Monday, October 24, 2011

Bob and Trish Evans make 5000m joggling history

Bob Evans tied the longstanding 5000m joggling record yesterday in Nashville with a 16:55, despite a drop in the first mile. His wife Trish also appears to have smashed her own previous 5K world record, running a 20:31. Amazing results. Even more amazing is that Bob and Trish will be going for the records again this Saturday in the Nashville Race for the Cure in an event that will feature 15 jogglers! Wish I could be there.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

5000m Joggling Guinness World Record Attempt

I'm going for the 5000m joggling Guinness World Record tonight (Aug. 10) at about 7:30 p.m. at the Central Tech track in downtown Toronto.

The current record of 16:55 has stood for 25 years. Is it a tough one to beat? Hell yeah! I fell short by 8 seconds in my last try a few years ago and that one really hurt. I'm hoping to run a nice even pace this time.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Sickly and Scrawny Boy

Benjamin Fingerhut's documentary Breaking and Entering recently screened at the historic Vickers Theatre in Three Oaks, Michigan, generating this writeup in the regional paper. This passage gave me a good laugh, and it's not far off.

There's Canadian Michal Kapral, whose obsession with the Guinness Book of World Records started when he was a scrawny and sickly young boy, dreaming of being an elite athlete. He grew up to become a gifted runner and juggler, and combined the two to become one of the best "jogglers" in the world.

With chronic asthma, allergies to virtually every food and airborne particle and general skinniness, I was a scrawny and sickly looking young laddy.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Feldman breaks 5-ball 5000m joggling record

Matt Feldman of Washington, Fla. set a new Guinness World Record for the fastest 5000m while joggling with five balls. The 18-year-old University of Florida student ran the 12.5-lapper in 27:06, eclipsing Billy Gillen's previous record of 28:11, set back in 1989.

For all the non-jugglers out there, juggling five balls is about 10 times harder than juggling three. Running while juggling five is, well, really, really hard. Joggling a 27-minute 5000 is a spectacular feat.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Danny Kassap: Remembering a Great Running Friend

It's hard to believe I'll never see Danny Kassap's smiling face – or his unmistakable feet-kicking-the-butt running stride – at races anymore. The 28-year-old fixture of the Toronto running community died on Monday at Sunnybrook Hospital, a day after he turned his Sporting Life 10K race into a light jog to the finish, complaining that he wasn't feeling well. There's no word on the cause of death, but it's likely related to the after-effects of a virus-related heart attack he suffered at the 2008 Berlin Marathon.

When I became launch editor of Canadian Running in 2008, I assigned Alex Hutchinson to write a feature story on Danny for the premiere issue, which chronicled the Congo native's struggles to gain Canadian citizenship (a battle he eventually won). And in my very first editorial I recounted my first encounter with Danny, at the 2002 Backs in Motion 5K in Sunnybrook Park. Here's what I wrote:
This first issue of Canadian Running is about time in more ways than one. For manathoner Danny Kassap, profiled here by Alex Hutchinson, the clock is ticking on both his Canadian citizenship and a qualification time for the Olympics. Will the Congo native become a citizen in time for the Beijing Games? Can he shave enough time off his personal best to meet Canada’s rigid Olympic standard?

I first met Kassap at a 5K race in Toronto in 2002, not long after he burst onto the Ontario road racing scene. I had heard reports of a running phenomenon who had arrived in Ottawa with the Congolese team for the Francophone Games and hadn’t returned home. Coming from a war-ravaged country, I expected Kassap to be a sombre type, or at least somewhat subdued, but the guy I found lined up at the start of that 5K was positively chipper. Much like marathon world record holder Haile Gebrselassie, Kassap has a near-permanent I’m-so-happy-to-be-alive-and-running smile on his face.

In a brief chat before the race start, Kassap told me how glad he was to be in Canada. The gun went off and, in what would become a familiar sight, Kassap flew into the lead, his feet nearly kicking his butt. 'That could be the future of Canadian distance running,' I thought. Six years on, Kassap is still flying, still thrilled to be in Canada and desperate to represent our country at international races. His story is symbolic of how so many of the ups and downs of running are often mirrored in our everyday lives.

I'd eventually become good friends with Danny and must have seen him at 100 races or so in the past 10 years. And no matter what was going on in his life, he was always smiling. He came to Canada with nothing and left us with a legacy.

If you can, make a donation to a memorial fund to help pay for a burial in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, his old training grounds.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Boston Marathon unveils new registration process




BOSTON – The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced today a change in its registration process for the Boston Marathon, allowing the fastest qualifiers to enter the earliest and with a rolling admission system while also offering all eligible runners an increased registration period. The changes in registration are a response by the B.A.A. to greater than ever demand by runners to gain entry into the Boston Marathon and culminate more than three months of analysis, including input from the running industry. Rather than accepting runners who have met the qualifying standards on a first come, first served approach, a more systematic, performance-based process will be employed.

2012 Boston Marathon

For the 2012 Boston Marathon, registration will extend for two weeks, beginning on Monday, September 12 and continuing until Friday, September 23. The qualifying times for the 2012 Boston Marathon will not change from recent past years since the standards had been previously announced and have been in effect since last September. However, the new registration process addresses the increased demand among qualified runners to participate in the Boston Marathon and will accommodate those who are the fastest qualifiers first.

Registration will occur on a “rolling admission” schedule until the maximum field size is reached, beginning with the fastest qualifiers. On the first day of registration for the 2012 Boston Marathon, those who are eligible for entry by having met the qualifying standards for their age and gender group by 20 minutes or more will be able to enter on the first day of registration (September 12). On the third day (September 14), registration will open for those who have met their qualifying standards by 10 minutes or more. On the fifth day (September 16), registration will open for those who have met their qualifying standards by five minutes or more. During this first week of registration, applicants will be notified as they are accepted and their qualifying performance verified.

If the field size is not reached after the first week and additional space remains, then registration will open to all qualifiers at the beginning of Week Two (September 19) and those who have met the qualifying standards by any amount of time will be able to apply for entry. The application process will remain open for the entire week, closing on September 23. At the conclusion of Week Two, those who are the fastest among the pool of applicants in their age and gender will be accepted. Accepted athletes will be notified on September 28.

If space remains available after this two week process, registration will remain open to any qualifier on a first come, first served basis until the maximum field size is reached.

The field size for the 2012 Boston Marathon will not represent a significant increase from the most recent past years.

Registration Process for the 2012 Boston Marathon

First Week Day 1 (Sept. 12) Qualifiers who have met their age/gender qualifying times by

20 minutes, 00 seconds or faster may apply

Day 3 (Sept. 14) 10 minutes, 00 seconds or faster

Day 5 (Sept. 16) 5 minutes, 00 seconds or faster

Second Week

Day 8 (Sept. 19) Qualifiers who have met their age/gender qualifying times by

any amount of time, including qualifiers who could have registered in Week One.

Day 12 (Sept. 23) Registration closes for qualified applicants

September 28 Qualifiers from entry during second week of registration are notified of their acceptance.

If the field is not filled at the conclusion of the two weeks, then registration will remain open and qualifiers will be accepted on a first come, first served basis until the maximum field size is reached.

2013 Boston Marathon

For the 2013 Boston Marathon, in addition to the new “rolling admission” process for registration which will be in effect for the 2012 Boston Marathon, the B.A.A. will adjust the qualifying times by lowering them by five minutes from the times which have been in effect in recent past years. The adjusted qualifying times will go into effect on September 24, 2011, and are as follows:


18-34 3:05:00 3:35:00

35-39 3:10:00 3:40:00

40-44 3:15:00 3:45:00

45-49 3:25:00 3:55:00

50-54 3:30:00 4:00:00

55-59 3:40:00 4:10:00

60-64 3:55:00 4:25:00

65-69 4:10:00 4:40:00

70-74 4:25:00 4:55:00

75-79 4:40:00 5:10:00

80 and older 4:55:00 5:25:00

Registration for the 2013 Boston Marathon will begin on Monday, September 10, 2012.

“As the number of qualified runners has increased combined with greater demand to run the Boston Marathon, our new registration process enables those who qualify by the greatest amount of time to have the longest period to enter,” said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. Executive Director. “Our new registration process takes into consideration the many comments we received from runners this past fall and winter, most of whom urged the B.A.A. to institute a system which recognizes athletic performance above all else.”

Additionally, to recognize and to encourage longtime Boston Marathon entrants, the B.A.A. will allow those who have met the qualifying times and who have finished the last ten consecutive Boston Marathons to enter anytime during the registration period. Currently, there are approximately 500 runners who have run 10 or more consecutive Boston Marathons.

The B.A.A. last adjusted the qualifying times for the 2003 Boston Marathon, relaxing times for runners who were 55 years old and older. The last time the qualifying times were made more stringent was for the 1980 Boston Marathon.

The 2011 Boston Marathon reached its maximum field size of qualifiers faster than any previous year when qualifiers rushed to fill the race and the qualified field closed in eight hours, three minutes.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Great reviews for Breaking and Enterting in NY Times and Variety

Filmmaker Benjamin Fingerhut's excellent documentary about Guinness World Record breakers is hot on the filmfest circuit and just received a couple of great reviews from Variety and the New York Times, both of which mention my friendly joggling rivalry with Zach Warren.

My wife got a kick out of the Variety review of Breaking and Entering: "Fingerhut depicts a kinder, gentler form of rivalry in his chronicle of Michal Kapral , a marathon "joggler" (one who juggles while jogging), who sets a record, only to have it broken by Zach Warren. The two men become friends, inspiring each other to greater and greater exertions for charitable causes, while Michal wonders how much longer he can pursue his completely profitless hobby to the detriment of his financial obligations to the wife and kids."

The New York Times review: "There’s definitely no place for mockery in the case of the jogglers Michal Kapral and Zach Warren, who can each run a marathon, juggling three balls the entire route, in under three hours. When you can do that, who needs Guinness." While I appreciate the writer Mike Hale's compliment here, I disagree - there must always be a place for mockery of joggling. What kind of imbecile runs a whole marathon while juggling?