Juggling and running are two activities that don’t usually have much in common. For Will Howard of Marietta, GA they are the perfect combination of his two favorite sports. On Saturday Feb. 1, 2003 he broke the world record for joggling a mile with a time of 4 minutes and 42.36 seconds.
Jogging while juggling = JOGGLING
Joggling became a recognized sport in the early 1980’s when the first races were held at the International Jugglers Association’s annual festivals. The previous mile world record of 4:43.8 was set in San Jose, CA by Kirk Swenson in July 1986.
Will is a senior at the University of GA studying business and finance. He is a member of the UGA track team. He has been juggling since he was five years old and running track since he was ten years old. He ran his first joggling race in 1991 in St. Louis taking first place in the Junior’s 400 meters race with a time of 1:46.13. He was a member of a 4x400 meter joggling relay team last September at Davidson, NC. They also set a joggling world record with a time of 4:28.17.
The recent mile joggling race was organized by the International Sport Juggling Federation (I.S.J.F.) and run at Grady High School in Atlanta, GA. It was in conjunction with the Groundhog Day Jugglers Festival put on by the Atlanta Jugglers Association. Albert Lucas, founder of the I.S.J.F., helped set up the race for the mile record attempt. Bill Giduz from Davidson, NC was in charge of the race and the official starter. Official timers were Don Lewis of Montreal (Quebec, Canada), Ron Anglin of Barnesville, GA, and Dwayne Alvis of McDonough, GA. Basil Campbell gave Will his split times on the back side of the track. Wallace Howard, Carlos Nieves, Ray Stern, and Dan Howard videotaped the event for confirmation to the Guinness Book of World Records.
When asked about his run, Will said it was a tale of two sides of the track. The back side had a cold headwind and no spectators in the stands, only the timer giving him split times. As he rounded the turn and came to the front side of the track each time he was cheered on by the crowds and better winds. He said he was counting the number of times he had to go past that cold side of the track and glad when he had passed it for the last time.
Will said he wasn’t sure that he had broken the world record until the timers announced their stopwatch readings and the crowd cheered. He said that all his juggling friends in the stands helped him beat the windy conditions and inspire him to victory. He runs a 4:12 mile (without juggling) and hopes to run the joggling mile again soon and improve his time with more favorable track conditions. He runs his joggling races using red 4-oz. Exerballs which are designed specifically for joggling.