Vung Tau Hash House Harriers (“VTH3″) was founded in December 1992. It has nearly 150 members on the books, and the club (or “chapter”) runs every Sunday with average attendance between 15 and 25 men, women and children depending on work rosters.
The runs alternate, with a “local” trail one week (Big Mountain, Jesus Hill, Lighthouse Hill, or the beach and fishing villages past Sea View apartments); and “away” trail the next – usually one of many around Go Gang, Long Son island, Long Hai (especially Minh Dam Base area), and Nui Dinh.
VTH3 has members from Vietnam, Russia, Ukraine, England, Ireland, Australia, USA, Norway, Singapore, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Brazil, Romania, and more – and many were present on Sunday, 04 December 2011, when the club celebrated its historic 500th run.
A record 56 Hashers followed one of two trails: the “walking” trail was directly along the winding road up Nui Dinh, 5 km west of Ba Ria, to the finish point at a local cafe and swimming pool.
The “running” trail followed narrow tracks around the countryside before heading directly up the mountain through rocky and often dense undergrowth.
The first runners and walkers eventually reached the finish point within minutes of each other – an indication of good trail-setting by the “hares”.
Lots of socialising took place around the swimming pool, with plenty of food and drink available to help everyone “recover” from the run.
The attraction of the Hash is for people of different nationalities to meet in a social environment which includes exercise – usually a 60 or 90-minute run or walk followed by The Circle, where members socialise over a few beers or soft drinks.
VTH3 members, in particular, can appreciate the local Ba Ria-Vung Tau countryside, culture and people while they exercise and socialise amongst themselves.
It’s been a very good year for VTH3, and members are looking forward to an even better one in 2012 with more people joining every week as the word gradually spreads around town.
Everyone is welcome to join the Vung Tau Hash – it’s a family-friendly club which caters for all ages and fitness levels.
And the Hash is not a competition. It’s an inexpensive way to meet new people and socialise whilst also enjoying some exercise. Everyone’s welcome to join – there are no age or fitness limitations.
Footnote: “The Hash” was started near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1936 by English colonialists and expats who wanted to exercise as well as drink beer. The club was named after their meeting place (The Selangor Club Annex – known as “The Hash House” because it served boring food).
The format has remained the same since then, with “hares” setting trails with chalk, flour, biodegradable paper, eco-twine, etc.
Then the “hounds” set off and follow the trail to the finish point where they chat, drink beer and enjoy some funny traditions such as “down downs”, which are designed to put everyone in a happy mood (“down down” means drinking all your beer or soft drink at once while everyone else sings various “Hash songs”).
There are now nearly two thousand Hash clubs or “chapters” around the world, including at least three currently active in Vietnam: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Vung Tau.
For more information and/or to join the VTH3 email list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org