Boston Marathon: Runner will juggle the distance – Metro US

Boston Marathon: Runner will juggle the distance

The expectation of the over-bearing heat and the struggle at Heartbreak Hill are enough to worry about for most participants during the Boston Marathon.

But University of New Hampshire student Thomas Gounley wanted to add to the excitement and throw some juggling in the mix.

For the entire 26.2-mile run, Gounley will attempt to keep three bean-bags afloat during his stride to the finish line.

Known as “joggling,” running while jogging, Gounley said Monday’s Marathon challenge is just practice for a bigger event.

“I decided to train for the fastest time to joggle 50 miles. Currently it’s eight hours 23 minutes, which I’m attempting to break in May,” he said.

About a year-and-a-half ago, Gounley stumbled upon a list of bizarre Guinness World Records. Joggling was one of them.

Using juggling skills he picked up in middle school matched with his endurance to run races in college, Gounley thought breaking the joggling record was something he could do.

“I ran Boston last year, so figured I may as well juggle the marathon as a training run and a little publicity, I guess,” admitted Gounley.

If he drops the bags while running, Gounley will pick up again and carry on, he said.

And as for the awkward glances and chatter he’s sure to attract along his trek, Gounley doesn’t mind.

“People think it’s a little ridiculous. But that’s fine– it’s an inherently ridiculous sport and I’m fine with that,” he said.

Playing Hashtag games

While he is running, Gounley will be shirtless with the words #MeatHouseJoggler scrawled across his chest.

Gounley, who is sponsored by the Meat House, said this will allow bystanders to interact and track his location along the route as he attempts to make it to the finish line.

“People do tweet about the odd guy in the race; and given Boston’s social media savvy-ness there is no better way to test it out. It’ll be a bit of social media experiment,” he said. “I’m surprised no one has run a marathon while wearing a hashtag.”