Saturday, October 10, 2015

Tossed Out: No Joggling Allowed at New York City Marathon

Say it ain't so, New York City Marathon. Joggling is now forbidden at the race under a recently established set of security rules that prohibit the use of props. I had been training hard for the past four months for what I had hoped would be my biggest joggling event ever -- an attempt to break my own world record at the largest marathon in the world.

It was not to be. I got an email from one of the race's PR representatives letting me know that "the use of props, which would include juggling during the race, is not permissible at the event."

Banned beanbags
My three little beanbags have unfortunately been tossed in with a series of banned items, which were set in place as part of a beefed-up security protocol after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Other prohibited items on the list include: firearms, knives, Mace, drones, survey balloons, mini-copters, fireworks, explosives, toxic chemicals, and selfie-sticks.

The great Salt Lake City Marathon joggle-off between me and Zach Warren.

So I'll be leaving my 2 1/4-inch, millet-filled, spherical security risks at home and transform my marathon juggling self into a normal, non-joggling marathon runner on November 1. If you look closely at me on race day, you might notice that I'm actually juggling invisible beanbags (which I hope are allowed)! And no, I will not be documenting my race with a drone or a selfie-stick.

It's a shame that New York has abandoned its long history of supporting joggling. About 25 years ago, legendary NYC Marathon race director Fred Lebow invited former marathon juggling record holder Albert Lucas to run NYC while joggling, telling Juggler's World (yes, that's a real publication), "I see joggling as only positive ... We don't have a joggling division yet, but you never know what can happen." Joggling also made the front page of the New York Times a few years ago with a great article by Sara Beck, "3 Beanbags and 26.2 Miles." It's sad to see that Lebow's thoughts of a future joggling division have been extinguished.

Here's what I think: If I can check into a hotel with a mobile app as I run at high speed while juggling, I should be allowed to joggle the NYC Marathon. But that's just me.

On the bright side, I have some exciting joggling plans for 2016, at a marathon that welcomes beanbags with open palms. 


Cupcake Brain said...

I just ran my first marathon and my friend who inspired me to run it thinks you are a hero! Its so cool that you juggle and run marathons!! I also have no idea how you manage to do it all. My friend also finished his second marathon and had just learned to juggle before it. He really thinks highly of your work...this might be a crazy request but its his birthday coming up and I was wondering if it isn't too much trouble, if you could send him a signed poster or bean bag or something? He is a huge fan and I am too! Keep up your great work inspiring runners and jugglers worldwide!

Michal The Joggler Kapral said...

Thank you for the kind words, Cupcake Brain! That's really cool to hear about your friend. I'm sure I can get something to him for his birthday. Just send me an email at with the details.


Screenbert said...

I did the Chicago Marathon 2 years ago. They also "banned" non-running related props. However I asked about fruit, specifically oranges and didn't get a response. Food was allowed through the checkpoint and I juggled 3 oranges for the entire race with no issues.

Unknown said...

Michal, I never heard of joggling before -- it is a beautiful thing. Congratulations on your race!

Pistol Kitty said...

That's a bummer!! I think you should follow in Screenbert's step and joggle fruit.
Now excuse me while I go say joggle 50 times.. I've never heard of it before.