This topic has been on my mind for a bit and, as I find myself yet again staring down the barrel of a marathon, I am reminded of the fellow who fleetly flitted past me during the Pittsburgh Marathon...all the while maintaining an impressive three-ball cascade pattern and outright making me look like even more of an amateur than I already am. That's right, friends, I'm talking about Jogglers.
Pittsburgh wasn't the first time, however, that I had seen these strange folk running about. During the Hollywood Half we chanced to see a joggler and his hula-hooping friend leading the 10k pack, and Surf City, with its various switchbacks and course crossing, allowed us to catch sight of a pair of jogglers no less than four times during our run.
So what is a joggler? It's pretty straight forward- a joggler is a person who joggles, that is to say, a person who takes part in the competitive sport of juggling and running. While most jogglers stick with juggling balls, some prefer juggling clubs, but all prefer, it appears, silliness.
The sport has a set of rules that, easy and clearly stated as they are, must be striclty adhered to:
- A juggling pattern must be maintained while running.
- If an object is dropped, the joggler must return to the point he dropped and continue.
As well as advocates a healthy mind, body and spirit:
"Joggling is a full mind body workout encompassing all four limbs. It is one of the best exercises anyone can do as it provides a full body workout plus it helps to sharpen the mind."
But surely this 'sport' can't be widespread enough to deserve discussion? Wrong. In fact, the International Juggling Association holds the Joggling World Championships annually at their juggling festival! 2012's event, the 32nd, took place this past Saturday in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and joggler Perry Romanowski was kind enough to post the results on his blog, Just Your Average Joggler.
In recent years, Joggling has built up a reputation strong enough to have been an exhibition event during the 2001 Prefontaine Classic, and achieve inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records (one of them the man pictured to the right - Owen Morse for the 100 meters, 5 balls in 1988; as well as the 100 meters, 3 balls, in1989).
Currently, the Joggling Marathon World Record is held by Canadian Michal Kapral with a 2:50:09 finish in 2007, with success due in part to his training buddy, Zach Warren.
Interested in joggling? Check out The Nashville Joggler for extensive tips and how-to's!
And while you're at it, pop on over to GBallz for all your custom juggling needs.