Prince Edward Island man aims to break jogging ‘weird sport’ world record
Michael Bergeron doesn’t want cakes and gifts for his 33rd birthday — he wants another world record.
That’s why in a few weeks, he will try to break a Guinness World Record by running 10 kilometers while juggling. That’s right – running and juggling.
« When you run and juggle at the same time, that’s called jogging, » Bergeron said.
So how do you become a jogger?
For Bergeron, it all started in 2014, when a friend challenged him to try this unusual sport. He didn’t think much about it at the time, but a year later he started practicing.
“I got hit three times, then I got out and tried to walk and juggle, then run and juggle,” Bergeron said. « I started to get addicted. »
It wasn’t long before Bergeron started running. He placed fourth in a five-kilometre race in Halifax and 50th in a half-marathon in Toronto, both completed while juggling. He received his first half marathon world record.
Bringing “entertainment on the road”
Bergeron trains several times a week. Usually he just runs, but once or twice a week he takes the juggling balls with him.
Bergeron enjoys jogging at Victoria Park in Charlottetown.
« I’m just looking at the scenery, enjoying the view and trying to wave at some passing cars because the drivers are always double-dipping. [take] », he said. « I think there is a lot of excitement from the community when they see me playing this weird sport. »
Bergeron said the jogging community is quite small and almost non-existent on the island.
« It’s a sport that isn’t taken seriously by a lot of people, but it’s a fun way to bring entertainment on the road. »
Bergeron said he has received a lot of support from the running community. He has been training with the UPEI cross-country team for a few months. On July 10, he will compete for a Guinness World Record on the college track to celebrate his birthday.
Bergeron attempted to complete the 5 and 10 kilometer jog record in 2018, and technically held the record for six months. But, the course he ran on was not certified by Guinness World Records, so the record was discarded.
This time around, Bergeron makes sure everything is up to Guinness World Records standards.
« For the record to count, there needs to be video from start to finish to make sure I’m not cheating, » he said. « Also, for the record to count, I have to juggle the whole 25 laps all the time. »
Bergeron says he feels stronger and more confident competing for the record this time around. But he has a problem.
« I’m very stressed about the weather, so I hope July 10 will be a cold, windless and humidity-free day. I think that will be the only thing that will play against my time. »
Bergeron said that in addition to winning the record, he hopes this event will encourage people to get into racing and show kids how fun it can be.
Bergeson said he has big plans if he wins the record.
« I said to my friend, ‘If I break the record that day, I’m going to run around with machetes,’ but it’s just for entertainment. »