Love on the Run

How a combination footrace and frat party became one of the best places in the city to hook up

Bietz and Stangel shouldn't have that problem. They are only the most recent set of dedicated hash participants to tie the knot, which will happen this fall in a ceremony conducted by an ordained hasher. They're getting married on a camping retreat. Will the festivities include a hash run? Of course.

"I would go [to hashes] at first to have fun, not necessarily to meet people for the rest of my life," Bietz says. "But sometimes you do. I did. When you end up in a relationship with somebody, you want someone who is a lot like you. People are drawn to the hash for the same reasons, the same interests, and the same sense of humor. For people to find a partner in the hash seems natural."

Bietz's story is becoming more and more common. According to Grand Master Robert Philkill, the local chapters of the Hash House Harriers produce four or five weddings a year. Most recently, the S.F. Hash has seen unions between Shit Eating Grin (Justin Graham) and Wide Angle (Victoria Graham) as well as Crabs (Jeff Weiss) and Candy Ass (Darcy Mercord). Two other regulars, Open Wide (Liz Powell) and Likes to Lick (Jack Powell), also recently married by an ordained hasher, just found out they are going to have a baby.

Hashers take to the hills of Chinatown.
Paolo Vescia
Hashers take to the hills of Chinatown.
Participants adjust their costumes before the Red 
Dress Run.
Paolo Vescia
Participants adjust their costumes before the Red Dress Run.

"There is all kinds of serious relationships that come out of the hash," Caton says, speaking about the union of Open Wide and Likes to Lick. "That's the kind of thing that everyone is looking for."

I catch the pregnant (though not yet showing) Liz, a sunny dental hygienist in her 30s, standing around the bucket after a Thursday night Gypsies run, a plastic cup (water) in hand. She's waiting for Jack, telling her own stories about love on the hash: about the first time she laid eyes on Jack after a Monday night event three years ago; about jumping into his convertible half-drunk and falling in love; about how, while they were scouting a trail together for a run, he pulled out a ring and asked her to marry him; about how, as we speak within a circus of intoxicated athletes, her life has been changed by the Hash House Harriers.

"Jack wanted to know what sex the baby was," Liz says, forgoing the use of her husband's hash pseudonym, "but I talked him out of it." If it's a boy, they might name him Joshua or Jonathan. If it's a girl, maybe Cynthia or Emily.

And the baby's hash name?

She thinks about it for a minute before offering a suggestion: "Child of the Hash?"

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