- “How It All Started”
- “The Lady in Red Named ‘Hash Hero’”
- Runner’ World: “Dress Code: The latest race sensation has simple rules: you gotta wear red and it’s gotta be a dress,” Bill Stump, March 1998 (pp 104-111).
- The Half-Mind Catalog: “The Lady in Red Speaks,” The Lady in Red, 2005.
- Hare of the Dog: History, Humour and Hell-raising from the Hash House Harriers, Stu ‘The Colonel’ Lloyd, “A R*n In Your Stockings. The real story of the Red Dress R*n phenomena,” pp. 449-452 (ISBN 0 9578332 1 0) 2002.
The San Diego Hash House Harriers will host their annual Red Dress Run on Saturday, June 23, 2012. The run will feature a sea of red-clad hashers on a trail beside San Diego’s spectacular MissionBay. It promises an epic start from Jake’s Tiki Bar and an amazing beer check at the city’s oldest open-roof pub. At the finish, hashers will dance to the live sounds of “The Hash Band.”
As if that weren’t already enough to put the San Diego Red Dress Run on every hasher’s bucket list, the San Diego Hash House Harriers lay claim to being home of the original Red Dress Run, and this year, they’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first Red Dress Run. The party starts on Friday and continues through Sunday with a number of special events planned. Sign up here before the limited number of registrations are gone.
Given that The Lady in Red will be in San Diego for the festivities, Red Dress Runs thought the time was right to ask her a few questions.
Are we really celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Red Dress Run this year?
San Diego is. I’m always up for celebrating something. Is there beer?
Were you really wearing a red dress at your first hash, and if so, why?
I had just arrived on a visit from Arizona, and the airline lost my luggage. Running naked wasn’t really a good idea. So yes, I ran in the red dress I wore when I stepped off the plane.
In San Diego?
3M, a friend from high school and college, invited me, and he was from the Long Beach Hash. But there were so few people who hashed in Californiaback then that they had to combine two or three different kennels. That was Long Beach and San Diego that combined that weekend in the fall of 1987. The run was in OrangeCounty. But the on-after was in the San Diego area. That’s why San Diego held the first Red Dress Run. And they’re the one’s who named me The Lady in Red.
Did you hash after that?
I’ve never stopped! I went to several more hashes that weekend. The last run is when people started throwing clothes at me to run in. When I got home, I washed them and sent them to 3M along with a note asking him to thank all who let me borrow them – not realizing that everyone had a lot of hash shirts. Apparently they found that rather amusing and read the letter in the circle. By the way, two weeks after arriving back home in Arizona, the luggage showed up on my doorstep.
Before leaving, I begged everyone who would listen to help me start a hash in Arizona. Somebody got in touch with Wrong Way (he would get lost on his own trails as a hare) who was moving back to Arizona from Mexico City. Together with Captain Crash (who crashed an ultra-light and waked away from it), he started the Phoenix Hash. Shortly after the inaugural run, I moved to Houston. I continued to hash with the Houston kennel during my time there.
According to the story, you attended the first “official” Red Dress Run held in your honor?
The very moment the technician finished installing the telephone, it rang. “Where are you?” the voice asked. It was 3M. “I’m overnighting a ticket.” He said that the San Diego Hash had taken up a collection to buy me an airline ticket and that I had to be there in just two days. This was in August 1988.
Were you nervous?
No, it was more like being in a daze, trying to figure out what’s going on.
How was your reception?
Everyone seemed to be very excited. The women were a bit standoffish, though. It seems some have them had been told to watch their men or I would steal them. Goulash, who had been at the on-after in San Diego the previous year presented me with some very thorny red flowers from a bush. I pressed the petals and still have them. I’m the kind of person who, when being chased out of town, will grab a stick and pretend I’m leading a parade. It was a great weekend. There was beer. And the guys were all very nice.
Did you make a request that the Red Dress Run be held every year?
No, while I was there, they had already decided to hold another Red Dress Run the following year. But I did request that they should do this to benefit local charities. I’m astounded at how it has grown and how so many hashers have used the Red Dress Run to assist so many worthwhile charities worldwide.
EPILOGUE: In true hashing form, The San Diego Hash House Harriers were a bit confused in calculating the 25th anniversary of the first Red Dress Run. Rather than 2012, the real anniversary was in 2013. Perhaps that was a happy accident. The Lady in Red, who was in attendance, was honored for inspiring the first Red Dress Run. On April 13, 2013, the hashing world was stunned to learn that The Lady in Red died unexpectedly. While she would not live to see the actual 25th anniversary, the mistake allowed her to celebrate the occasion anyway. Did she know about the error in marking the anniversary? Absolutely. Take another look at her response to the first question. Her sense of humor is one more aspect of The Lady in Red that will be deeply missed.