We first heard from Tim when he contacted us here at JYAJ back in March 08. He was new to joggling then but has now embraced the sport. He even began a website to collect names of jogglers from around the world. That way if you want to joggle a race in a different town, maybe you’ll find a joggler to do it with. Here’s Tim’s story.
JYAJ: What is the story of how you learned to juggle?
BUTLER: I have been juggling for about 25 years. I started with oranges and apples when I was younger – when I was bored I’d just try throwing two in one hand and after a while realised I could juggle three with both hands. Since then I moved onto clubs and eventually knifes and fire.
JYAJ: When did you start joggling?
BUTLER: I started joggling at the beginning of this year. I was a keen runner in my 20’s, but never even thought about juggling at the same time. I had an ACL replacement last year and as part of my rehabilitation decided to try and run our local 10K race (in March). After reading about joggling I used to take my juggling balls when out training, and every now and then would try a few juggles along the way. Eventually I was joggling 6 miles in training without any drops.
JYAJ: Why did you start joggling?
BUTLER: It wasn’t until I stumbled across Perry’s website that I had even heard about joggling. It just seemed a cool thing to do. As a juggler I found the running part the most difficult but as I am getting fitter the times keep coming down. The comments you get from other runners and the crowd when joggling make it all worthwhile.
JYAJ: How many races have you done while joggling?
BUTLER: I have just completed my 2nd full joggling race (the Newark Half Marathon). Previously to this I did a 10K in 55 minutes with only 1 drop halfway (which was my own fault). I hit some serious walls in the half marathon after about 8 miles and finished in 2hrs 18minutes.
JYAJ: What are some of your favorites?
BUTLER: My first 10K joggling race was good fun as I had done lots of training so knew that I could last the distance. I started right at the back as I was worried about getting in the way but was overtaking all these runners towards the end – and the look on their faces as I came past was something else. I was trying to encourage them by saying things like ‘C’mon – you can’t get beaten by a clown’.
JYAJ: What are some of your most interesting joggling stories?
BUTLER: In the 10K race I did I wanted to start near the back out of the way so started doing some juggling tricks in front of my family and some of the crowd. I had my mp3 player in so missed the start and when I looked around everyone was off in the distance. Luckily the race was timed using chips as I ended up with a 4 minute difference between race and chip times. The plus was I got a big cheer as I started and had some targets to try and catch up.
One tip I found when training is that when you are going to drop the balls it is usually next to a main road, or a big ditch, or when crossing a bridge. I’ve had a few scrambles down muddy ditches to try and retrieve soggy balls – but have luckily managed to avoid getting any squished by passing cars.
JYAJ: What kind of training do you do? How fast do you run?
BUTLER: I tend to do a mixture of running and joggling – 2 runs and 2 joggles a week if possible. I’m using the running to try and improve my speed which will hopefully make my joggling faster. I can run about 7.5 – 8 minute miles and joggle about 45-60 seconds a mile slower.
JYAJ: Do you eat a special diet?
BUTLER: I like chocolate but I don’t think it helps you run any faster. However I try and use it as motivation. I promise myself a big chocolate bar if I manage to run under a certain time (30 minutes for 4 miles for example). Of course over here in England we have proper chocolate 🙂
JYAJ: How long do you think you will keep joggling?
BUTLER: As long as possible – once you start joggling it’s hard to go back to normal running. Plus I would love to meet another joggler in a race.
JYAJ: Any advice for would-be jogglers?
BUTLER: Start off slowly and don’t worry about dropping the balls or what passers by shout at you. Most of all though is to try and enjoy it – after a while you will find the throwing rhythm that matches your running and you’ll never look back.
JYAJ: Where do you see the sport of joggling in 10 years?
BUTLER: It would be nice to see more jogglers at race events and to try and encourage more people to try juggling. Once people realise that you’re not at the back of the field with the pantomime horse or batman and robin then they take you more seriously and seem genuinely interested in what you’re doing. I can’t see why it shouldn’t be included as a stand alone athletics event in the future.
Thanks Tim. If you’re interested in joggling, be sure to check out his UK-based website (www.joggling.co.uk). He’s even created a directory of jogglers around the world.
Check out the joggling interview pages for more joggling interviews.