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Published on May 9, 2019 | by Alastair Gilmour

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Meet the bar runners

The things you see at the Newcastle Beer & Cider Festival (1): A group of real ale drinkers in running gear isn’t what you expect to encounter at a beer festival. But here are four members of Newcastle Hash House Harriers (NHHH), “a drinking group with a running problem” who meet regularly to run between pubs – and also pop into them.

The hardy quartet were having a stiffener or two at the recent Newcastle Beer & Cider Festival at Northumbria University before setting off to set a trail in “hare and hounds” style with markings laid out on pavements to guide the main group to the next destination (see the bottle of flour, not milk, in our photo). They admitted they were going back to the festival to meet the other harriers.

Newcastle Hash House Harriers founder member Keith Hudson says: “Because it was the beer festival, the trail was shorter than usual – 2.3 miles rather than the normal 4.5 miles – around Sandyford and Shieldfield but did include a 400m sprint session around the City Stadium on Warwick Street.

“This is also the venue for our annual Beer Mile event later in the year, where participants must start by downing a pint of beer and repeating this over the next three laps to the finish. It’s definitely an endurance event.”

We’re informed the group later split between those attending the beer festival and those retiring to the more sedate and relaxing location of the Mean Eyed Cat, near Haymarket bus station and Metro.

Newcastle Hash House Harriers – there are similar organisations all over the world – celebrates its 25th anniversary on August 28 and will host its regular “beer stop” at the Great North Run on Sunday September 8.

“We’ll be celebrating the anniversary with a run around Newcastle city centre on Sunday September 3,” says Keith. “The final venue, the Strawberry in Gallowgate, depends on whether Newcastle United are at home that day and we’re opening it up to runners from other clubs.”

As if that weren’t enough, over the August Bank Holiday, NHHH are also laying a trail in Jedburgh as part of the bi-annual Nash Hash gathering in Kelso – an international event with runners not only from Britain but from all over the world.

This is a phenomenon that will run and run.


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Alastair Gilmour



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