A few weeks ago I discovered the wonderfulness that is Hashing. I was getting antsy trying to find places/people to run with and posted on a Facebook page. A hasher named Tiffany replied encouraging me to attend on Saturday.
Essentially, groups of runners, made up of locals and ex-pats, get together, do crazy runs, then eat and drink. So, naturally I had to check this out.
Here is the premise of the running event. There is a “hare” who sets the trail. The trail is marked with certain symbols. There are times that the hare can try and trick you by placing a circle (drawn with chalk) when trails split off. Then runners have to run down both trails looking for the symbols. Once found, the runner yells ON TRAIL!!!!!….to signify to other runners to run down that trail, instead of the other one. Then, the runners write out the symbol so the next people know where to go.
It turns out the trail we were doing was one of the most difficult in the area (yay?) because the first 1-2k is damn near straight up, and all stairs. There is a walking and running trail, the walking trail is a 5k, the running trail is a 11k. I had originally planned to do the running trail, however I changed my mind after 25 minutes of stairs.
The views were unbelievable. A unique characteristic of these hashes; there would be no other reason for any of us to explore these tiny nooks and crannies of the city but I saw beautiful, amazing things that I would for sure not have seen on my own.
It is also an interesting group of people. At this hash there were some “older” guys (perhaps in their 40s/50s?) and lots of 20 somethings. Most of the older guys hailed from Australia, Canada, or Europe. The 20 somethings were mostly Americans, in Taichung to teach English. Then there were local Taiwanese people. Fulbright doesn’t want us to hang out with Ex-pats at McDonald’s every weekend. Our purpose here is to engage with locals and exchange culture. So I am glad that there are Taiwanese people involved!
After finishing we stuffed our facing (or maybe just me…) with SALSA and CHIPS! (This shouldn’t have been so momentous, but of all the foods I love for some reason I seem to only crave Mexican.) After some nourishment, there is an initiation/review of the run. Those who are trail “virgins” are introduced and indoctrinated. It’s pretty goofy. Then, people grab food/drinks together.
Honestly so happy I found/did this. They happen 3 times a month and there are special events as well. There is one the first weekend of October that tours the eastern side of the island. I am considering going because what better way to see the island?