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Joggler Michal Kapral’s excellent year

Canada's most famous joggler set three new Guinness World Records this year (not all of them for joggling)

Canadian runner, joggler and multiple Guinness World Record-holder Michal Kapral has had a very good year, setting three new Guinness World Records: the first-ever fastest 10K while joggling four objects (55:48, in the Maldives), most consecutive stairs climbed while juggling (2,544, during the same trip to the Maldives) and a non-joggling record: fastest half-marathon skipping without a rope (2:12:46 at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon). All results are pending ratification.

RELATED: Michal Kapral sets world’s first 4-ball joggling 10K record–in paradise

Kapral currently holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon while juggling three objects (2:50:12, set at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2007) and the fastest 10K while juggling three objects (36:27, set at the 2006 Toronto Island Run).

We had some questions for him about his joggling, his records, and his very good year.

CR: Of the three records you set this year, which are you most proud of? 

MK: The three world records I set this year were all massively challenging in different ways, but I’m most proud of the four-ball joggling 10K record, because I did it on very little training with the four-ball pattern. I was originally planning to go after the five-ball record, but made a last-minute switch to four after Guinness World Records gave me an impossibly difficult minimum time requirement for the five-ball 10K.

The four-ball joggling pattern of two asynchronous loops can get super awkward when you’re trying to run in a straight line. No one, as far as I know, had ever tried to do a four-ball joggling road race of any distance, so it was cool to blaze that trail. The RunInAddu race took place at the southern tip of Maldives, basically right on the equator, so it was super hot and humid, even at sunrise, which made the whole thing that much harder. I really struggled in the last few kilometres, but just took it one toss, catch and stride at a time. On the upside, if you’re going to run a race in the heat, you might as well do it in paradise!

CR: Which record are you most proud of overall?

MK: I’m most proud of the first Guinness World Record I ever set, for fastest marathon pushing a stroller in 2:49 at the 2004 Toronto Waterfront Marathon. That one will always be special to me because I got to run the race with my then-1.5-year-old daughter, Annika. We had a lot of good father-daughter bonding time during the training, and she was an angel during the race. In the finish line shot, Annika is pointing up at the sky as if to celebrate the world record, but in fact she’s pointing at some balloons that were above the finish line. They printed that photo in the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records. Annika, who is now 16, has just taken up running.

CR: What’s your next project?
MK: Guinness World Records tell me they’re re-examining the minimum time standard for the five-ball 10K, so if it’s within reason, I’d like to have a crack at it. Fellow five-ball joggler Matt Feldman and I have discussed doing a five-ball track race duel at the 400m or mile. That would be a riot. I’m also trying to assemble a team to go after the joggling mile relay record of 3:57.38, set 30 years ago. And one of these days I’ll finally get around to doing a joggling steeplechase. Basically, I’ll do anything to keep having fun.
CR: How do you train in the winter?
I’ve taken some time off from running as I’ve been busy juggling work, family and master’s degree studies, but when I do get back to running, I’ll do some indoor track with the University of Toronto Masters Track Club, along with my usual 8K run or joggle home from work. I actually love running in the winter, because I hate cold and running keeps me warm.