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Thousands prepare to celebrate fitness, football at 36th annual Redondo Beach Super Bowl Sunday 10K/5K

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Thousands will converge on Seaside Lagoon in Redondo Beach to participate in the 36th Annual Super Bowl Sunday 10K/5K presented by Kaiser Permanente. Photo by Ray Vidal

Thousands will converge on Seaside Lagoon in Redondo Beach to participate in the 36th Annual Super Bowl Sunday 10K/5K presented by Kaiser Permanente. Photo by Ray Vidal

Baseball may be America’s pastime, but football is America’s passion. There is no single-day sporting event as popular as the Super Bowl, the championship game of the National Football League that has grown to become an unofficial national holiday.

While fans on the East Coast will be braving frigid weather before the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks square off in New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium to determine the winner of Super Bowl XLVIII, on the other side of the continent approximately 10,000 participants and spectators will dressed for the mild climate of Redondo Beach at what is arguably the largest Super Bowl celebration in Southern California.

Along with those sporting the colors of their favorite NFL teams, many will appear in elaborate costumes at Seaside Lagoon when the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau hosts the 36th Annual Super Bowl Sunday 10K/5K presented by Kaiser Permanente.

The event officially kicks off Saturday with the two-day Health & Fitness Expo presented by Michelob Ultra. The free Expo runs Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 6 a.m. – 11 a.m. and includes a variety of sports and lifestyle exhibits along with running and fitness accessories.

Online registration is available through Wednesday, Jan. 29. The entry fee is $35 per runner  or $50 for both 10K and 5K ($40/$70 for late registration which is available both days at the Expo).  All runners receive a race shirt and custom awards will be presented to the top three male and female finishers in each category.

Costumes add to the festivities of the annual Redondo Beach Super Bowl Sunday 10K/5K. Photo by Ray Vidal

Costumes add to the festivities of the annual Redondo Beach Super Bowl Sunday 10K/5K. Photo by Ray Vidal

Sunday’s event also features the Michelob Ultra Post Race Hospitality Area and live music where participants and those that cheered them on will be able to quench their thirst before attending Super Bowl parties.

Festivities begin at 7 a.m. with the ever-popular Costume Contest presented by King Harbor Association. Runners don costumes that range from super heroes to animals to the latest celebrities in the news.

Redondo Beach Mayor Steve Aspel will serve as emcee of the contest that will be judged by Sheryl Nokano, Deborah Shepard, Maris Somerville and Honorary Judges Robin Charin and Mark Ferris.

Charin and Ferris first met at the Redondo Beach Super Bowl 10K in 1999 and were later married. The couple retired last year after entertaining thousands for more than a decade with their elaborate costumes.

“My personal favorite costume was ‘Dolly Parton Madison’ because I made it look like I had boobs and cleavage,” Charin said. “Mark liked Optimus Prime.

“When is comes to the judging, we will look for originality and how distinctive the costume is, the funniness and does it make us laugh, and the overall impression including how sober they are.”

Charin and Ferris will be dressed in judge’s robes and walking throughout the parking lot beforehand encouraging those in costumes to enter the contest which includes prizes such as restaurant and boat ride gift certificates.

In addition, Kaiser Permanente has donated two new mountain bikes to be raffled off. Anyone coming in a costume on Sunday is eligible to complete an entry form for the drawing. Entry forms will be available at the King Harbor Association table alongside the center stage.

After the singing of the National Anthem, the 5K Run/Walk will begin at 7:30 a.m. Stephon Kilroy won last year’s race with a time of 16 minutes, 53 seconds. Grace Chamers won the women’s division with a time of 18:35.

The Baby Buggy 10K follows at 8:15 a.m. Scott Rickert, of Los Angeles, is defending champion posting a time of 36:21 last year.

The 10K, which featured 3,190 finishers in 2013, begins approximately at 8:30 a.m. Anthony Solis, of Barstow, took top honors last year with a time of 30:46. In the women’s division, Nathalie Higley, of Redondo Beach, finished first with a 36:16 mark.

For more information, visit Redondo10K.com.