Hash house harriers leg it around fun run to raise HK$75,000
More than 100 hash house harriers from Hong Kong and overseas raised a record HK$75,000 for Operation Santa Claus at their annual fun run, the Santa Hash.
This year's event, which is also a big gathering for the city's 11 hash chapters, was organised by the Sai Kung Steamers and Hong Kong Friday hash house harriers clubs.
The hashers, including a few from Macau, Denmark and the mainland, enjoyed a cross-country run of a little more than one hour around Quarry Bay. Many dressed in Santa suits and some brought along their children or dogs.
Three trails of different distance, named 'rambos', 'wimps' and 'walkers', were laid out for runners. Rambos, the longest, started from Quarry Bay Park II, passing Braemar Hill Road and winding through the Clementi Equestrian Trail before returning along Kornhill Road.
Mark Hope, one of two 'hares' who laid the trail, said the 9.5km route was a 'runner's run'.
'It's flat and fast. It should be much easier than the one last year on The Peak,' said Mr Hope, known as 'Hopeless' among hash runners.
Peter Keeping, a fan of both hashing and marathons, said hashing was totally different from any other competitive sport.
'There's so much fun in hashing. You run with your friends, you have to follow the trails. If you go wrong you have to look for the right way. You might be the first one to finish this time, but you are also likely to be the last next time,' he said.
Cold beer and snacks were waiting for the runners at the end, followed by a charity auction and a raffle run by organiser Carol Stubbins.
Guy Shirra, the key organiser, said he was proud that the city's hashers had raised a 'brilliant' HK$75,000 despite the economic downturn.
'We started as early as August to contact our sponsors and prepare for the event.
'We are so happy that we could raise more than last year's HK$65,000.'
At the end of the day the hashers found a perfect way to relax - a Christmas party in a Wan Chai pub.