I have never been part of a fraternity, It reminded me of the positive aspects of what I imagine a fraternity to be like.

Also, I had been worried about the 6 km distance as I hadn't been running much over the past few months. However, with the running followed by all the searching for the trail and switchbacks, I needn't have worried. Since the heat and humidity kept everyone running a little slower, my legs were fine for the run. Anyone who is mildly in shape who likes socializing should come to this. It is free to run and 50dirhams for all you can eat and drink with beer and soft drinks included. I'll definitely be going back.