Still strong after 2,000 hash runs


GE­ORGE TOWN: He is 78 years old and needs a walk­ing stick to move around, but Lionel Ra­ja­money is not let­ting age nor time stop him from join­ing the Penang Hash House Har­ri­ers (PHHH) for the weekly run.

The for­mer state ath­let­ics coach said he con­tin­ues with the ac­tiv­ity as he en­joys the com­pany of old friends, cold drinks and hot food at the end of each run.

He ad­mits he can no longer keep the pace or hike like be­fore and would re­turn to the meet­ing spot if the route has to pass through hilly ground.

“I still en­joy walk­ing and join­ing my fel­lows in the hash,” he said after tak­ing part in his 2,000th PHHH run at the Penang Botan­i­cal Gar­dens re­cently.

Lionel was as­sisted at that time by his son and he also helps plan the route for the weekly Mon­day run.

Even though he can no longer run or hike as be­fore, he noted plan­ning the route was also counted as par­tic­i­pa­tion.

“God-will­ing, I hope to be able to make my 2,001st and 2,002nd run,” said Lionel who started join­ing hash runs in 1973.

The hash house har­ri­ers is a group of non-com­pet­i­tive so­cial run­ners where the runs are known as “hash” and routes are set by a “hare”.

The ac­tiv­ity orig­i­nated in 1938 in Se­lan­gor when a group of Bri­tish Colo­nial of­fi­cers met on Mon­day to run which even­tu­ally mor­phed into a so­cial ac­tiv­ity.

There are hun­dreds of hash house har­ri­ers chap­ters world­wide with the one in Penang be­ing the sev­enth old­est chap­ter in the world after be­ing formed in 1965.

A typ­i­cal run usu­ally lasts be­tween 45 min­utes to 90 min­utes and has about 40 to 60 par­tic­i­pants.

Ra­ja­money is the long­est serv­ing mem­ber of the Penang Hash House Har­ri­ers.

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