Run 175 : The Netherlands – Den Haag

RTW Holland 1

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Date : 18th September, 2019

Time : 1h 30’ 36”

Number of runners (total to date) : 24 (6342)

Run map and details :

Media : ;

I was walking down the street in Den Haag when I saw a group of more than twenty men and women in red dresses in front of the Peace Palace. Yes, you guessed it. It was the Hague Hash House Harriers – H4 –  in all their glory.

And why were they – and I – in red dresses? Because the H4 had been good enough to agree to support my fundraising efforts for Cancer Research – and it is traditional that charity hashes be done in red dresses. (Since you ask, my dress was a size 14 – artfully cut in the armpit area as it was somewhat tight around the chest and shoulders.)

I’ve had the pleasure of running with hashers all over the world including in GhanaSierra Leone, EstoniaAntiguaSt Kitts & NevisAzerbaijan , Dominican Republic and London. (For anyone’s who’s interested, the Ghana blog includes the hash origin story and the basics of how it all works.)

Every kennel is different. H4 welcome the hare (the person who sets the course) with a song.

Logover (the hare) then drew a diagram to help us relative newbies with the upcoming hash.

RTW Holland 2

As clear as mud…

We then took a group photo or two and warmed up hash style with a song and a dance.

Warm up over, we were off.

Now the thing about hashes is that there are lots of check points where you have to cast around for the next trail marker. Which has the happy effect that the pack periodically regroups and you can therefore run, and chat, with everyone from the FRBs (Front Running Bastards) to those taking it more sedately.

Extraordinarily one of the runners was Daniel Horhogea whom I’d last run with in Bucharest. (Daniel, it was great to see you again!)

rtw holland 3

As well as the checkpoints, the hare had chalked a number of VPs (viewpoints) along the route where we stopped for Hash Flashes (photos) in front of various sights of note.

Looking through the photos and videos I think my favourites are from the courtyard at the Binnenhof (which houses a number of government offices etc) where we bumped into a serious fitness class. I think it would be fair to describe it as a clash of cultures!

Eventually, after a great tour of Den Haag, we came to the end of the hash and it was time for the circle. As a general rule, my approach in these blogs is that what goes in the circle, stays in the circle. Readers don’t really need to know more than that there are plenty of bawdy songs and down downs – punishments for various sins and misdemeanours that involve downing beer.

However, I will break with previous practice a little and say that, under threat of further down downs, we finished with one of Run the World’s now traditional group planks.


The background to this slightly eccentric habit is that a number of us have taken on the Six Pack Challenge and a combination of running and planking is a good way to develop a six pack.

And I felt sure the Hash would be supportive because, of course, there is nothing a hasher likes more than a six pack. Albeit usually of the beer rather than the abdominal variety…

It just remains for me to say a huge thank you to XL, Pink Panter, Father Christmas, Neptunis, Logover, Daniel and all my fellow hashers for the donations and for a fantastic run /hash/ evening!

Finally, to everyone I met in Den Haag, I’d love to see you in London on 4th July 2020 for the UK, and final, leg of Run the World!

If you’d like to help fight cancer then I and, far more importantly, cancer sufferers around the world, would be immensely grateful for any donations to Cancer Research :

Please like / follow Run the World on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter because it would be great to stay in touch and because, however silly it may sound, it makes all the travel and running that little bit easier if you think people care!

Facts & Stats

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia.

The Netherlands is a country located in Northwestern Europe with some overseas territories in the Caribbean. In Europe, it consists of 12 provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with those countries and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean SeaBonaireSint Eustatius and Saba—it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The five largest cities in the Netherlands are AmsterdamRotterdamThe HagueUtrecht, and Eindhoven. Amsterdam is the country’s capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States GeneralCabinet and Supreme Court. The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, and the largest in any country outside Asia. The country is a founding member of the EUEurozoneG10NATOOECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union. It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, which is consequently dubbed ‘the world’s legal capital’.

Netherlands literally means ‘lower countries‘ in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) above sea level, and nearly 17% falling below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 16th century. With a population of 17.34 million people, all living within a total area of roughly 41,500 square kilometres (16,000 sq mi)—of which the land area is 33,700 square kilometres (13,000 sq mi)—the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Nevertheless, it is the world’s second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products (after the United States), owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, and intensive agriculture.

The Netherlands has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848. The country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised abortionprostitution and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a progressive drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in 1870, allowed women’s suffrage in 1917, and became the world’s first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001. Its mixed-market advanced economy had the thirteenth-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indexes of press freedomeconomic freedomhuman development, and quality of life, as well as happiness.


World Bank Data

Here’s the latest World Bank data for the Netherlands – with the year 2000 as a comparison.

GDP $914 bn 2018 $416 bn 2000
Population 17.2 m 2018 15.9 m 2000
Primary school enrolment* 103% 2016 108% 2000
CO2 Emissions** 9.9 2014 10.9 2000
% below poverty line*** NA NA
Life expectancy at birth 81.6 yrs 2017 78.0 yrs 2000
GNI per capita $51 260 2017 $28 810 2000

*Percentage can exceed 100% due to the inclusion of over and under aged students

** Metric tons per capita

***The World Bank notes that the methodology can vary between countries and over time within a given country. (While much of the World Bank data generally follows understandable trends, this number often oscillates wildly suggesting that different methodologies are frequently used over time within a given country.)

Greatest Sporting Nation Data

Finally, here’s the data from Greatest Sporting Nation on how the Netherlands performed in the global sporting arena in 2018:

Global Cup – 9th

Per Capita Cup – 8th

The Global Cup aggregates results from over 1000 events across 80 sports to produce the definitive annual ranking of international sporting success. The Per Capita Cup uses the same data to produce an annual per capita ranking.


About Run the World

I'm running 10 km in every country in the world - a total of 205 countries - by the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. I'm doing the Run the World challenge to promote the benefits of sport and physical activity and to raise money for cancer research following the death of my mother from cancer. If you'd like to donate to Cancer Research - - then I know they'd be very grateful.
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1 Response to Run 175 : The Netherlands – Den Haag

  1. Pingback: Germany – Berlin | dansgoldchallenge

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