south herts hash house harriers

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About The South Herts Hash House Harriers

The South Herts Hash House Harriers (SH4) run on Saturday afternoons in West Hertfordshire, South Bedfordshire, and Buckinghamshire. Many runs are in the Chilterns Area.  The runs are not competitive and everyone is welcome to join us.  

We meet approximately once a month at a place where cars can park.  The runs start at 3:00 pm in the summer and 2:00 pm in the winter. The runs are mainly on countryside and woodland footpaths and the core circuit is normally 5 to 6 miles long. 

We follow a trail of flour, with check points and false trails.  Faster runners can find the trail and we wait for slower runners at some of the check points.  Most runs are completed in 60 to 80 minutes.  The faster runners will run much further on false trails, the slower runners only need to average 1 mile in 12 minutes!

We are one of the tamest Hash running clubs.  We have no circles, no down-downs etc.  We do have free food, beer and soft drinks after the run.  We charge £1 per person per run to pay for the food, drink and other expenses.

If you would like to join us then just turn up, or email for further information. 


SH4 History

Back in the 1930s in Kuala Lumpa, 2 Australians and 1 Englishman, bored with their weekly trip to their local restaurant (nicknamed the Hash House) for an evening meal decided to have a run beforehand to build up more of an appetite. This developed into a Hare and Hounds event where one set off early and the remainder pursued, until finally it developed to a kind of paper chase. As others came and went, returning to their own countries or moving on to new ones, Hash clubs sprang up throughout the world.

Some 50 years later after a trip to KL in August ‘83 and attending a single run with KL H3, a very unsuspecting John McLeod brought back the concept of Hashing to the UK without knowing the history or that several hundred clubs already existed here. After much deliberation and conversations with Annie Finding and Ray Coles, SH4’s first run was on 1st October 1983. Attended by only a dozen friends and colleagues, none with any previous experience. SH4 developed it’s own style over the following months.

Our first experience of other hashes came in June 1984 when a member learnt of the Half Herts H3. Their single August run each year was the start of a local rugby club’s training. One of their joint organisers also ran with Berkshire H3 and this was our first real exposure to other clubs. By then however, we liked our format and so have never adopted the Grandmaster, ‘downdown’, hash songs; trademarks that most other hashes have. 

In December 1986 Annie Finding and Ray Coles visited friends in Perth Australia. An attempt to run with Perth H3 was SH4’s first encounter of a Men only Hash and absolutely no place for a woman, so Annie & Ray ran with the Harriettes, where ironically there were far more men than women!

Being a small hash we rarely have more than 20 - 25 attending a run and have, on too many occasions fielded less than 10. ‘Hash 50’ finally arrived in November’96, ‘100’ in March’88, ‘200’ and 10th Anniversary in October’93 300 in to December‘98 20th Anniversary in October’03, and 400 in January’04. The 500th hash was in November 2009.

Good Friday has become a special run each year due to an encounter John McLeod had back in 1984 with some American tourists while laying a trail on Good Friday near Sarrett. Since then this annual run has been called ‘Good Friday Rice’ (come on a run if you want the full story). New year’s day is another annual event.

In the early days guests from other hashes thought us too fast and our runs too long. Times have changed and our 5 to 6.5 mile courses are taken at a more sociable pace. Several of our members also run with Berkshire, High Wycombe and London.

SH4 has always run on Saturday afternoons with 2 or 3 weekday evening runs in the summer combined with Tring Runners. Since pubs were not open on Saturday afternoons when we first started we have always carried a Bar in the boot of a car. While the beer still gets drunk, the On On has turned more into a pigout with crisps, nuts, cakes, chocolate and anything else we can gorge. It must say something about our average age and condition of our runners now! 

Everyone is welcome including children, as long as they’re capable of completing the distance. 

South Herts H3 runs are exercise for those who want it and a social event for everyone, using the hash trail as a media. A full explanation of our trail signs are given before the start whenever required.