Hash racers triumphant despite run-in with the law

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 December, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 December, 2005, 12:00am

There was a bit of a hold-up at the Parkview end of Tai Tam Reservoir Road. The runners from different Hash House Harrier clubs throughout Hong Kong had on their costumes, but the 'hares' - the runners laying the route - seemed to have disappeared.

Then the call came through. The lead runners, who had chalked arrows on roads to indicate the route, had been held by police who wanted to know what they were up to.

Police were being extra careful during the World Trade Organisation's week-long meeting, and the end of the hash run was within the WTO security zone. So the route of the race was quickly adapted to end at Kennedy Road instead.

'They put a big, fat no, no on our finish,' said Cindy Featherston, who heads the Wan Chai Hash House Harriers and whose running name is Wet Nurse.

'So our hares were detained for a while, but it all worked out in the end.'

The lead runners were released and the annual Santa Hash for Operation Santa Claus got under way.

The Santa Hash, organised this year by the Wan Chai Harriers, takes a route that can be completed by runners of all ages and abilities. There are two short routes of 5km and 7km.

Many of the 100 runners ran in Christmas costumes, and with sponsorship from individuals and restaurants, the Santa Hash has raised more than $42,000.

Chin Wing-san was running with his daughter, Wei, in the Santa Hash. They are members of the Petaling Hash in Kuala Lumpur.

Many of the runners, including Barbara Davison, Jo Jones and Becky Holdaway, were dressed in red Santa dresses - though some did cheat by whipping them off after press photographs had been taken and running in T-shirt and shorts.