The origins of the Hash House Harriers can be traced back to those far more relaxed days of 1938 in Kuala Lumpur.
Mr. Gispert, either Australian or British, (who knows which) has been described as a
splendid fellow who was certainly not an athlete, but rather a sportsman who placed as much emphasis on the subsequent
refreshments and entertainment as on the running itself. He belonged to Kuala Lumpur's famous
Selangor Sports Club.
One Monday, following a particularly social weekend, Gispert decided to sweat out some of his excesses by jogging around the fortress. Soon after, this became a regular Monday evening activity
and others joined him. Running within the confines of the fortress became boring. The fellowship, using flour and paper, began laying trails through the countryside, adding false leads and loopbacks just for the hell of
As so often happens, good intention can lead to an evil end. Close by the fortress was a Chinese eating establishment known as ``The Hash House." It soon became a custom for the Chinese manager to greet Gispert
and his friends with quantities if ice cold beer at the end of each run. What began as a run, developed into a regular Monday evening social event.
The Chinese manager, realizing the group had strayed from the
fortress and rather than lose this lucrative business, adapted to their running habits by following the trail and pack of runners outside the fortress. He would load his truck with cold beer and was waiting for the
Harriers as they completed their running exercise.
From such simple beginnings has mushroomed a form of Monday evening physical and social activity that is followed in many parts of the free world with almost
The ``Hash" does have variations, from the ``male only" Harriers, which are copies of the original (generally dominated by British and Australians) in places like Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong,
Taiwan, and Seoul to mixed or family hashes in Okinawa and Honolulu (where women may sometimes be in the majority).
For another version of this history, see the Harrier.net history page.