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VIDEO: Joggling a marathon with five balls is painful to watch

Michal Kapral made it less than halfway through the Toronto Waterfront Marathon and tore a muscle in his left hand before giving up

Michal Kapral

Canadian Michal Kapral attempted to set a Guinness world record at the 2017 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon for joggling–the term for running while juggling. Kapral holds various time-based world records juggling three balls while running different distances. Yes, there is more than one person who attempts this sort of thing.

Kapral’s goal on Sunday in Toronto was to joggle five balls for the full distance of the race. That’s about 130,000 tosses over 42.2 kilometres.

As you can gather from the video above, it didn’t go well.

A joggler attempting a record can drop balls but must stop and restart where the drop occurred. Kapral lasted until about the 17K mark, and about three-and-a-half hours. He was last place in the entire 18,000-plus person race (yep, he got passed by the group of walkers behind him in that video), which was won by Kenya’s Philemon Rono in 2:06:52, when Kapral abandoned his balls after tearing a muscle in his left hand. He finished the remainder of the marathon as a plain-old runner. 

Kapral’s destroyed hand after his failed five-ball joggling attempt. Photo courtesy of Michal Kapral

“When things went south, with a pace so slow partly due to a muscle tear in my hand that I was in dead last place, and I had to stop juggling, [fellow joggler] Zach [Warren] convinced me to keep running without juggling for the rest of the marathon,” Kapral says per his Facebook post. He finished in 5:39:58 after splitting the first half of the race in 3:48:14.

A nearly two-hour negative split in the marathon may be a record itself. It was also perhaps the first time a runner sustained a non-falling related hand injury in a road race.

The record remains non-existent, as no one has ever actually succeeded in joggling five balls throughout a marathon before. It seems pretty clear now why this wasn’t previously a thing. 

Kapral did, however, manage to raise roughly $2,000 for a local children’s hospital for his troubles.

For more stories on the 2017 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, click here for our page dedicated to the race.