You read the results from the recent IJA Joggling Championships, now here’s a report from someone who was actually there, Len Ferman.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, July 17th, 2007 –
Running and juggling at the same time, 13 year old David Ferman dominated the sprinting events at the International Juggling Association Joggling Championships today at the Hanes Park track in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Often referred to as the World Joggling Championships, this unique track competition has been held annually since 1980 in conjunction with the International Juggling Association Festival, which gathers most of the top jugglers in the world. Joggling requires competitors to juggle 3 or 5 balls while they are running, with a minimum of one throw per step.
Ferman won three events: the 100 meter 5 ball; 100 meter 3 ball; and 200 meter 3 ball. The 100 meter 5 ball race is perhaps the most highly skilled event in all sports. Relatively few people can juggle 5 balls while standing still, let alone race down the home stretch of a track. In the 100 meter 5 ball race, Ferman won by more than 30 meters in 24.28 seconds, the fastest time in the world in the past 3 years. Ferman had high expectations for the event. “I ran 21 seconds in a practice in June and the winning time from 2006 was 36 seconds, so I thought I might have a chance”, said Ferman.
The 100 meter 3 ball competition was a hotly competitive event. Ferman won by just one-tenth of a second over Anders Kierfulf in 14.81. Five jogglers finished within one second of the winner. Later, Ferman came back again to narrowly win his third gold medal in the 200 meters in 31.81, over Aaron Rosenberg and Jeremy Stanley who were both clocked in 32.94. The 200 meters capped the greatest single day of running or joggling in Ferman’s career. “My 200 meter time was the fastest I’ve ever run for 200 meters even without juggling”, said Ferman.
The only other multiple gold medal winner was David’s father, Len Ferman, who swept the middle distance events, taking the 800 meters in 2:42 and the 1600 meters in 5:46. In the 800 meter event, the elder Ferman came from 30 meters back in the last lap and took the lead on the final turn on his way to victory. “I trained hard for a year, but I never actually raced against other jogglers, so I struggled on the first lap joggling in a pack. But I dug down and willed myself back in the race and was fortunate to come in first”, said Ferman. “The special thing about today was being able to share the experience of winning a gold medal with my son. It was a great moment.”
Other gold medalists were Nathan Vehse in the 400 meters in 68.9 seconds, and Christoph Mitasch of Austria in the 5 kilometers in 22:27.