Inspiration takes many shapes. Adam Conklin’s came in the form of an advertisement.
Conklin, a junior, was already an avid runner and juggler when he saw a Fairfield Inn and Suites commercial featuring the “world’s fastest marathon juggler”. After watching the advertisement, Conklin decided to combine his two hobbies into one.
Conklin’s first competitive effort as a joggler (accepted term, portmanteau of jogger and runner) came this summer, when he joggled the Firecracker 5k on the Fourth of July. His current personal record in the event is 20:37, which translates to a 6:38-per-mile pace.
To practice, Conklin joggles on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and “just plain runs” the rest of the week.
His most recent joggling race, the YMCA 8k Turkey Trot in Buffalo, NY, was a bit of a disappointment. Not only did the dense throng of runners make it hard to for Conklin to keep a quick pace, but he also finished behind one of his fiercest competitors, his dad. Though he didn’t hit his target pace, Conklin still passed plenty of people along the race route. Most of the reactions were of the bemused and encouraging variety, though one man muttered “What the [heck] is this?” as Conklin went by.
“It’s all positive reactions, just saying ‘good job’ ‘keep going’ ‘you got this,’” Conklin said.
Running is a natural action, juggling must be learned. It seems to follow then, that to successfully joggle one would give more attention to the juggling than to the running. Not so, says Conklin.
“Most people think you want to concentrate on the props that you’re juggling.” Conklin said, “But you actually want to focus on the road and keep the objects in your peripheral vision.”
Photos/ Gillian Krug