Thursday, May 31, 2007

Joggling cash arrives

Author Denise Marek's $20 cash funding for my joggling career has arrived, along with her book, 'Calm,' which she generously included in the package for Dianne (it's written for women).

'Calm' looks like an interesting book. It's about teaching yourself to stop worrying about things and get on with your life.

It's true that people worry too much about what others think about them. I used to go joggling at 4 a.m. in a park so no one would see me. Eventually, I discovered that people were entertained by joggling and there was nothing to be afraid of. I thought young kids would throw rocks at me, but instead they cheered. It was a surreal contrast from my 4 a.m. "closet" joggling when I found myself joggling the Boston Marathon last year in front of one million spectators (and 17,000 runners).

So the question remains: What do I buy with my new found joggling fortunes?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Almost, sort of famous

Apparently a lot of people watch CBC News: Sunday because I've had several people on the street ask me if I'm the juggler guy who was on TV on the weekend.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Joggling for dollars

Big news: The first paycheque of my two-year joggling career is in the mail. I'm not joking. It's a jolly good joggling day. Here's the story:

Denise Marek, an author, TV host and professional speaker, saw the joggling story on CBC News: Sunday and was inspired to donate $20 to me after learning that my total income from the sport was "zero dollars." The income donation was part of a birthday gift from three of Denise's friends, who gave her some cash for her birthday to be used as a "pay-it-forward" gift. I'm honoured to have been chosen as a recipient.

Now that I make more than $0, let's do a rough calculation of how much I make per hour for joggling.

My average hours per week spent joggling, juggling, jogging and bloggling is about 15.
  • I've been doing this for almost exactly two years now.
  • That makes 104 weeks x 15 hours/week = 1,560 total hours.
  • $20 divided by 1,560 hours equals...
  • $0.0128 per hour – that's more than a penny!!!
So now the question is: What should The Joggler do with his new $20 salary? Sport Juggling Co. already gave me free beanbags. Does anyone have any suggestions for joggling-related purchases?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I laughed, I cried, I ate breakfast

I woke up this morning and took the kids down to watch daddy on TV. The CBC News: Sunday story was airing at 9 a.m. on Newsworld and 10 a.m. on CBC-TV. Assuming it would be near the end of the show, we started watching Newsworld at 9:30 and it was nowhere to be found.

At 10, I flipped over to regular CBC and there it was – the lead story! The whole family sat on the couch laughing (and me sometimes crying in embarrassment) while we ate breakfast. They did an unbelievable job editing the feature. Having made some short films, I know exactly how much labour is involved.

I was excited to be the lead story, but one viewer wrote to complain about this editorial decision in the comments section on the CBC News: Sunday website. Let's see if anyone responds to defend it. It's true, the world faces many grave problems, but let's for once put some fun first. I've spent my whole literate life reading the Globe and Mail from back to front – fun stuff first.

The story will air again tonight on Newsworld at 9 and CBC-TV at 10. Also, Marg from (by far the best Canadian web community for running) has offered to record and post the story on YouTube. Marg just ran her first marathon today in 4:33 in Ottawa (congrats!), so her priority right now is to celebrate her achievement and get some rest.

Friday, May 25, 2007

NEWS ALERT: Joggling duel on TV this Sunday

For those of you in Canada, CBC News: Sunday will be airing their hard-hitting, investigative report on my joggling duel with Zach this Sunday at 10 a.m. on CBC TV and 9 a.m. on CBC Newsworld.

The producer tells me the piece turned out really well, and from my journalism background I know that this probably means it'll be embarrassing for me. But I'm the one who decided to run while juggling, so I suppose I can't complain. This story will be the most comprehensive TV coverage ever on the sport of joggling and may even spur a Canadian joggling boom. We're goin' mainstream, baby! (Or not.)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Joggling with 7 clubs?

We have Kooza tickets. The whole family will be going to the new Cirque du Soleil show on September 1 in Toronto. I haven't seen the Cirque since my parents took me to the original show when I was about 12. Funny, this was around the same time I read about joggling in the Guinness Book.

As I mentioned before, juggler extraordinaire Anthony Gatto performs in Kooza and there's a bit of a spoiler on YouTube of his act, which he did at a press conference.

I know that Gatto has done some joggling at the IJA festivals in the past, and Barry Goldmeier joked about it being harder for him to joggle with three beanbags than with seven. This got me thinking ... Could Anthony joggle with seven clubs? Or with nine rings? Now that I would pay to see.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Joggler's crazy hairless dog

Cayman, my crazy Chinese Crested hairless dog, hates it when I juggle, but he likes to sing:

IJA festival joggling races

People often ask me if there are joggling world championships. The answer is no, there are no official world championships for the sport, but every year the International Jugglers' Association holds a series of joggling races. This year's event is in Winston-Salem on July 17. I would love to be there and compete in some of the track events, but my schedule is too busy.

Joggling pioneer Bill Giduz is the official joggling director for the event and here's what he has to say about the venue:

In my capacity as IJA joggling director this year, I traveled to Winston-Salem today for a first-hand inspection of the joggling track for the races, which will be held Tuesday morning, July 17. It's a very nice, and slightly quirky, facility. The track is a six-lane, black, rubberized surface that's just a year old. It's well maintained, and the starting points for all the races are clearly marked on the surface. The track is in Hanes Park, probably about a mile-and-a-half from the convention center. There are two fairly large pavilion areas to give shade, a mister where the runners can cool down, water fountain, and clean bathrooms.

The quirky part is that about half of the inside of the track is a tennis facility, with a clubhouse and eight or so courts. So at no point can you see the whole track, because it's obscured by the tall fences around the tennis courts. It won't be a problem for the 100, which is all on a straightaway, but the 200, 400, 800, 1600, and 5 k will all feature limited sight lines. For the 200, the officials at the finish line won't be able to see the start line, so we'll need a starter's pistol to signal the timers that the race has begun. I don't think that'll be a problem with the other races.

I'm happy, though, that it's a well-maintained, high-quality track, and located so close to our convention site. It's operated by the municipal parks and recreation department, and two of its officials, Tim Grant and Todd Barr, gave me the tour. They are very accommodating, and eager to do whatever's in their power to make sure we have a good event.

I'll be posting more about the races soon, but in the meantime please tell your friends to start training!

Also, I'll be looking for 8-10 volunteers to help with registration, judging, and timing. Give me a holler if you or your friends are interested in that, or if you have any questions about this summer's event.

Bill Giduz

Sunday, May 20, 2007

90-degree push-ups

I have been working on my upper body strength, but I won't be breaking this one anytime soon.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Joggling is funny, and so is this

Alright, so this has nothing to do with juggling, joggling or running, but it's my all-time favourite movie trailer:

Up next: the Toronto Father's Day 5K

What better way to celebrate Father's Day next month than with a 5K joggle?

The Father’s Day Walk/Run for Prostate Cancer Research in Toronto's Distillery District has invited me to do a joggling demonstration at the their fun run. It should be a good time and for a good cause. The event is also run in Edmonton, Calgary and Halifax.

Thanks to my friend and running inspiration, George Hubbard, for the invite.
On the competitive side, I'm in the process of trying to find a suitable track venue for another assault on the 5,000m joggling record of 16:55.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Help, I can't stop joggling!

My attempts to stop joggling have failed. Last night I ran home from work and just couldn't resist the urge to joggle. Since I hadn't joggled in a couple of weeks, I went crazy, doing all kinds of tricks and bouncing the beanbags off signs and buildings - sort of a joggling version of parkour. It's good to be back.

This article in the Washington Post talks about Michael Wardian's recent stroller-pushing marathon record, and also mentions me and Barry Goldmeier. I like the last paragraph about stunt runners showing people how to lighten up. I would, however, like to point out that I don't joggle and go for stunt records "for the publicity." It's the other way around. I want to break the records and set new challenges and entertain people, so why not publicize them? Does anyone accuse Sidney Crosby of playing hockey "for publicity"? Does Mike Weir play golf to get his name in the paper?

Publicity has also been a great way to generate competition. My wife, Dianne, did such a good job promoting my stroller and joggling records that Zach Warren and Michael Wardian heard about them and decided to break them.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Salt Lake City Marathon coverage

Here's a good Salt Lake roundup from Park City TV. Zach and I are really trucking at 6 miles. I like how they filmed the clock before they showed us coming through. It was a pretty insane joggling pace at the start, but there was a long downhill section.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Toronto Raptors' Mo Pete joggles

Apart from it being my birthday yesterday, the main highlight of the day was showing Toronto Raptor Morris Peterson how to joggle.

We were at a Reebok event to launch the brand's new Run Easy campaign and website. As part of the promotion, some Reebok-sponsored celebrities (for some reason, I was included in this category) went for a short run along the Toronto waterfront "at the speed of chat" and spoke with reporters and several dozen Running Room employees.
It was a beautiful, sunny day. I was up front joggling next to Mo Pete, fellow runner Predrag Mladenovic and Rosey Edeh from ET Canada, who is a former Olympian and world-class 400m hurdler.
Mo Pete was watching me joggle and asked to give it a shot. I handed over the Sport Juggling Co. "Joggler" beanbags and Mo immediately started to joggle! He was even better than Evan Solomon. It turns out that we both learned how to juggle when we were nine years old. I was seriously impressed that he could joggle right off the bat, but then again, he is known to have better-than-average hand-eye coordination.
Way to go, Mo! I got him to sign my Reebok Run Easy t-shirt, where he wrote "Joggle Easy!!"

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Joggler on YouTube at last!

Zach's friend Emily sent along this clip (including her cheering) of me and Zach duking it out in Salt Lake. Note the film crews in golf carts. I'm hoping the golf cart footage makes it look like we're running faster - this video makes it look like we're out for an easy stroll.

Reebok Run Easy event

Tomorrow morning, I'll be participating in a Reebok event in Toronto for their new Run Easy campaign. I don't have many details, but I've been told to bring my joggling beanbags and be ready for a 2K run "at the speed of chat."

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Barry Goldmeier: The amazing 5-ball joggler

Barry Goldmeier, seen in the above YouTube clip, has always made me feel like a bit of a fraud when I talk to people about my joggling. For years now, he has quietly been joggling in road races with five balls.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Wardian smashes stroller-pushing marathon record

Michael Wardian of Arlington, Virginia pushed his son Pierce in a stroller for the entire Frederick Marathon in Virginia in 2 hours 42 minutes and 21 seconds, breaking my 2004 record by seven minutes.

"It was bonkers," the prolific marathoner said after the race. "It was one of the hardest races I've ever done."

Wardian said there was a strong wind that the stroller caught like a parachute. I remember the same thing when I pushed Annika at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2004.

Congratulations to Michael and Pierce.

Will I defend the record? My two girls are too big now, so unless I get a loaner, the answer is no. Does anyone have a baby they want to get into the Guinness Book?

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Wardian, Pierce go for stroller-pushing record

Michal and Annika celebrate their Guinness World Record at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2004. This photo, taken by race staff, was printed on page 220 of the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records.

As reported in yesterday's post, my Guinness World Record for the "fastest time to run a marathon while pushing a pram" (I actually consider this record more Annika's than mine) will likely be broken tomorrow.

U.S. marathoner Michael Wardian, who has a marathon personal-best of 2:21, will be pushing his nine-month-old son Pierce in tomorrow's Frederick Marathon in Virginia.

Wardian's marathon PB is nine minutes faster than mine, plus I don't think that 2:21 reflects his full potential, based on the fact that he tends to run several marathons back to back, rather than the usual two or three per year favoured by most elites. I predict he stroll past the line in the 2:33-2:35 range. I think I was in about 2:32 shape when I ran my record of 2:49, and I also ran an extra 800m or so because of a course turnaround mix-up (the guy at the turnaround point was apparently off taking a leak when Annika and I got there). Annika was 20 months old when I pushed her, so he'll also have a weight advantage that might save a few minutes.

But the record is certainly not a given because so much rides on the kid staying put in that seat for two or three hours. If little Pierce decides to throw a hairy fit at 15 miles, or has some serious diaper issues, Wardian could lose a big chunk of time, or be forced to pull out altogether. I'm assuming he has done several long runs with his son and is confident in his ability to stay put. Nothing is guaranteed, though, when it comes to babies temperaments.

I wish Mike and Pierce all the best. Go for it guys!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Joggling with five

Owen Morse joggling with 5

How hard would it be to joggle a marathon with five beanbags? I put this question recently to American joggling legend Barry Goldmeier, who joggled his way through "most" of a marathon several years ago with five beanbags. His finishing time was about six hours.

Barry emailed me a couple of days ago to let me know that my stroller-pushing marathon record is soon being challenged by U.S. marathoner Michael Wardian. I already knew this, but was excited to hear from Barry, one of my joggling idols. I'm hoping to get some pointers from him on five-ball joggling (no balls jokes please) because the few times I've tried it, I found it very difficult to sync up the tosses with the running.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Joggling with clubs

I've been spending more time lately working on my clubs juggling. Dianne bought me a set of five Renegade clubs for Christmas, but I haven't had much time to use them because of the risk of dropping them on my kids' heads.

Zach told me he joggled with clubs when he appeared on ESPN last year because they wanted something more flashy than beanbags. Now that my clubs juggling is coming along, maybe it's time to give clubs joggling a whirl?

The guy you see juggling the clubs in the above photo is Anthony Gatto, and I just read that he is performing in the upcoming Cirque du Soleil show, Kooza. It's coming to Toronto in August and Gatto alone will be worth the admission. I'm going to book tickets.

For those of you not familiar with Gatto, watch this:

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Saunders just misses 5K joggling record

Canadian joggler Travis Saunders
(Photo: Stephen Petrick,

I ran home from work yesterday without joggling. I had my beanbags in my knapsack, and was tempted to bring them out, but I resisted and ran the entire route as a normal runner. To make up for the lack of juggling, I did some gut-wrenching short intervals.

I'm honoured to have been chosen as the Runner of the Week on the site, Faithful Soles. Check it out here.

In other joggling news, I'd like to congratulate fellow Canadian joggler, Travis Saunders, on an excellent 5K race this past weekend. Travis was trying to break the 5K joggling world record at the Limestone 5K in Kingston, Ontario. He ran a superb 17:05, missing the 21-year-old record by just 10 seconds. Travis told me he did drop once and that probably made the difference. I'd love to organize a 5000m showdown against him on the track. Could this be the start of a new friendly joggling rivalry?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Can I run like a normal person?

Now that the joggling duel is done, I'm going to take a break from joggling and see if I remember how to run like normal human being. I hope I don't still run with palms facing up, because that would look stupid.

Thanks to my mom for pointing out that I'm listed in Upcoming Stories on the CBC News: Sunday site as the Marathon Joggler. I'm waiting for confirmation on the date this will go to air, but here's the link. I watched the show last Sunday and Evan Solomon did a fantastic interview with David Foster. No doubt hundreds of thousands of viewers will be anxious to see what kinds of insights Evan was able to pry out of The Joggler.