Monday, September 25, 2017

NEWS RELEASE: High Five! Juggling Runner Michal Kapral to Attempt 5-Ball Joggling Marathon Guinness World Record in Toronto

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

High Five! Champion Juggling Runner Michal Kapral to Attempt 5-Ball ‘Joggling’ Marathon Guinness World Record in Toronto

Kapral to race Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon juggling 5 beanbags – and chewing gum – to raise funds for SickKids Foundation

TORONTO – SEPTEMBER 25, 2017 – Ten years after smashing the current Guinness World Record for fastest marathon while juggling three objects in 2 hours 50 minutes, Toronto’s Michal “The Joggler” Kapral plans to run and juggle his way to a new record, keeping five beanbags aloft every step of the 2017 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 22.

Kapral, 45, a writer at Health Quality Ontario in Toronto, has completed eight three-ball marathons while “joggling” – the sport that combines running (or jogging) and juggling – including the 2016 Chicago Marathon, which he finished without dropping a ball once in 2 hours 55 minutes.

Michal Kapral works on his five-ball joggling at the Toronto Beach
This will be Kapral’s first attempt at a five-ball joggling marathon, and the first time anyone has officially tried to run an entire 42.2km race while juggling five balls. The only other known five-ball joggling marathon was by the late Billy Gillen of Brooklyn, N.Y., who reportedly joggled the 1988 New York City Marathon in 7 hours 7 minutes.

Guinness World Records has set a time of 4 hours 40 minutes to establish an official record. An adjudicator will at the race to verify the record attempt on the spot. Kapral will aim for 4:40, but has a secondary goal of breaking the existing mark of 7:07.

“This is by far the most difficult world record I’ve ever attempted,” says Kapral, who also holds Guinness World Records for the fastest half-marathon and 10K while juggling three objects, and previously held the record for fastest marathon pushing a stroller. “Juggling five balls standing still is about 10 times harder than three. Keeping that five-ball pattern flying in the air while running a marathon is just completely nuts. It feels like you’re running two marathons at once – one with your arms and one with your legs.”

Kapral expects to stop or drop several hundred times during the marathon, and has enlisted joggling rival and friend Zach Warren to run behind him (without juggling) to act as a spotter, and to ensure the safety of the other runners. Despite having to look up at an angle, Kapral is able to see ahead of him while running and juggling with five beanbags. Guinness World Records rules stipulate that if Kapral drops a ball, he must return behind the drop point before restarting. He can stop to drink or eat, but must be juggling every step of the way forward.

As he did while setting the 2007 world record while joggling three balls, Kapral will chew gum during the entire five-ball joggling marathon. “People always ask me, ‘Can you also chew gum while you do that?’” Kapral says. “I’ll be chewing Stride gum the whole way, because yes I can!”

Kapral is raising donations for SickKids Foundation as part of the record attempt, to support patient care, research and equipment at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, where Kapral received treatment for severe asthma as a child. Donations can be made through this link: https://www.sickkidsdonations.com/registrant/FundraisingPage.aspx?registrationID=3952455&langPref=en-CA.

In another world first, Kapral has likely become the first runner to secure an official cinnamon bun sponsor. Rosen’s Cinnamon Buns, founded by cookbook author Amy Rosen, has endorsed the marathon record attempt.  

“These delectable treats fuelled some of my long training runs,” says Kapral, “so having Rosen’s on board is just the icing on the bun.”

Kapral chronicles his joggling experiences on his blog, The Bloggling Joggler, at http://www.thejoggler.blogspot.com.

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For high-resolution images, or for more information, please contact Michal Kapral at joggler1@gmail.com, or @mkapral on Twitter.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Non-Joggling Challenge: GoodLife Fitness City Chase Toronto

Running while juggling tests your fitness and your mind. The GoodLife Fitness City Chase does the same, and that's why I've had my eye on the urban adventure series for years. The events, which take place throughout the summer across Canada in Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa. Halifax and Toronto (two events), culminate in a national final with the best three teams from each of the city finals.

Dianne and I are teaming up to compete in the second Toronto event on August 19. It will feature a series of 10 challenges, and clues to find each of the challenge points. Participants are only allowed to navigate on foot or by public transit. Hopefully, we'll get a chance to do lots of running. They estimate 10k-20k of running and walking, depending on how much you take public transit. I don't plan to do any joggling during the race, unless of course there happens to be a challenge that involves running and juggling. The race has a 6-hour cutoff and the winners typically finish in just over 2 hours. Dianne and I recently returned from a week of back-country camping in Algonquin Park, so we're already in team adventure mode. Let's do this!

Teams that raise certain amounts of money for the event's charity partner, GoodLife Kids Foundation, which provides physical activity opportunities for children with autism, get special advantages, such as early access to clues.

Thanks to the good people at City Chase, you can get a $20 discount to the event through this blog. Just go to the registration page, and plug in the promo code: JOGGLER20.

The as-yet-unnamed but super-awesome team!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Blogiversary: 10 Years of Blogging About Joggling

Most people can't believe that joggling is a real thing that people do. Well, can you believe that I have been writing this blog about joggling for 10 years? Ten years! Exactly a decade ago, I launched The Bloggling Joggler with this post, saying:
"Welcome to the drama, the pain, the heartaches, the headaches, the insanity and the joy that is joggling. This blog will track my journey as I attempt to reclaim the Guinness World Record for 'fastest marathon (26.2 miles) while juggling three objects,' and any future joggling feats."
I never imagined the joggling hilarity that would ensue for the next 10 years.

Some highlights:

2007: Zach Warren and I faced off in a joggling duel at the Salt Lake City Marathon. We were featured in a CBC News documentary and the feature documentary, Breaking and Entering, by the amazing Benjamin Fingerhut.



2008: I chased after the joggling 5000m world record, falling just a few seconds short. I joggled the Cayman Islands Half-Marathon. I became, I think, the first person to joggle in the Northwest Territories, joggling the first few hundred metres of the Rock and Ice Ultra 135km race near Yellowknife.

2009: I appeared on MTV Canada, joggling onto the stage to the Rocky theme song. I joggled the World's Best 10K in Puerto Rico. I set the half-marathon joggling record of 1:24 in Montreal.

2010: The film Breaking and Entering released to rave reviews from Variety and New York Times.



2011: Tried to break the 5000m joggling Guinness World Record of 16:55 again, and missed out again by about 10 seconds. This is a tough one.

2012: Joggled the Chilly Half-Marathon in Burlington with a GoPro on my head. In October, I became the first person to win a marathon while juggling, joggling a 2:59 at the Trapline Marathon in Labrador. Beautiful race course.

joggling michal kapral
Joggling the Chilly Half-Marathon in Burlington, Ont.

2013: I made two attempts at the world record for the joggling 800m (2:12:45) and missed out the first time after a drop and the second time finishing in 2:15.




2014: I set a new Guinness World Record for the joggling half-marathon at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront race, finishing in 1:20:40. I set the unofficial joggling beer mile world record. Late in 2014, I flew to Los Angeles for a three-day TV commercial shoot for Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott.

Michal Kapral joggling half-marathon Toronto running juggling
On my way to the Guinness World Record of 1:20:40 for fastest joggling half-marathon at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront race. Photo: John Chou




2015: I planned to run the New York City Marathon while juggling but my beanbags were deemed a security risk. The joggling marathon that wasn't made the New York Times, Runner's World and Canadian Running.



2016: Sponsored by Fairfield Inn and Suites, I ran the Chicago Marathon while juggling in 2:55:25, without dropping a ball. The story went massively viral and I spent the next few weeks doing interviews every day. Unreal. The video below, shot by Chicago photographer Wendy Alas, was viewed millions of times, on Good Morning America, ESPN, BBC and elsewhere. Earlier in the year, I joggled another beer mile in 8:48, making ESPN and TMZ.


2017: To be continued. Thanks for coming along for the ride. Has anyone out there been reading this thing for the full 10 years?

Michal Kapral joggling Chicago Marathon running juggling
Joggling the 2016 Chicago Marathon in 2:55:25 without dropping a ball. Photo: Colin B Photography

Thursday, December 22, 2016

My Year in Joggling 2016

It was an epic joggling year. Here are a few highlights from 2016. Lots more in the works for next year.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Joggling Commute: Running While Juggling Through Downtown Toronto

To train for the Chicago Marathon joggle this year, I ran home from work almost every day while joggling. The route is about 8km and slices straight through the heart of downtown Toronto along the very busy Bloor St. starting at University. I joggle east across the Bloor St. Viaduct and then along Danforth Ave. through Greektown, and into East York.




I usually get a lot of funny comments and odd stares, but of course on the day I hooked up the GoPro, I didn't capture any good reactions. 

As you can see from the video, there's a lot of zigzagging. I always do a variety of tricks during my commute joggle, tossing beanbags against walls, street signs and over hydro wires. All the trick shots, plus dodging and weaving through the crowds of busy Torontontians, really helped me stayed focused during the distractions in Chicago. 


Thursday, November 10, 2016

VIDEO: Life Is a Joggling Act

I made this video. There's some joggling and some plain old juggling in it. Hope you like it.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Quick Summary: No-Drop Sub-3 Chicago Marathon Joggling Coverage

The numbers are in. Here's a quick media campaign recap of the sub-3-hour no-drop Chicago Marathon juggling-running story:

Total media impressions: 6.2 squillion*
Social media shares: 3.7 kajillion
Video views: 3.3 umptillion

*Sponsorship inquiries for 2017 can be sent to joggler1@gmail.com. You won't regret it.

Michal Kapral joggling juggling Chicago Marathon 2016 joggler
Joggling the 2016 Chicago Marathon (Photo: Colin Boyle)





Some of the media coverage so far:

NPR, BBC World Service, Good Morning America, Twitter Moments, BuzzFeed, Forbes, Yahoo, Apple News, ESPN SportsCenter, UPI News, Storyful, Newser, Runner's World, Canadian Running, International Business Times, LetsRun.com, O2 Magazine, 444.hu, NowThis, iHeart Radio, Allinteresting.com, L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, Herald Sun, PBS, and many many other foreign-language sites (the Google translations of these made me laugh to the point of tears – future post about this?).

I know you're not supposed to read the comments, but I couldn't resist looking at some of the feedback from the Facebook posts. The NPR story alone had something like 10,000 comments. A lot of people apparently thought it was an Onion article. Many others asked if I could chew gum while doing it (YES). My favourite comments of all were the few that said "No one cares," referring to an article that has 20,000 likes and 6,000 shares. Of all the possible criticisms of a guy running a marathon juggling, this one literally disproves itself. It's like that John Waite song, "Missing You." He's singing "I ain't missing you at all" but you know he really is.

One of the biggest thrills that will be hard to top was making ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays. Yeah, I was only No. 8, but I'm not in the NBA, MLB or NFL, so until there's a successful National Joggling League (NJL), I won't crack the top 3.