Covid-19 threw a spanner in the works of the big Southwest China Hash that was supposed to happen in April this year. Undeterred, the Kunming and Chenggong Hash House Harriers chapters produced an alternative — the Xishan Weekender Hash. A small committee worked tirelessly to produce clothing designs, get sponsors on board, promote the event, manage the registrations and scout suitable trails in the Western Hills.
Last weekend, Hashers — also known as 'the drinkers with a running problem' — from all over China joined the Kunming and Chenggong Hash chapters for the Xishan Weekender Hash. 56 hashers spent three days of hiking, running, eating and drinking their way around town, in t-shirts that proudly spelt out their hash names — which can only be earned by laying a hash trail.
The festivities kicked off on Friday night with warm welcome for the traveling hashers at Lost Garden guesthouse. The good cheer continued deep into the night, with first a sumptuous Dai feast, followed by a pub crawl — a pre-lube in hash parlance — to O'Reilly's Green Lake where the hashers were plied with towers of Vedett beer. The event was officially opened with a boat race drinking game — narrowly won by the visiting hashers — and rounded off with a table full of tequila shots at Turtle Bar. Suffice to say that some runners were suffering the consequences a day later.
Saturday was the big Xishan Weekender day. A 15 kilometer trail — about 18 kilometer for runners — was marked with tennis balls and flour by the so-called hares in the morning.
The trail started easy enough, on the railroad tracks next to Mianshan subway station, but it wasn't long before it sent hashers scrambling up a steep trail into the Western Hills.
The challenging climb was followed by a ridge trail, offering stunning views of Kunming and Dianchi Lake.
A refreshing beer stop with cold Vedett beers was also part of the program, before descending back down to the city.
A tough but very rewarding day of hiking and running in the sunshine with friends was finished off with a hash circle ceremony.
Cantina had prepared a delicious Italian buffet and beers for the hungry hashers.
For the real die-hards, there was an after-party at O'Reilly's with another boat race drinking match — this time the Kunming Flying Tigers rugby team brought a crushing defeat down on the hashers present. The day had been quite hot, but during the night a massive thunder- and rain storm broke. The weather gods were with the hashers this weekend.
For those who were still standing on Sunday, runners were invited to catch the hares as they were laying a live trail around the Kunming city centre. The trail was a fairly long one and touched on many historical sights and beauty spots around town.
Xishan Weekender Hash festivities wrapped with a prize for the hashers who caught the hares and a bloody mary lunch at Lost Garden Cafe, after which most travelling hashers started packing to return home.
All in all, it was a great event — excellent weather, a challenging but stunning trail, new friends were made, Kunming food culture, watering holes and trails were shared with the traveling hashers and everyone learned some new songs.
Thank you everyone who joined, thank you travelling hashers for coming to visit us in Kunming, thank you organizers, and a particularly big thank you to the generous sponsors of the Xishan Weekender Hash:
Lost Garden Guesthouse and Cafe
O'Reilly's Irish Pub & Vedett Beer
Cantina - Wine and Chat
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