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Hairy Harrier hobbles into Hash history

Tuesday, 7th April, 2009

It's over 20 years ago now but local identity Ricky Cooper will never forget his first outing with the Hash House Harriers running group. "I got lost on the first run. It was dark and they sent a search party out for me." Undaunted, Ricky continued to turn up each week and last Saturday evening he notched up his 1000th run, becoming just the third Harrier to do so.

Not even two broken toes and a broken bone in his left foot - courtesy of a collision with a kangaroo whilst riding his bike - could stop the former A-Grade football umpire from reaching the milestone. The 57-year-old business owner originally joined the group in January 1985 so he could become better at golf. "I found it a bit hard to get around 18 holes of golf."

But he soon became addicted to the weekly runs which eventually led to him compete in numerous triathlons and even gruelling wheelbarrow push races. "The hardest thing I've ever done was push a wheelbarrow between Pt Pirie and Broken Hill." He missed three years in the mid 1990s when recovering from bowl cancer but returned to the Harriers' fold in 1997. "It's good to get out there, you break the week up. "Once you get it in your blood, you can't stop."

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