What Is Hashing?

Virgin Pack


  • Hashing is a version of running similar to the hare and hounds with some drinking (optional) involved. Typically referred to a drinking club with a running problem, we are a team running experience. There is no racing, timing, or winning involved. Hashing originated in 1937/8 by a group of British expats at the Selangor Club in Kuala Lumpur. The aims of hashing back them were simple, and are still used today
    • To promte physical fitness among our members
    • To get rid of weekend hangovers
    • To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
    • To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel

How does it work?

A pre-arranged runner (hare) will lay a trail of flour/sawdust/chalk before the run starts. The rest of the group (hounds/pack) will follow the trail back to the starting place. The trail is usually clearly marked with various symbols, including a circle which is a checkpoint. These are strategically placed to encourage the faster runners to find the next portion of the trail and mark it, while the slower runners/walkers get a chance to catch up. This ensure that we all finish the trail at a similar time.

We typically run between 4 and 5 miles, with runs lasting just over an hour. We start and finish in the same location, and then have some drinks at a pub afterwards.


Hashers have their own jargon which may sound confusing at first. Don’t worry though, you’ll have picked it up by the end of your first run!

Are you? Question shouted by the pack to the front runners – normally at a check

Meaning: Are you on the trial?

Back Check Trail mark indicating that back tracking is necessary in order to find the true trail. Often seen after a false trail
Check Circular trail mark indicating the true trail must be sought from here
Checking Answer shouted by front runners to pack when asked “Are you” indicating front runner has not located the trail
Checking Chicken Person who sticks in the middle of the pack to ensure the trail is marked correctly
FRB Front Running Bastard – nickname for front runners
Hare Person leading the trail
On Call Shouted in response to “are you” by hashers to indicate that while they do not see any trail markings, they are following someone else’s “on-on” calls
On Inn/On In Trails end; indicates proximity to the end – and a drink!
On On Shouted by hashers to indicate they are on true trail. Only shouted when someone has spotted the markings!
Virgin Someone who has never hashed before

Hash FAQ

  1. How do I join?
    • Membership is £10/quarter and can be set up via standing order via instructions on our webpage. If you don’t think you’ll be hashing often, feel free to join us for £2/run. All runs include a drink during circle time at the end before heading to the pub
  2. Can anyone came to a hash?
    • Yes! If you’re up for doing something outside, and exploring some of the Surrey trails, you’ll enjoy our runs. We do have people who walk the whole route, so don’t feel like you have to be a runner to join in.
  3. How fit do I need to be?
    • The trails are designed to keep the faster runners occupied while the slower runners/walkers follow on behind. It is not obligatory to finish the trail – it is common practice to take shortcuts. Just make sure you stay with someone if you’re unfamiliar with the area!
  4. Is there somewhere to get changed?
    • Sometimes we’re parked at a pub instead of a trail entrance, but most hashers do come ready to run. There are opportunities to change in cars if necessary
  5. How do I get there if I don’t have a car?
    • Contact us! We’ll help coordinate lift shares. Some hashers get picked up from the nearest train or bus station, or others coordinate lift shares from main town centers.
  6. What do I need to bring with me?
    1. Obviously bring your running kit. Be prepared to get wet and muddy (especially in the spring). It’s suggested to bring a change of shoes and clothes/extra layers for after the run.
  7. What do I do when I arrive?
    • Look for a group of people dressed in various types of running kit (or sometimes in fancy dress). Introduce yourselves as a newbie (you’ll be called a visitor or virgin), and we’ll warmly welcome you!
  8. Will I have to do down downs or drinking games?
    • Not if you don’t want to. We do have juice/water available for those who don’t want to drink. No one will ever be forced to do something they are uncomfortable with!
  9. What happens if I get lost on the trail? That’s a great question! While we do our best to start and end the run together, there are times where we can get spread out. It is always advised to try and keep at least one other hasher in sight. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to hold up or to shout “are you” to ask where other runners are (there’s no limitation as to how many times you can shout this in a row). We’re keen listeners, trying to find the trail after a check, so someone will most likely respond “on-on” to help you out. It’s strongly advised that you also use a tracker on your phone. Some suggested apps are: Strava, Map My Run, Run Keeper, Maverick or Google Maps. Additionally, you can sign up for the Emergency Contact registration on a voluntary basis. This information will be used to try and reach you if you have not shown up to the circle at the end of the run without telling any of Mismanagement.
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