First Timers

First Time ("Virgin") Hasher Guide

If you have never hashed before and are interested in what this so-called “drinking club with a running problem” is - please read this first!

Welcome, welcome, welcome to the zany and fun world of hashing! Hashing is a fun alternative sport that mixes in a combination of running, walking, orienteering, and of course, a thirst for beer. Together hash members follow a mystery trail laid before us by a wily hare. Trails can take us through unexplored paths, city streets, country roads, and even through sewers, creeks, and rivers! The reward for solving such a trail is made when we finally find the ice cold beer hidden before us by the hare and sharing it all with our friends.

How Do I Join?

Just show up. That's it really. There are no annual dues. There is no sign up ahead of time. We're a welcoming bunch to all runners and walkers. 

Do I have to be a fast runner?

No!  You don't even have to run.  We have both a runners and walkers/hikers trail and generally have a good mix of runners and walkers/hikers at each trail.  All fitness levels are welcome.  

However, do be aware it is an outdoor activity and you should have a fitness level where you are able to walk/hike up hills for a couple miles.  Please remember to show up hydrated in the summer months.

What To Do Before Trail

Before joining a hash run event, please make note of the trail description provided by the Hare’s of that day’s run. These details will be posted on this website. We use a lot of silly terms and lingo to describe a run so that our group of runners and walkers know what to expect and how to dress. Generally, a safe bet is to show up in comfortable running gear that you’re not afraid to get dirty, ripped, and/or wet. Keep your fancy gym shoes and new Lulu leggings at home. We also suggest not running with your expensive phone on trail, unless you have it stored in a secure dry place on your body. For many hashers, this has been an expensive lesson. We also recommend you consider bringing an extra set of dry clothes and shoes for after trail, just in case the run or climate leaves you a little sweaty and wet. It’s also advised to bring a reusable cup (aka a vessel) with you for after trail beverages, if you forget to bring a vessel no worries, we may have some extra lying around for sale or to borrow.

What To Do When You Arrive At Start

When you first arrive at the “Start Location” of the hash run please introduce yourself to the crowd. Members of MisMan (also known as MisManagement, we are the people who help keep things semi-organized) will be happy to show you around and answer any questions you have. First-time visitors to the Hash are affectionately referred to as “Virgins.” As it lets the rest of the members of the group (aka pack) know we have someone brand new to the group and to help make their first hash run with us enjoyable and unforgettable. Members of MisMan will also be conducting sign-in and collecting hash cash for today’s trail. Don’t worry about paying for your first trail ($5 aka the hash cash). At Old Frederick H3, first time hashers are free for their first run, as you can only be a virgin once!

The RA of the group will introduce themselves to you. They will be the one to show you the marks that will be used by the hares to lay trail today. Like we mentioned, hares can be wily, so they will try to use different marks and false trails to slow the pack down from finding the true trail to beer. After the RA has given you a brief tutoring session, the Opening Circle will commence.

Opening Circle

Once sign-in has closed and the hares are away laying trail, the Opening Circle will start. Here the RA becomes the group “Ring Leader” announcing important details about today’s trail fellow hashers may have missed. This is also when the RA will present any new members to the group. As a hash virgin you’ll be welcomed and everyone will go around the circle introducing themselves to you by their “hash name,” which usually has a silly story to corroborate earning such a name. If you forget someone’s name just peek at their hash necklace they likely are wearing. The RA will also ask if you will be running or walking on today's trail. Knowing which trail pace helps assist the RA in assigning you a hash guide who will basically be there for you to make sure you follow marks, learn a little bit about hashing, as well answer any questions about trail. Opening Circle will conclude with a brief warm up exercise so that our joints and muscles are limber and lubricated. After our warm up exercise the hash is let go to solve the trail! 

On Trail

Here you will run/walk/meander about trail with your fellow hashers. Be on the lookout for marks! Depending on trail length the hare may split the runners and walkers apart for brief periods. The end goal is for runners and walkers to merge back together by Beer Check and On-In (aka the end of trail). If you’d like to know more about the terms used in hashing or what the hash marks mean ahead of time please refer to our Glossary  for a brief synopsis. 

Beer Check

This is the reward for solving trail thus far! Here the whole pack comes together again to enjoy a beverage. If you’re not much of a beer drinker or not comfortable running with beer in your belly that is a-okay. Typically, the hares will provide water at Beer Check. You are also more than welcome to bring your own hydropack along with you if you prefer. Depending on the hare and their budget they may also have ciders or seltzers at the Beer Check, however this is not a guarantee for every trail and hare. 

On-In/ The End of Trail

Trail concludes when we reach our end destination, which is usually labeled in chalk somewhere “On-In.” Usually, On-In ends where trail had started (unless announced otherwise by the hare & RA). Here hashers can catch a breath, change into dry clothes, and grab a snack as we wait for the rest of the group to run/walk/meander back. Once we have everyone back and accounted for, the End Circle will begin. 


Just as trail starts with an Opening Circle, so must we close with an End-Circle. Here the RA will announce the time to start End-Circle and for everyone to “charge your vessels,” which means make sure your cup has some beer, soda, or water in it. End-Circle is the point in time where we call out the hares for the trail they laid, poke fun of hilarious moments done on trail, and honor those who went above and beyond on trail with rowdy songs concluded by Down-Downs. 

End-Circle is also when the RA will call in our hash virgins. Here you will partake in your own special Down-Down ceremony. The RA will teach you the art of the Down-Down. It’s basically showing you the custom of how you drink a beer when being called out into circle. It’s not very complicated, just be sure to listen to the hash song chorus chant of “down-down, down-down, down-down,” that’s when you can start drinking your beer. Once you complete your very first Down-Down you will no longer be considered a virgin hasher, and will now be a “Just” hasher until you earn your very own hash name. (ex. Just Mary)

The art of the Down-Down is a tradition of hashing that is carried all around the world. If you’re interested to see some examples of Down-Downs and End-Circle traditions feel free to watch this YouTube clip.  

End-Circle will carry on until the RA decides to wrap things up. Usually there is an announcement for the On-After location the hares have personally picked out for everyone. The On-After location is optional. Typically it is a bar, restaurant, or someone's own backyard for the kennel to all meet up and have lunch before moving on about their day. Some stay for On-After and some head home to the real world. All are totally acceptable.  

 What’s Next and How Do I Earn A Cool Hash Name?

If you like hashing just keep coming! The more you hash the more things you’ll learn about hashing and how different each trail can possibly be. If you want to continue and are interested in earning a sweet hash name and necklace you must sign up to hare. To earn a hash name you must attend at least 3 hash trails with Old Frederick H3 and you must have co-hared an Old Frederick H3 trail. Your fellow hashers are always willing to help show a new hasher the ropes and help hare a trail with you. If you don’t know who to ask to help lay a trail with speak to one of the MisMan member’s called the “HareRazor,” They are the one who helps organize trail details and dates. 

You can also check out all the other Hash Kennels found throughout the Maryland area and beyond. Each kennel has its own unique set of traditions and trails. The joy of hashing is visiting other kennels and seeing how different they can be! As well as exploring new areas you never dreamed of running through.