The social life of the Hare and Hounds is one of the main things that makes being part of the club special.
There is a weekly social gathering generally referred to as the "pub session", which tends to involve relaxing with a few beverages of your choice. Many other memorable social events are arranged throughout the year. Highlights include bonfire night, the pre-Varsity Match team bonding sessions, the Hare & Hounds BBQ and the unmissable Annual Dinner. Each term there will also be several formal-hall dinners so that you get to visit many of the college halls and bars.
Perhaps it's a running thing, but there tends to be a disproportionately large number of talented young comedians in CUH&H. If a Harey can be funny in the middle of an intervals session in the cold wind and rain, then a Harey can be frankly hilarious in the chilled-out setting of a pub or college hall. Expect a lot of laughs and some top-class banter.
Above all however, there is always a really friendly atmosphere in which everyone is genuinely welcome. No one is expected to conform to any stereotypes. Drunken antics are not uncommon, to be sure, but there are plenty of occasional drinkers and teetotallers. All are respected and there is no pressure either way. Just come along and you'll see what I mean.
Details of forthcoming events will be sent out to the "Training" mailing list as each date approaches. See the descriptions below if you'd like to know what's in store.
Around 20-30 of us get together for a three-course dinner in a college dining hall. These dinners are arranged several times each term with the venue moving from college to college. We usually meet beforehand in the college bar and return there afterwards.
The food is cheap and usually pretty good (especially Girton and Robinson. And the cheesecake at Queens' is excellent!). Bringing your own wine is the norm although confirmation is sent out each time.
Each formal is advertised a week or two in advance at which point you need to reply if you want a ticket. Places will be limited so get your requests in early and don't forget to specify any special dietary requirements.
Formal halls are always a lot of fun and a great way to get to know people outside training. You also get to see the inside of many of the colleges in Cambridge and find out which do the best food!
Pre-race Team Bonding
Arranged in the run up to the Varsity Match and BUSA. All sounds rather American, right? (No offence to the USA). Well, in fact these are always well worth attending. Usually involve dinner, a movie (OK that might be American ) and a lot of fighting talk.
Post-race Dinners and Parties
You'd be crazy to try to do any work in the evening after a race. There is only one option: join the rest of the team for the post-race social. These range from restaurant meals to full-on LARGE parties either in Cambridge or elsewhere (if the race was away). Details are always sent out in advance.
November 5th is probably the only night of the year on which the entire population of Cambridge converges on one place: Midsummer Common for a firework display and massive bonfire. The Hare and Hounds are no exception. However, while most people are buying their bonfire night meal from rather dodgy-looking greasy vans, we all go round to some member's house for some much better hearty grub. Don't miss it. It's cozy!
The Hare and Hounds BBQ
The CUH&H BBQ usually takes place on the last Saturday of the Easter Term. It is a fantastic way to celebrate the end of exams and the start of May week.
Most years it starts in the early afternoon (allowing morning training to make you hungry) and continues right through to night time. We laze around, eat meat (or tofu), play football, watch in horror as someone's yard-downing attempt goes spectacularly wrong. You know the kind of thing. Will Smith summed it up nicely: "summer madness"
A large appetite and a passion for food and cooking often goes hand-in-hand with a love of running. There is usually some proper food on offer: certainly a lot better than Tesco value burgers in a Tesco value bread roll!
For this year's report in PDF format, click here.
The CUH&H Annual Dinner (preceded by the Roman Road Run)
Come and celebrate all the last 12 months, have dinner with all your favourite Haries, listen to the Captain's reviews of the year, struggle to contain your delight at winning one of the Comedy Awards (maybe even AOTY, or SOTY), bask in the glory as your college picks up the College League cup, possibly drink too much, make a fool/god(dess) of yourself on the dance floor...The Annual Dinner is a simply awesome end to the Hare and Hounds year. Black-tie. Don't miss it. Nuff said. Click here for a report on this year's dinner...
Animal of the Week (AOTW) and Animal of the Year (AOTY):
Each week the Captain awards an honour to the person who puts on the most animalistic display of running and possibly other activities. So if you witness such a display, send your nomination in via email to the Captain and the "Banter" email list.
So why is this in the social section of the website? Well, when the decision is close, activities outside running will be considered. Use your imagination.
The Animal of the Year award is presented at the Annual Dinner at the end of the Lent Term to the most animalistic person of the last 12 months. While this award is one of the "Comedy Awards" of the night, all previous winners have done some seriously savage running to win it.
Click here for past winners of both the AOTW and AOTY.
Shark of the Year (SOTY):
OK, you're on the dance floor, only mildly merry, having a bit of a boogie, minding your own business when suddenly... you are set upon by a savage beast seemingly wanting to eat you alive. Then you realise it's simply that you did yourself up a bit too well and rather over-did it with the smelly potions. One of the contenders for shark of the year took the bait. I think that explains the award (to be presented at the Annual Dinner)!
Click here for past winners of SOTY.
Other Comedy Awards:
The AOTY and SOTY awards are but two among a whole plethora of humorous accolades dished out at the Annual Dinner. So, keep your eyes peeled during the year. Be observant. Notice people's funny little habits and quirks. Make a note of any classic incidents and quotes. Any one of them could justify an award. Previous examples include "The ??? award for services to Lycra". You get the idea. Appeals for nominations will be sent out a few weeks in advance of the dinner.