Winter-running in Montreal is associated with a particular kind of psychosis, the kind exemplified by the foggy-glassed, masochistic father in Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes. For the rest of us, Montreal’s Hash House Harriers provide a form of running less geared toward health nuts, and more suited to just regular nuts. The group is part of the world wide community of hashing, describing both a sport and the culture which surrounds it. The athletic element of hashing is fairly simple. A lead runner – the “hare” – lays a trail for the rest of the group, leaving clues and signs for the “hounds” to follow.
What makes hashing unique in the sports world is the general hedonism which accompanies it. Runs are followed by copious amounts of beer. The sport’s drinking element has lead to the mantra, “A drinking club with a running problem.” Like other sports, hashing comes with its own lingo and conventions. Athletic prowess, however, is not necessarily the most prized quality. According to Montreal’s Hash House Harrier’s web site, an “FRB” is a Front Running Bastard, alternatively a Fit Bastard, both terms that come with strong pejorative connotations. On the other hand, falling down and making an ass of yourself earns you a reputation as a “Day Tripper,” and means more beer and general acclaim.
This Sunday, their weekly hash will be returning to Île-Perrot for their post-holidays “Regift” hash. All are welcome. Sunday’s Regift Hash will be meeting at 71 Rue Des Fougères, Île-Perrot at 1 p.m. Bring $7.