This weekend marks the 3 year anniversary of when I met David N. April.
Our friendship did not start off well.
I was in charge of the Philly Achilles workout that day as a large portion of the group was in Disney.
Here is the dialogue from our initial encounter…
Rod – Welcome. I’m Rodney. (as I extend my hand)
David – Hi. I’m David. (as he shakes my hand.)
Rod- Nice to meet you, Dave.
David- No. It’s David. (as I raise my eyebrows as if to say “excuse me.”)
We proceed to run together with Chris and Andrew Kessler. David starts explaining what the Fishtown Beer Runners are about and I ask if it’s anything like hashing.
Boy, does that get shot down fast.
He mentions his tours at Philadelphia Brewing Co and I talk about a race I did at Dock Street’s Brewery to which David interrupts me saying he only drinks PBC.
By this point I am pretty well convinced that David thinks I am a jerk.
David keeps coming to Achilles and we get to know each other better and he keeps asking when I will show up to FBR.
The Boston Marathon bombings happen and Ryan Callahan organizes the city wide run for Boston that following Thursday. After running that with Tom Cobb and meeting up with Maggie Guterl, I decide to head to the Khyber Pass to join FBR on my own. I can’t find David and no one will talk to me so I leave after 2 beers and before the toast, which I didn’t know was a thing.
I convince myself to try it again.
And then again.
Before I know it, I am at Anthony LoCicero’s Broad St Run after party. Soon thereafter, I am on stage at the Beer Runner’s Ball handing out an award.
I start recruiting people to come out on Thursdays. Now I am getting interviewed at the Standard Tap during the Anniversary Run. The guy filming decides he’s going to follow this group around for a bit and make a movie about us.
Justin Wirtalla makes a full length documentary called Beer Runners. There is footage and interviews in the documentary of people who by this point I consider to be dear friends and at the top of that list would be David.
Justin’s documentary starts getting accepted to film festivals, including up in Toronto. Johanna, Danielle, Anthony, Christina and myself take a bus trip up there to meet Justin and his family for the showing.
Of course Freddy was on his world tour and made a pit stop there for the movie and a beer.
The FBR film has also made its Philadelphia Film Fest debut last fall winning the award for best local feature. A couple of weeks later, I received an award at the Beer Runner’s Ball.
I often compare spending time with the Fishtown Beer Runners as almost like being back in high school. I’m still not sure if David is the star quarterback or principal?
We know Jenn is NOT the head cheerleader.
Keith would be the bandleader.
Mike and Donna are the cute 12th grade couple you know will be together forever.
Everyone is convinced Neil is a narc.
Jason was smoking in the boy’s room.
Meggles shows up as a different John Hughes character each week.
Little Dave would be Little Dave.
Carolyn is the class president.
Justin is in the courtyard playing hacky sack.
Johanna climbed on top of the school and enjoyed getting chased home.
Trish is the cool teacher that all the kids want to take her class.
William and Kevin have split personalities and only run under other people’s names.
Among plenty of others who make their way in and out of this wonderful mix of personalities. This Sunday night will be the party at Johnny Brenda’s with another showing of the movie. Despite the great Groucho Marx line “I refuse to join any club who would have me for a member.”, I am certainly happy to be a member of this club.
— Rodney Russen