Boise, Idaho, runner David Rush recently set the world record for the farthest distance travelled on foot while juggling three objects, running a grand total of 46K—4K farther than a standard marathon. According to Guinness World Records, he had to run a little over a half-marathon to break the record at 25K, but Rush nearly doubled that before eventually dropping a ball. He ran around a local high school track for the joggling (juggling while jogging) challenge, running 116 laps in five hours, 21 minutes and 23 seconds and adding to his list of more than 150 world records.
This was Rush’s first ultramarathon, which he noted on Instagram, writing, “I don’t always run an ultramarathon, but when I do it for the first time, I do it while juggling.” Running an ultra is tough enough, and for most people, putting one foot in front of the other requires their undivided attention for the duration of the race, but Rush upped the difficulty level by juggling for the entire run.
Beside having to run a minimum of 25K, there were a few rules that Rush had to follow. First, the attempt ended as soon as he dropped a ball. Second, he wasn’t allowed to stop at any point throughout the attempt. If he began to cramp up or needed to take a breather, he could slow to a walk, but if he came to a dead stop, he was done for the day. Third, no one could help him with anything once the attempt began. Whether he needed food or water or any other kind of assistance, he had to figure it out on his own.
Rush didn’t need any food during his run, but in a YouTube video covering the challenge, he noted that if he ran much farther than 25K (which was the plan), he would need to hydrate properly. He wore a hydration pack filled with Gatorade throughout the run, but that presented another wrinkle: since he couldn’t stop juggling and no one could help him get the pack’s hose in his mouth, he had to run the full 46K with it clasped between his teeth.
Rush broke the world record after two and a half hours, but carried on for close to another three hours before finally dropping a ball and bringing the attempt to its finish. In his post-run report, he wrote that he “had a couple of near drops at about 10 miles that would have cost me a shot at the record, but [I] was able to recover. After that, I didn’t have many issues.” With no time to beat and his focus purely on total distance, Rush writes that he took it slower than he usually does while joggling, averaging a little under seven minutes per kilometre.
With the success, Rush extended his personal list of world records, adding to running and non-running feats such as the fastest mile while juggling blindfolded (7:54), fastest 100m while carrying an open bottle of water on a waiter’s tray (15.17 seconds) and most T-shirts “worn and torn” in one minute (29). To find out more about Rush and his other 150 or so records, click here.