This is Part 2 of a 3 part Series called Joggling and Racing Etiquette.
In Part 1 we looked at how and where a juggling runner should line up. Here, we’ll examine how you should juggle and run the race.
Starting the race
Prepare before juggling.Â If you’ve lined up properly you’ll be off to the side when the gun sounds. In big races you might have as long as 5 minutes before you get to the start line. Don’t start juggling immediately. Walk up to the line and get other things like turning on headphones or starting your watch.Â When you reach the start line begin juggling. In a smaller race, you won’t have as much time so get things out of your way before the gun.
Once you clear the start line, the joggling fun begins. Stay focused and try not to be distracted by the cheering crowd. Concentrate hard. You don’t want to have a drop at this point. Feel free to smile at people but only if you are confident in your joggling skills.
Navigating the race course
Joggle at the edges. The crowd of runners will be largest at the start. For a running juggler, this will be one of your most challenging moments. By staying off to one side you can limit dropping dangers caused by other runners who may bump into you. Dropping a juggling bag into a crowd of runners is one of the worst things a joggler can do. It can mess up another runners race and may even lead to a twisted ankle. Do everything you can to avoid interfering with other runners.
Joggling in the middle of the pack takes advanced skill and confidence. It is not recommended for any but the most seasoned (or fastest) jogglers.
Watch for course obstacles.Â Most running races are held on streets and running paths. That means there’ll be potholes, parked cars, uneven surfaces and a host of other juggling-disturbing challenges. Look ahead and avoid these hazards. If you have to stop juggling to avoid an obstacle, then just stop. Unless you are trying to set a world record, it is ok to stop juggling for the sake of safety. And don’t be afraid to run up on sidewalks. If it’s safer do it.
Water station breaks. Nearly all races have water and aid stations along the way. If you are not going to get water, veer off to the middle and avoid the runners who are slowing or stopping to get refreshments. After the start, water stations are most challenging part for a juggling runner.
If you are going to get water yourself, be sure to stop juggling and move off to the side of the course. Quickly gulp down a cup of water or Gatorade before resuming juggling. As you make your way back into the race be aware of other runners coming up from behind.
Juggling Corners and Turns. Most runners will take the shortest route around corners. To be safe, make wider turns when juggling. This will keep you out of the way of other runners and also make it easier for the spectators to see you. Their cheers are a big motivator for jogglers.
What to do if you drop. Unless you’re a brilliant juggler like Jason Garfield, you’re probably going to have a couple of drops along the way. If you do drop, step off to the side before you stop. This will prevent runners behind from crashing into you. Quickly locate the lost bag and get it when other runners are out of the way. If you drop one in the beginning, recovery may not be possible. Sometimes the crowds are too big. But generally, if you stay to the side you’ll be able to get your juggling bag even in the largest of crowds. Once you get the dropped bag, resume juggling and ease your way back onto the course.
Joggling during a race can be exciting. Where else are you gonna get thousands of people who will see you juggling? But the course if full of obstacles which you must navigate safely. Right now, the sport of joggling is accepted by most races. However, reports of juggling-caused injuries could quickly turn people against us. Please practice considerate joggling.
In part 3 of this series we’ll look at a host of other running and juggling racing tips.