Beer Run

It was Friday night at the Blue Fox Bar & Grill, a sprawling sports pub, when I met the tall man wearing bunny ears. “I am Bob-Shiggy-Bob,” he said, jabbing a hand forward to greet.

Thus starts my story in today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune, where I investigate the odd practice of Hash running, an athletic drinking game of sorts involving ad hoc urban courses, clues chalked on sidewalks, hidden coolers of beer, and grown men running wild while dressed in bunny suits.

“We’re a drinking club with a running problem,” said Bob-Shiggy-Bob, aka Bob Schriver, a 56-year-old veteran hasher who had donned the bunny suit to serve as “hare.”

The tradition of hashing started nearly 70 years ago in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when a group of British expatriates formed a club to exercise and imbibe after work once a week. Initially, one runner—the hare—would take off with a head start, dropping bits of paper as a trail of clues for the pack—the harriers—to follow.

The goal was twofold: to catch the hare, and to reach the adult refreshments at the end of the line.

Hashing grew throughout the 20th century as an underground and word-of-mouth phenomenon. Today, hashing clubs exist in many major cities worldwide.

I ran with a club in Minneapolis in late August, following characters like Gopher, SnoHo, Twiggy, and Bob-Shiggy-Bob for seven miles or so through deep twisting suburbia.

Go here for the full, strange story. . .

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.