How A Friend Missed the Beer Garden After Rollerblading in the Super Bowl Fun Run
The annual Redondo Beach Super Bowl 10K always brings good times, and that also means good memories.
One of my favorites involves a friend and his misadventures that led him to, incredulously, missing the beer garden.
This friend had grown tired of several of us talking about the 10K for months, and how the beer garden provided the perfect prelude to the day’s Super Bowl parties. So he decided to join in the fun.
Running was out of the question for him, but in his youth, he was a competitive speed skater, and so in the South Bay was a strong rollerblader. The 10K has entry an for rollerbladers, so he signed up and we all agreed we would meet in the beer garden.
Except the friend never showed up in the beer garden. We looked and he was nowhere to be found. Did he finish really fast, gulp his free beers, then head home to shower and change for the parties? If so, why would he leave, because the beer garden goes strong for a good two-plus hours after people finish their run.
Later, we tried to call him but got no answer. We didn’t see him at any of the Super Bowl house parties, either. It was possible, we surmised, that he met a friendly fellow rollerblader and, well, rolled home with her right after crossing the finish line. That seemed to be the only plausible explanation for why he was MIA the whole day.
As it turned out, he pulled one of the biggest blunders in the history of the 10K.
Leading into the race, he was doing much more partying than serious rollerblading and was not in great shape. Soon after the race started, a 10-to-12-year-old kid breezed by him. That kicked in my friend’s competitive juices from his speed skating days and he picked up his pace to catch up to the kid.
“Ha, got him,” my friend said to himself when he went by the youngster.
Then the kid passed him again. And began to pull away a bit.
Well, that did it. My friend would have none of that, so he dug into his extra reserves of resolve and wound up having a race within a race with the junior Opolo Ohno. They went back and forth, trading places, for the duration of the 10K.
When it was over, my friend nearly collapsed at the finish line. He was bent over at the knees gasping for air. Instead of waiting a moment to recover and making a quick left turn into the beer garden, he went home. And that is where he stayed. For the entire day! He was so exhausted he could not even muster the energy to remove his rollerblades.
He not only missed the beer garden – the huge social highlight of the 10K – but all the parties afterward. What a fool!
And what of that great duel with the kid?