The Ho, explained

McPisser explains The Ho

It occurred to me that some of the new-ish people might not know what the “Ho” is. So here is my attempt to explain it.

On Thursdays during daylight savings time, those of us who like shiggy, or running, or our friends, or Memorial Park, or drinking beer or any combination of any of these, meet at 5:50-ish at the rugby field parking lot in Memorial Park. Then at precisely 6:15 p.m. (the only thing we do on time) everyone takes off and runs wherever they want, usually following a predetermined path through the mountain bike trails of Memorial Park which are affectionately know as the “Ho Chi Minh Trails.”

Some people cut off the back portion and do the “Fat Boy” trail. Others, like those with strollers run around the runners loop. Others ride their bike around the bike loop (the “froot loop”). Muscle Phart runs it backwards from his apt.

Anywho, it’s a run or ride or walk however far you want for however long you want event that ends up with everyone drinking the beer that they brought for themselves kind of thing (Yes, BYOB). And I love it. It is, however, not a hash — just kind of similar. You won’t find a circle, or singing or much cursing, but you will find most of the same folks that you see on a Sunday. Also, if you stay too long you will end up with Hooter Bill at Candelari’s.

You can find maps of the trails at Memorial Park here.

HTRex Running Trails at Memorial Park in a larger map

Heartache adds…

A coupl’a clarifications to McP’s clarification:

  • The “Fat Boy” trail simply substitutes running the orange trail after the
    yellow rather than running down to the bayou and running the “rollercoaster” trail. Both “routes” meet at the first major “ditch” crossing.
  • The majority run out to Crestwood and back on Memorial (to look at the other runners (or practice “one-upmanship” sprints on same). True trail runners go back on the Green trail, for a true shiggy experience.

This is a perfect opportunity to bring out prospective new boots and
introduce them to the group (we try and keep Road Kill in control).

Muscle Phart adds…

Snowbird folk return again after bleak midwinter; snowbird folk stay at their desks, shunning season’s darkness. But old Phart has run there long, through cold and damp and twilight, watching as the year turns round, minding Ho’s creations, its creeping green beneath brown leaves, its flora and its beasties: coral-banded slither-friend and feather-covered hoo hoo, fast-footed furry squirrel and boy-fond Catholic priesties.

I Am Cumstain recounts his first running of the Ho in Lost On The Ho: The Bataan Death March

The following is a written account (duh) of the events of March 31, 2009 involving a Houston Hasher by the name of I Am Cumstain.

Flooded Ho!Upon clocking out from work, IAC departed to meet some friends at a local bar in Humble. After having one drink, he debated staying or taking off to Memorial Park to embark on his first running of the Ho. Alas, the forces in the sole of his shoes drove him to the park. Upon his arrival he was greeted by Pull the Plug, Bleeder, Just Eric, and Muscle Phart. MP was riding his mountain bike and the rest upon foot. We waited until we could wait no more and finally delved into the woods, twisting and turning through the vines and narrow paths.

Before leaving, however, MP and Bleeder imparted important words of wisdom. MP said that IAC should take more right turns than left ones. Bleeder recommended that he stay close to the bayou. Finally he was off. He ran for maybe two to three miles when all of a sudden he was on a turn and his left foot gave way, rolling his ankle outward violently and sending him off the trail. In severe pain and limping along, IAC decided to continue running toward the nearest exit, he hoped toward Memorial Drive. Fearing that if he walked, the adrenaline would ware off, IAC kept a steady jog. Each step caused him more and more pain, as if some Vietnamese dictator was stabbing him with hundreds of needles in his leg.

As daylight turned to dusk and the cool air began to fall upon the woods, IAC began to worry he would never escape his wooden prison. Squirrels were already gathering and waiting to pounce on the cripple. Finally, he saw a glimmer of hope poking through the trees. An exit he thought. He came to a field and a clearing, bisected by some railroad tracks. After crossing the tracks, he began to walk toward what he thought was Memorial Drive. Indeed it was not. He ended up at a road by the name of San Felipe with a Roll-n Saloon. Lacking knowledge of the area and not wanting to waste precious daylight exploring an unknown area with a gimp ankle, IAC entered Roll-n to ask the barkeep directions to the park.

“You’re a loooong way from Memorial Park,” he said. Exhausted, IAC asked the bartender for a glass of water. Partially guilted by pity, the bartender offered the young lad a beer instead. Lacking any cash, IAC thanked the man, consumed the beverage and headed out on his mission.

IAC went down San Felipe to I-610, headed north on the feeder and finally ran down Memorial Drive. He limped upon the gang sitting around eating pizza and drinking beer. They had been joined at this point by Tai Tai Toy. After telling the story to the others, he was given even more valuable advice.

  1. Never cross the railroad tracks.
  2. When you come to the clearing, take a left instead of a right.

Lacking any form of health insurance, IAC will travel to Galveston to seek the aid of a colleague this weekend. Galveston hashers may remember Just Ian, a medical student at UTMB and IAC’s private physician.

Alas, I will likely be out of action for at least a couple of weeks maybe more. My best guess is that I strained some tendons in my ankle since it has happened to me before. An old skateboarding accident.


P.S. This is not an April Fools joke as I have multiple witnesses including a swollen ankle to back it up.

The accounts included in this email are the sole intellectual property of I Am Cumstain, part of a Cool Arrow Media publication. Not that anybody would want to steal it, but the rights for the book: “Lost on the HO, One’s Hasher’s Struggle to Survive in Memorial Park,” the HBO special and the movie starring Jean Claude Van Damn are already in the works. If you would like to be an investor, please send your life saving to me.

Don’t be like Cumstain! Maps of the trails can be found here.