What is Hashing?

On a hash run, a “Hare” sets a trail unknown to the rest of the hashers. The idea is to find the trail, which leads to the beer and then to the party. The trail may lead almost anywhere through the woods, railroad tracks, alleys, mudholes, and bars. Wearing your nice new $300 pair of running shoes would be bad. During a hash, Hashers are referred to by their hash names. There are many ways to describe the Hash House Harriers but it combines Running, Drinking, singing, eating and socializing. If you thought this might be a pleasant way to lose some weight, sorry, a hash is a net calorie gain.

The Madison Style

The Madison Hash House Harriers sets a hash trail every Saturday regardless of the outside conditions. Madison always has at least one beer check on each of its runs. Food is tyically served afterwards at a bar or someone’s home. Ceremonies includes singing and giving away hash paraphernalia for notable trangressions during the run. This is a coed hash and we welcome runners of all abilities, adult ages and degrees of ugliness. Leave the kids at home. Runs generally start at 3:00 PM during the winter and 5:00 PM during daylight saving time. The trail generally is from 3 to 5 miles if you don’t make any wrong turns. MH3 is listed in the Run-Down running portal.

Fees and Dues

Hash Cash is only $5 a week, payable at the beginning of the run. This is one of your entertainment bargains and is much cheaper than therapy. To become a member in good standing, pay your dues (only $15 a year), and set a run or two during the year.


In case you are used to hashing elsewhere… There is only one rule in Madison: “There are no rules.” It doesn’t matter what the weather is, the hash is ON. Almost all of our runs are pre-set (there is rarely a live hare). Ceremonies are not conducted in a circle, you don’t have to put your beer on your head, point with your elbow, or sit on a block of ice. But we like to think that we have fun. Yes, we sing songs. But Madison likes to keep it short. After all, there are beers to drink. Our half minds have trouble remembering anything over 4 lines long.

First timers

“How do I hash?” Just show up with a crummy pair of running shoes, you nitwit. The home page shows the location of the next run. If you are cumming for the first time and insist on being five minutes early, don’t worry, someone will likely be there eventually. You will be referred to a “virgin”, a “new boot” or by your first name prefaced by “Just” as in “Just John” or “Just Julie” whereas we will have fancy hash names like “Prince Variant” and “Way Too Soon”. An irreverent sense of humor is more important than any running skill. There is a LOT of stopping and standing around during a hash trail because the pack does not know where they are going. There is also at least one beer check (stop). So it is easy to keep up even if you are novice jogger or out of shape. Be forewarned that the trail will most likely deviate from “normal” running paths so it may be possible to get your shoes wet or muddy and there may be an occasional burr or thorn. It is not a bad idea to bring a change of clothes. Hashing is NOT for you if you think getting there first is the goal or if you are easily offended. Not only is there a trail run, there is food, ceremonies and more. Expect to be having fun for at least three hours after the start of the run.


Since it IS a drinking club, you must be 21 years old to participate. And since you are an adult, you are in charge of your own alcohol consumption. Down-downs or the chugging of beer are part of ceremonies. And Madison always pours a proper measure – no dixie cups used here. However, we never force anyone to drink. You have two options: 1. fill a cup with water and drink that. 2. Choose a “champion” who will drink for you. At the end of the evening, make sure you are sober before you drive. If not, walk home, bum a ride, grab a cab or hook up with the host or hostess.