Koh Samui’s Hash House Harriers to celebrate 1000th run December 3rd

Koh Samui’s Hash House Harriers are celebrating their 1000th run on the island. Perhaps it isn’t just a celebration of conquering the wild jungles of Koh Samui, but rather a celebration of forged international friendships over the 25 years that the run has operated on the island. As the group normally features around 20-30 participants for each of its Saturday afternoon runs, the stories that have come out of the meetings are quite epic.

Starting with their nicknames, which are not suitable for publishing (and often quite raunchy), the Hashers have formed a playful community with events and activities abound. A normal run consists of those laying the trail, known as the hares, which can depart in several paths for different skill levels. Some paths are even fake, just to make the runs more interesting.

Koh Samui's Hash House Harriers to celebrate 1000th run December 3rd | News by Thaiger

As the group conquers the trails, they look forward to their “circle” talks at the end, which include rating the trail. But it isn’t a normal rating, as one person is tasked with carrying a toilet seat around in case the trail’s reviewers liken it to that of human excrement. After a nice chat full of jokes and fun, the group gets down to business by toasting each other with coconuts full of beer. Many even meet for dinner afterwards to continue the festivities.

Koh Samui's Hash House Harriers to celebrate 1000th run December 3rd | News by Thaiger Koh Samui's Hash House Harriers to celebrate 1000th run December 3rd | News by Thaiger

Long-time Hasher, Eric Tarleton, says he first started participating in the group back in 1978 in Dubai. He says he first heard about Hash House Harriers when someone recommended joining by saying it was the cheapest way to enjoy some beer while socialising. 50 years later, he is still a regular as he says getting out on a Saturday with friends for a little bit of exercise keeps him coming back. He joined the Samui Hashers back in 2009 and enjoys the social experience he gets weekly from the group’s members.

Koh Samui's Hash House Harriers to celebrate 1000th run December 3rd | News by Thaiger

The Hash House Harriers was born in 1938 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and has since spread across the world with each group having unique attributes. In Thailand, Phuket also has a Harriers group in addition to Koh Samui.

Love stories, unique friendships and loads of laughter have all been features of this eclectic group of foreigners and Thais. The GM of Samui’s Hash House Harriers, John Lathbury, says these things are what make the group tight-knit and offer a sense of belonging among the island’s residents.

He says one of the things that he liked about the group when he first went, is that the members poke fun at themselves.

“I enjoy the comradery, I really do. It’s a good group of people that laugh at themselves, that have fun, that do support each other, especially on the run. I mean you are out in the middle of nowhere and people are looking out for other people.”

When laying the trails, Lathbury says it has taken him to remote places on the island that he never would have thought to have gone. And, as the trails go into the hills of the island, he says he has met many Thai people who are excited to hear that the group will be crossing over their land. John’s wife, Lynne Lathbury, says the Thai people are very helpful when the runners are trying to follow the trails as they often point in the direction that other runners ahead have gone. Between the group members’ wide range of nationalities and the local Thais, the Lathburys say the group is like a small community.

Samui Hash House Harriers

There are even a few Hashers that participated in the very first run on Samui that will be there for the 1000th run event on December 3. One of those Hashers, who has participated since the group started in Koh Samui, is Carmen Klein. She says when she first came here 25 years ago as a single woman, she knew no one and upon doing the ‘Hash’ she met people who had a shared interest in running from every country in the world. She said she felt so safe in that environment and has made friendships that have lasted for 25 years.

As the 1000th run event has proven to be quite popular, Lathbury says all are still welcome to join in the run, but those who want to participate in the dinner and other festivities need to inquire as soon as possible to reserve a ticket to enjoy dinner, drinks and a t-shirt. The three-day event will commence on Friday, December 2 as a meet and greet at The Hive. The 1000th run will start at 3.15 pm on Saturday, December 3 at Bang Kao Beach. Saturday night, the Hashers will have dinner and drinks at around 7.15pm. On Sunday, December 4, a Hangover Run is scheduled for 11am at Bang Kao Beach (which Lathbury says will be more like a slow walk as people recover from the night before).

1000th Run Event Schedule

  • Friday, December 2: Meet and greet starting at 5pm at The Hive
  • Saturday, December 3: 3.15pm Hash House 1000th Run/Walk at Bang Kao Beach
  • Saturday Evening: Dinner and drinks at The Hive at 7.15pm
  • Sunday, December 4: Hash House Hangover Run, 11am at Bang Kao Beach

For more information, you can visit Koh Samui’s Hash House Harriers website at: https://kohsamuihhh.com/

Koh Samui NewsLifestyle

Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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