Joggling 26.2 Miles In The NYC Marathon

Who knew that some people like to juggle while running a marathon? I didn’t but here is how I found out.

On Sunday, November 3 the ING New York City Marathon was taking place around the 5 boroughs. Kim and I had the bright idea to head to Williamsburg, Brooklyn for brunch.

We made it there in record time but once we got near the area  that the marathon ran through, there was no way to drive any further. The streets were cordoned off with police roadblocks for what seemed like, everywhere! We were driving further and further from our destination and then decided to change plans and go elsewhere.

photo (9)We picked a restaurant also near the marathon route (but actually accessable by car) and decided to take the first parking spot I found and then walk a few blocks.  It was quiet out at that moment with only a few people waiting to view the runners eventually come by. Before crossing through the marathon’s roped off route,  we got to see a small police motorcade drive by.

We wondered if some runners would be coming by next but didn’t see any in the distance so we continued on.

After an awesome brunch at Pies ‘n’ Thighs, (think chicken & waffles, biscuits & gravy and amazing doughnuts) it was time to head back to the car and go home.

However, there was one roadblock standing in our way. By the time we made it back to the marathon route it was packed with runners!

photo 2 (1)We debated about what to do. Eventually we’d need to make our way across the street (and through the field of marathon runners) to get to our car. Since we weren’t in a big rush, we decided to hang out for a bit, just before the mile 11 marathon marker and cheer on the crowd. I never understood why people went out to watch and cheer unless you were hoping to see a friend or family member run by but it turned out to be a lot of fun.

photo 3After watching a few people make their way through the crowd of runners to cross the street, Kim and I were getting ready to go. Lucas was having a great time as we cheered on the runners. He thought it was really funny, so we decided to stay a little longer.

A short time later, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. A man was running down the street juggling!

photo 4I was surprised but amazed by what I had seen. I was wondering if the guy ran the full race while juggling so I decided to look into it when I got home.

I googled- juggling NYC Marathon and my first result was a New York Times article from October 2012.

Screen Shot 2013-11-16 at 11.50.38 PMI immediately clicked to the article and saw the juggling runner from my photo.

I learned that he isn’t the only person to juggle and run. The activity (sport?) even has a name joggling .

There are even rules to this odd sport:

  1. Runners must juggle at least 3 balls every step of the way
  2. If a ball drops, the runner must return and resume from that point

I am sure glad that we stayed a little longer to watch the marathon since I got to learn about a new and odd sport!

Find out more about the man in my photo, Jack Hirschowitz and learn more about joggling in the NY Times article here.

FYI- Soon after, there were some gaps in the crowd of runners so I made a dash for it while holding Lucas and made it safely across the street. No runners were interrupting and Lucas thought it was a big game. He was cracking up and if we had some more time I would’ve run back and forth for him a couple of more times! (Well maybe not!)

Have any of you heard of joggling before?

ING NYC Marathon Image Credit: Esiason.org

7 thoughts on “Joggling 26.2 Miles In The NYC Marathon

  1. I ran the NYCM this year, but did not juggle. I’ve wanted to do a 5 k juggling and might soon. There’s several that do this, but it quite rare. Most runners don’t even know about it. I think there was a guy who dribbled two basketballs the whole way too.

    Glad you got to enjoy the marathon. Next year check out 1st ave in Manhattan. It was amazing. The NYCM is the greatest marathon in the world.

  2. I had heard about that guy! Great photo! I can’t believe he has that level of concentration AND has a smile. I would have such a serious look on my face just trying to stay focused!

  3. I’ve done that marathon twice and you see crazy stuff on the route! There’s a man with a huge Eiffel Tower costume with four supporters that runs it often. One that ran with live Christmas lights. I haven’t seen joggling though. That’s a new one.

  4. Thanks Charlie! It is pretty amazing that he can juggle the whole way. I read that at least one other guy did it too! I can’t juggle 3 balls standing still, let alone while running! Maybe this is something new for you to try? 🙂

    Ed C- The Eiffel Tower sounds pretty nuts. I wonder if the Christmas lights make the guy heat up a bit! I saw a photo of a guy that ran the marathon in a suit and there were a bunch of others in crazy costumes! More power to them and it definitely makes the race a bit more fun!

  5. Did u see the man bouncing 2 basketballs the entire way? I was a runner, and missed most of the scenes, so enjoy hearing the stories.

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