Amsterdam Hash

Posted by on Sep 16, 2011 in General Travel, Netherlands, Running | 2 Comments

No, it’s not what you think.

Although the people who formed the very first Hash House Harriers (HHH or H3) chapter in Kuala Lumpur in 1938 may have been smoking a little somethin’ somethin’…

Often billed as a drinking club with a running problem, H3 members participate in runs that are based on the traditional British “hare and hounds” hunt. Basically, one or more members (hares) head out to lay a trail marked with flour, sawdust, chalk, or whatever else they can find. The rest of the runners then set out roughly 10 minutes later to catch the hare. Sometimes hares purposely lead the other runners astray and send them down a dead end. Sometimes the trail runs through streams, mud, abandoned parking garages, across freeway embankments, up mountains, etc.

Along the way you may encounter a beer stop, and there’s always a lot of beer at the end of the run. You’ll also definitely encounter some exceptionally juvenile behavior; a good amount of trash talking; silly rules that, if broken, will require you to drink extra beer; and hilariously offensive names for veteran Hashers* (the names must be earned).

We’ve tried running with at least a half dozen HHH chapters on this trip (there are 1,700 chapters all over the world), but the timing never worked out. We either got to town one day late or left one day early. Finally, in Amsterdam, we were able to find one chapter that accommodated our schedule!

Amsterdam HHH Members

Amsterdam HHH Members. The crazy Scottish guy is in front, kneeling. (Image copied from Amsterdam HHH's website)

We rode the Amsterdam metro from Amstelstation to Gaasperplas to meet up with the group, and proceeded to run through beautiful parks, forested running paths, some rather rough-looking housing projects, and suburban mini-malls. We met a couple of other non-regulars (Jenna from NYC and a Dutch girl whose name we forget) and found out that the chapter’s leadership (or MisManagement, as they call it) consists of a fellow Canadian and her husband (a Cornell alum). We felt at home!

Later on we had dinner at an Indian restaurant with most of the group, and had to listen to the crazy Scottish guy’s theory that Edie Falco (the star of Showtime’s Nurse Jackie) is actually a man. He’d had an appreciableĀ amountĀ of beer at that point, so we just nodded and ignored him. He reminded us a lot of Craig Ferguson.

So thank you “Excremental Earnings”, “Missing Link”, “5-Pack”, and all the other Amsterdam Hashers! We had a great time running with you guys, and one of these days we’ll each do something stupid enough to deserve a proper Hash name.

Until then, “On On!”

HHH Amsterdam

* Hashers, by the way, are almost all English-speaking expats,
which is a great way to meet ‘locals’ that can tell you all about
the place you’re visiting. They’re not only fun people to hang
out with, but they’re a wealth of information!


  1. Sandy
    September 21, 2011

    Finally— this sounds like a reason to run (or maybe walk). Is there a group in the Bay Area? Why don’t you do this? Maybe even Marnie could join. She could sniff her way along. FUN!

    • Robin
      September 22, 2011

      Who needs a reason to run? Silly Mom. There are several groups in the Bay Area, actually, including an East Bay hash. Dogs are usually welcome, so Marnie should totally check it out!


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