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Joggling his way to Boston

Bergeron combining talents at marathon distance

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
April 4, 2017

HALIFAX – He is The Joggler.
No, he is not a Batman villain. He is Michael Bergeron of Halifax and, of the nearly 200 Maritimers who will be taking part in this year’s Boston Marathon, he will be the only one juggling while he runs. Joggling.
Bergeron, 25, doesn’t just joggle. He runs fast while joggling.
It all started when he was around the age of 13, and his father introduced him to the sport of running. He took part in local races where he lived in Ontario, and continued to run during high school and at the University of Ottawa.

Michael Bergeron of Halifax will joggle his way through the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 17.

Photo courtesy of Michael Bergeron

While it does slow him down, some might be surprised at how little. His personal best in the half marathon is 1:19:40, compared to his best joggling time of 1:27:15 at the same distance.
The furthest he has joggled is 30K, so Boston will be his first time tackling it at the marathon distance. His goal is to finish in under 3:05.
For Bergeron, however, it’s not about the numbers.
“At first it was a challenge that I wanted to achieve, then it became for the exercise,” he said. “Now it’s simply because it makes me happy and I love having an effect on people when I joggle. It makes people stop what they are doing and smile for a few seconds.”
“Juggling started in high school, when I attended a circus camp,” he recalled. “I kept juggling once in awhile, but really picked it up again when I moved to Halifax five years ago.”
It was in May of 2014 that he saw a video of the IJA World Juggling Festival, which included a joggling championship.
He was challenged by a friend to try it out.
“I thought it was stupid at first, but then I tried it,” said Bergeron. “I started running a few metres while juggling, dropping balls every few metres. But in no time I was running laps of my neighbourhood.”
Three months later he joggled his first 5K race, finishing in an impressive 19:47.
He has stuck with it and continued to post some impressive numbers, despite the difficulty in combining and coordinating the two activities, all while safely navigating a race course.