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Running With Beer – Why You Need To Try Hash House Harriers In Buenos Aires

by Tony · 15 comments

Hanging out at Hash House Harriers Buenos Aires

Just hanging out at the Hash...

Monuments and museums are great and might be what draws you to a particular city, but it is the unexpected (good and bad) that causes that city to be forever remembered.

The interesting part about travel is the unexpected.

The best part about travel is the pleasantly unexpected.

The legendary part about travel is the pleasantly unexpected that will forever change how you travel.

And so it was that on our last day in Buenos Aires we found ourselves participating in the Hash House Harriers of Buenos Aires.

What Is Hash House Harriers?

Partly a bi-weekly group run, partly a bi-weekly social club, and totally ridiculous.

Officially billed as “A drinking club with a running problem,” Hash House Harriers actually began in Kuala Lampur in 1938 by a group of British soldiers and expats who primarily wanted to find a way to rid themselves of the weekends excesses. The constitution of the group is as follows (and is possibly the greatest mission statement of any club ever):

  1. To promote physical fitness among our members.
  2. To get rid of weekend hangovers.
  3. To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer.
  4. To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel.

Gotta love those old-school Brits and their love for exercise and beer! Hash House Harriers is now a world-wide phenomenon with over 1988 groups formed and in every major city.

Why You Must Try Hash Harriers In Buenos Aires

Hash House's Cast of Characters

A real cast of characters for this week's Mardi Gras theme...

  • The people are fantastic.
  • It’s very inexpensive. It only costs 25 pesos or roughly US$6 per person and you get lots of food, drink, and spirited group singing.
  • It spices up an otherwise boring workout with what can only be described as a scavenger hunt race.
  • You actually get a great workout as the runs are fairly strenuous (especially when alcohol is added).
  • It’s an excellent way to make new friends if just arriving in the city.

Our Hash House Harriers Virgin Experience

Starting Hash House Harriers Buenos Aires

Some of our ragtag crew from left to right: Leah, Meg, Me, and Mike

Meeting in a central location a little after 11:30, we had no idea what to expect. Promises had been made by friends who had gone before that there would be running, drinking, and occasional bouts of ridiculousness.

Little did we know how much of an understatement that would turn out to be.

While waiting with the group to run, one of the organizers let us in on the days rules.

You run with the group and follow symbols that had been chalked all over the city. Three dots meant you were going in the right direction, a circle meant you had to search and find the new path that could be down any of the streets of an intersection, and a YBF meant you’ve been fooled… AKA turn around and run extra.

It is actually an ingenious way to keep a group of different levels of fitness together as the more fit runners tend to do most of the searching!

I, being an out of shape ex-intramural all-star, thought this was genius since I could use the breaks when people looked for the new trail to catch my breath. But Meg… Meg did not like the lack of details.

“How far are we going to run today?” Meg innocently asked. Meg, being an ex-college swimmer, takes her workouts very seriously.

Without answering the question, the emcee of the day shouted, “Who asked that? Let me see your face so I can remember it for later!”

Definitely not a good sign for Meg.

With Meg’s question left unanswered, we were off running wild in the streets of Buenos Aires. Did I mention that the theme that week was Mardi Gras?

Meg and Leanne at Hash House Harriers Buenos Aires

Meg in the lead with Leanne, in her Mardi Gras best, in close pursuit.

Many false turns later, we reached the half-way point where deliciously cold beer was waiting for us.

They did say that they were a drinking club with a running problem!

Beer after running is delicious, but running after beer is called a cramp. Since this is my article, let’s say I didn’t cramp up and walk most of the way back… OK?

Stretching in Buenos Aires

We had to get some good stretching in after the race...

Roughly 4 miles after we started we were back at the beginning and where the real ridiculousness began.

In honor of the Mardi Gras theme, Hurricane’s were served. Basically a lot of rum, a lot of vodka, and a little fruit punch and ice.

With participants properly lubricated after the big run, a circle was formed where that emcee from the beginning of the race lived up to his promise to remember Meg.

Hash House Harriers has rules, but only rules you realize after you’ve broken them. One of the cardinal rules is never to ask how far the run is. If you do, you end up like Meg. Standing in a circle, being sung inappropriate songs, and chugging a beer.

Don’t get caught wearing new shoes either like this guy…

Don't wear new shoes to the Hash in Buenos Aires!

You don't want to look too stylin' at the Hash...

or you just might have to chug beer out of them!

Definitely don’t admit to knowing the person chugging beer out of their shoe… that means you have to chug out of their shoe as well!

I have some serious doubts if Meg would have done this for me…

As almost everyone was called out for numerous infractions, the party began to really gain some liquid momentum. This was perfect because we all ended up at a nearby apartment for a BBQ!

Good drinks, great exercise, incredible people, and a whole lot of fun. Why wouldn’t you try out Hash House Harriers on your next visit to Buenos Aires?

So how did it change how we will travel?

We loved it so much that we have decided to Hash it up in every major city we travel to. Any Hashers out there want to meet-up in some different cities around the world? You know how to contact us… @landingstanding

About Tony
Quit his job to try actually following his dreams for once... and is currently loving it. He is working hard to to make this life-style permanent by writing about his adventures and brainstorming money making opportunities with his partner-in-crime, Meg.

Bethany ~ twoOregonians February 29, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Great pictures, guys! You make running sound…….wait for it……FUN! :)
Can’t wait to hear about your other Hash experiences around the world.

Tony February 29, 2012 at 8:31 pm

The running might have been fun… definitely painful. But when does drinking not improve anything? Am I right, college?

You two need to try it!

Leanne Pittsford March 1, 2012 at 3:20 am

Best hash ever! Great post. Leah wouldn’t drink out of a shoe for me either but you know who would – Sauce and Magoo!

Tony March 2, 2012 at 11:39 am

Sauce and Magoo would eat/drink anything… maybe even a Kindle case?

Caroline @ Traveling 9 to 5 March 1, 2012 at 8:09 am

This was just added to our BA list – we will be doing this! :)

Tony March 2, 2012 at 11:40 am

Definite must! And from what we’ve been hearing… the BA hash might just be the best in the world. It typically happens every other week so plan accordingly!

SAMSON GEORGE NDAHAYO March 25, 2013 at 1:49 pm


SAMSON GEORGE NDAHAYO March 25, 2013 at 1:49 pm


condor March 1, 2012 at 10:56 am

Be aware that the hashes in different parts of the world take very different forms! My first experience with the hash was at BsAs and, for me, it remains my benchmark….a benchmark which few other hashes have reached and none have exceeded!! So much depends on the characters that attend and, even within the Buenos Aires hash, no hash is ever the same. Enjoy!
Qualified Seaman

Tony March 2, 2012 at 11:42 am

We’ve been hearing similar things… that the BA hash might be the best. Maybe we can export the fun we had to all of the other hashes?

I will definitely be writing a follow up post about out next hash so that we can compare… now i’m curious!

Edna March 1, 2012 at 5:36 pm

‘Alternative’ sports when traveling are great! I picked up Gaelic football when I lived in China and I’ve been playing it around the world ever since. HHH seems a lot more fun though (shhh don’t tell them I said that!) :)

Tony March 2, 2012 at 11:43 am

Gaelic football in China… sign me up! Doing “alternative” sports abroad is definitely a fun and different way to see a new city.

CW March 2, 2012 at 12:15 am

I think Meg would drink out of your shoe and I know you would for her too.
It looks like way to much drinking for me. But then again, I am old.

Tony March 2, 2012 at 11:44 am

hahaha after 2 months of hiking and running… I don’t know if she would or should!

The drinking is all in good fun and nobody gets outrageous… at least not due to alcohol!

Samson George November 28, 2015 at 9:14 am

I am waitting your answer

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