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Operation Santa Claus

‘Santa Hash’ runners raise over HK$60,000 for charity

Over 170 runners took part in this year’s annual fundraiser by Hong Kong’s 14 Hash House Harriers clubs

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 December, 2017, 12:12pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 30 December, 2017, 11:05am

More than 170 runners – many sporting Santa hats, red T-shirts and other Christmas-themed outfits – raced through Pok Fu Lam for this year’s Santa Hash run and raised over HK$60,000 for charity.

The run on December 10, organised by one of the 14 Hash House Harriers clubs in Hong Kong, is an annual affair to support Operation Santa Claus, the annual charity campaign organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK.

While each club organises their own races throughout the year, their runners traditionally come together at the end of the year for the Santa Hash and they have been doing so for over 20 years now.

The funds they raise come from donations, entrance fees that all runners have to pay – though they received a free flow of beer and can take part in a raffle to win prizes – and merchandise sales.

“Hashing” is derived from an old British school game – “Hares and Hounds” – where two groups of runners would chase each other through the countryside, following a paper or chalk trail.

The format for this year’s event was no different, but organisers said the turnout was one of the highest in recent years. The fastest runners took about an hour to complete the 8.5km route, which began in the Cyberport business park and stretched around Chi Fu Fa Yuen, Pok Fu Lam Village and Wah Fu.

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Trial master Andy Mundy was happy to see everyone enjoying the run.

“The event went smoothly and the weather was perfect for hashing,” he said, describing the route that took runners along the coastline and passed by a rock bed and river waterfall.

“We spent two weeks finalising the route and we walked along it for two Saturdays, using chalk and flowers to mark the trail. We had to do it properly and get it right.”

One of the organisers, Bo Fussing, thanked the management of Cyberport for allowing runners to gather at the business park before and after the event.

“We focused on just making this our special fundraiser … especially since this is the only time of the year hashers come together,” Fussing said.

Santa Hash convenor Tim Thane hailed this year’s event as a success.

“I’ve been to quite a few Santa Hashes and I’ve always enjoyed it, but especially this one because we had a great venue, we had a fairly good crowd and our participation may be small but everyone is so generous in raising funds for Operation Santa Claus.

“We went all out,” Thane said.