If you think running while juggling three balls is hard, imagine juggling four. Yesterday Toronto’s Michal Kapral has just set the very first (unofficial) Guinness World Record for a 10K while juggling four balls, easily reaching his goal of sub-1 with his 55:48 finish. (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). Check out the setting in the practice video below: Kapral ran as a guest of the local tourism board of Maldives, a nation of 26 atolls in the Indian Ocean.
“I got distracted by the scenery quite a bit, which caused me to drop, but that’s OK!” says Kapral. “I dropped a ball right at the finish line, so I went back a few metres to go through again just to make sure I was juggling every step of the way. It felt so good to be done.”
The race was the Coca-Cola Runinaddu on the island chain’s Addu Atoll. Though it was about 30 C and humid, there was a breeze and a few clouds in the sky, Kapral says. The race organizers and the Sportstats timer allowed him to start a minute before the rest of the crowd. He had a couple of drops near the start, since it was still dark, but he soon got into a groove, cruising down the main road that connects some of the islands of the atoll from the main town of Hithadhoo down to the Gan airport, near the Equator Village resort, where Kapral and his family are staying.
Kapral goes on to explain that the four-ball joggling pattern is exhausting to maintain, since you’re juggling two separate loops of two beanbags in each hand. “Anytime I lost my concentration for half a second, I’d drop a ball or two,” he says. The event was live-streamed on national TV in Maldives.
“The heat and humidity started to take a toll after the 5K turnaround,” says Kapral, “but I just pushed on and started counting every second toss–1, 2, 3, 4…
“After the race, I posed for photos with what seemed like hundreds of people, and signed some kids’ shirts and bibs. The people were so friendly. It was the joggling experience of a lifetime.”
Maldives attracts a luxury crowd, but is trying to get more North American runners to visit. “They actually have a thriving running scene here, with several marathons, half-marathons, 10Ks and 5Ks happening every year,” says Kapral.
Kapral held the three-ball joggling half-marathon Guinness World Record (currently held at 1:17:09 by Michael Bergeron, from last year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon) from 2014 to 2018, and he has attempted (but not successfully completed) the five-ball marathon record and the and three-ball 800m and 5,000m.
On Oct. 11 in the capital city of Male, Kapral will attempt another Guinness record for most consecutive stairs climbed while juggling three objects. “Until then,” he says, “it’s time to jump in the ocean and relax.”