Hash House Harriers on the run for Operation Santa Claus
Hash House Harriers hit the trails in pursuit of victory, fun and a few welcome beers, while swelling the coffers for Operation Santa Claus
Members of the city's 13 Hash House Harrier clubs have slipped on their running shoes for their annual Christmas Santa Hash to raise money for Operation Santa Claus.
This year's event, on December 8, was attended by about 140 hill-running and beer-drinking enthusiasts and was led by the Kowloon Hash club.
Hashing, as it is known, is similar to the old English sport of hare and hounds, or paper chase, whereby a "hare" lays a trail of paper and chalk for the remaining pack of "hashers" to follow as they track the hare through a cross-country run.
"The weather was nice with no rain so the trail marks were all there. I'm glad that people didn't get lost," said Mark Hope, who was the hare this year.
Hope has set the trail for the Christmas Santa Hash six times in the past seven years.
Three trails were set this year for runners of varying abilities and fitness - one of 5.5 kilometres, another 6.5 and the longest eight kilometres. Participants ran from Lockhart Road Playground in Wan Chai up the hill to Bowen Road, Dutch Path and Shiu Fai Terrace before coming back again.
Eight-year-old Joshua Powell ran the 6.5-kilometre trail with his six-year-old brother Leon and their father.
Coming straight from a two-hour rugby training session prior to the run, Joshua still managed to finish the race five minutes in front of his brother and dad.
"I'm not tired as I want to give money to charity," he said.
Another runner, Eric Chau, who was participating for the fourth time, said: "It's all fun. We ran then chatted with one another while drinking beer."
First-time participant Rezyl Billares, from the Wan Chai Hash, said: "This is a special run. We can wear Santa Claus costumes and have fun."
Last year, the hashers raised about HK$65,000 - a large part of which came from a raffle held on the day of the run. The sum was part of a record HK$18.8 million raised last year by Operation Santa Claus, an annual fundraising event jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK. Money raised last year went to help 18 beneficiaries.
A raffle was held again this year, with hashers donating some of their prizes to the fundraising effort.
Contributions also came from several private companies, including bars and restaurants frequented by members of the city's hash clubs.
How you can give
- Donate online by credit card at osc.scmp.com
- Donate at an ATM or at any HSBC branch (account no: 502-676299-001 for SCMP Charities Ltd - Operation Santa Claus)
- You can donate with a cheque payable to "SCMP Charities Ltd - Operation Santa Claus" and mail it to: Operation Santa Claus, Morning Post Centre, 22 Dai Fat Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, New Territories
- Donations of HK$100 or more are tax-deductible. If you would like a tax receipt, please send the completed donation form and original bank receipt, with your name, address and phone number, to the above address. Please call 2680 8159 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any inquiries, or visit us online at osc.scmp.com