Harvel Hashers

A Tale Of Ale And Trail

They'll never make a hash of this race!

Harvel Hash House Harriers (HHHH – pictured above) is a self-proclaimed drinking club with a running problem! Both ales and trails played their part in the 25th-anniversary edition of the Harvel 5 – another sold-out success for HHHH.

Harvel is a village in the Parish of Meopham on the southern edge of the North Downs. The village is close to the 170-acre Trosley Country Park and the multi-terrain course passes through the beautiful woodland and open chalk grassland slopes.

HHHH accurately describes the race on their website thus: "Think of our event as a well organised, club-based 5-mile race, that collided with an English country village fete, complete with an industrial-sized tanker full of beer and you will pretty much have described our race". They are a Hash Club after all!

Before the runners could relax and visit the many stalls, food and beverage outlets on Harvel village green, there was the semi-serious business of the race on a course that may be short but is far from sweet – unless you enjoy muddy patches and sudden steep hill climbs. 

Dominating from the start was the 2021 and 2022 champion Jay Smith (M40 Tonbridge AC, 27:26) who won by almost a minute from fellow M40 master Andrew Pickett (Dartford Harriers, 28:23) and Tom Cotton (Dartford Harriers, 29:00). The top six men finished inside 30 minutes. 

Melody Kane (Petts Wood Runners, 32:50) was clear in the women's race by a similar margin. The runners-up were Abbe Clarke (Dartford Harriers, 33:49), also second last year, and Emily Hale (Medway & Maidstone AC, 35:02). There were 826 finishers in 90 minutes.

The course records remain at 25:31 by Thomas Wright (Bexley AC) in 2023 and 27:54 by Debbie Percival (Medway AC) in 2001. 

This short video from 2014 gives you an idea of the road section of the course...

Race details at HHHH Harvel 5 website here  

Results are available via runABC South race listing here.

Photo and video courtesy HHHH on Facebook

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