The hash has been described as a "Drinking Club with a Running Problem." The Hashers meet every other weekend and run/jog/walk a short trail. Then afterwards, they stand or sit around, chatting, drinking beer, soft drinks, water, or whatever they prefer.
The MGH4 was founded on April 8th, 2001, by a few local hashers that wanted somewhere to run on the weekends without having to go to Atlanta. We are a relatively small group with around 15 people at a good run. We come from all walks of life and backgrounds, married, single, male, female, young and old, professional and student. It is a friendly, social group.
So what to expect: The first and most important thing to know is that a hash is not a race (road races are referred to as the "R" word and are not proper topics of conversation at the hash.) the only goal of the hash is to get to the end. After everyone has gathered at the location specified on the "next hash" page, one or more hashers (the hares) sets a trail for the pack (the rest of the hashers or the hounds) to follow, only the hare knows where the trail will go and where it will end. The trail can go through any type of terrain: on dirt roads, down power lines, through swamps, along streets and back alleyways, through shopping center parking lots, over fences, down streams, and through tunnels. The Wednesday trails are rated as to degree of difficultly. If you choose a Wednesday trail, you will know beforehand what to expect. Some may be as easy as a walk in the park.
The trail can be live or pre-set (but only wimpy hares pre-lay a trail.), and the trail is marked with flour, strips of toilet paper, chalk. The hares get about a seven minute head start (unless they want to be brave and ask for only five) and use a variety of special marks to confuse the pack and avoid being snared. The marks will be explained at the start.
The hare doesn't want to be caught by the pack, but the single most important job of the hare is to lay a trail that gets all the hounds to the end and the ice cold beer.
At least one hound will volunteer to be the "Bimbo" for the hash. The Bimbo will consult with the Hare and find out where the end is. The Bimbo will then drive a vehicle known as the "Bag Car" to the end. The bag car is loaded with everyone's stuff.
The speedy fast FRBs (front running bastards) usually find the way, and by yelling "ON-ON" and blowing whistles, guide the rest of the pack in pursuit of the hare. The distance can be anywhere between 2 miles to 6, though three miles is about average and normally even the slowest walkers finish after an hour or so. For a bonus the hare may leave a refreshment stop (beer stop) somewhere on trail, and everyone can have a refreshing drink along the way.
After the hashers have finished the trail (made it to the On-In), they all stand or sit around and drink. Beer is usually the preferred drink, but non-alcoholic beverages are provided and often chips and other munchies are provided. At some point the Grandmaster gathers everyone around in a circle and the hash ceremonies begin. Here we make fun of all the stupid things people did on the trail. The first one to finish, short-cutters, the last one to finish, all first time hashers ("Virgins"), and the hares are pointed out. These notable people step into the center of the circle to do a "Down-Down" (chug a beer or other drink of choice); after a few more ceremonies, the circle breaks up and people either go home or meet for dinner at another location.
What to bring and wear:
1: Wear comfortable clothes that you can run/jog/walk in that you don't mind getting dirty, torn, and wet. DO NOT wear your best designer jogging outfit. You have been warned....
2: Running shoes - same warning as above. If you don't want them dirty, muddy and scratched up don't bring them. And don't wear new shoes, even if you don't mind them getting dirty. You have been warned.
3: A hash bag. You will need something to put all your other junk in to keep it together in the bag car.
4: A complete change of clothes, including shoes. After the trail you will want something comfortable to change into while hanging out at the On-In circle. Make sure the clothes are appropriate for weather conditions.
5: A flashlight if it is a night run. Most of the MGH4 hashes will be during daylight hours, but we will have the occasional night trail just to keep things interesting. Also, the Wednesday hashes meet at 6:30, so in winter it will be dark.
6: A whistle. You will need this to communicate with the other hounds.
7: If you wear glasses be sure to have a lanyard (something to keep them on your head).
8: A collapsible chair to lounge around at the On-In circle.
9: Bug spray if it is the time of year for that sort of thing.
10: Rubbing alcohol to dress the miscellaneous scratches and scrapes you are subject to get while running through the woods.
11: A small towel is often useful.
12: A good sense of humor.
13: A willingness to act a little crazy and be around others who are crazy.
Our Drinking Policy:
The members of all the middle Georgia hashes and mis-management strongly encourage responsible drinking. Hash clubs world wide are known for being crazy and doing almost anything, but drunk driving is stupid. If you can't drink responsibly, then we don't want your patronage. Though we love for people of all ages to enjoy the trails and the circle at the end, we do not allow underage drinking. We will check ID if necessary, but please don't let your being under 21 keep you from running with us. We always have soft drinks, sports drinks, and water for those who can't imbibe the typical hash nectar.