Naval Warfare Officer sets joggling record during Navy 10K
By Ryan Melanson,
Four years ago, Lt(N) Michael Bergeron ran his first ever “joggling” race at the Navy 10K, completing the entire route while simultaneously keeping three juggling balls in the air. Since then, he’s become well known in the unique sport, with sponsorships, magazine articles and a growing list of accomplishments, including joggling through the 2017 Boston Marathon.
This year, he decided to return to where it all started to take a shot at the 10K joggling world record, and with a crowd full of friends and family cheering him on, he didn’t disappoint.
Lt(N) Bergeron finished the race with a time of 35:36, besting the previous record by more than 50 seconds. He’s currently in the process of submitting video and image evidence, along with witness statements, to Guinness World Records, and said he’ll soon officially be a joggling world record holder.
“It’s a dream come true and a highlight for my running career so far,” Lt(N) Bergeron said.
“In the running world, to get any type of record, even in a niche sport like joggling, is something pretty incredible.”
It wasn’t his first attempt at a world record; he recently came within ten seconds of the 5K world record, and was also less than a minute off of the half-marathon record time earlier this year at the Prince Edward Island Marathon. After those close calls, he made the 10K record his main goal for the summer.
He credited his pacer, Matt McNeil, with giving him an extra push through the race and helping him beat the previous record by nearly a whole minute.
“When we got to the halfway point, I had 50 seconds in the bank, and at that point I knew that unless something went really bad, I was going to get the record,” Lt(N) Bergeron said, adding that fatigue set in during the second half, but he was able to recover for a strong finish.
“I went full out for the last two kilometres, regained that time back, and I was able to beat the record.”
Since the race, he’s allowed himself a bit of time for celebration, as well as plenty of media interviews, but he’ll soon be right back to training for his next event. He’s set for another try at the half-marathon record in Toronto this October. The current best-ever time is 1:20:40, and the current record holder, Toronto’s Michal Kapral, who also holds the current marathon record, will be there joggling alongside Lt(N) Bergeron. The two have a friendly rivalry that should make for exciting competition.
“I’ve been in contact with him for three years, always picking his brain. He messaged me after the 10K race and said ‘You shattered my time; well done,’”.
Lt(N) Bergeron’s 10K was also good for first place overall at the Navy 10K, beating out hundreds of competitors who didn’t need to focus on juggling through the course. This year’s race, the 33rd edition of the event, brought out more than 500 military and civilian runners across the four distances, including the Rim Reapers wheelchair team, and hundreds more completed shadow runs with their military units while posted elsewhere in Canada or abroad.
CFB Halifax Base Commander Capt(N) David Mazur, attending the race for the first time as Base Commander, said it was a great opportunity for him to meet some members of the defence community and wider HRM community, as well as to see the organizational support required to put on one of the base’s signature events.
“I’ve been really looking forward to it. It’s great to see so many people out to get moving and get fit, and we were blessed with perfect weather for the race. I know a lot of work goes into this event each year, so we’re thankful to PSP and our sponsors for putting it all together once again,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the kids kicked things off with the 1.25K and 2.5K runs through Stadacona, and some of them showed they had speed and endurance worthy of the main race. Fastest times for the 1.25K came from Noah Bishop (4:34) and Emma Quinton (6:04), while the best 2.5K times went to Alex Quinton (8:42) and Bryn Canning (10:11). Prizes were handed out to the top finishers.
“I couldn’t believe how fast some of the kids were going, it’s great to see fitness like that at a young age,” said PSP Halifax’s Wally Buckoski, who shared emcee duties for the event with Bobby Mac of Q104.
Following the race, more prizes were awarded, both to the winners and through random draws, including registration and travel vouchers to the Army Run in Ottawa on September 23 from Via Rail and Westjet, vouchers to the Atlantica Hotel, gift cards from Canadian Tire, Giant Tiger, Tim Horton’s, and more.
Major sponsors for the day were Ultra Electronics and Commissionaires National Office; other sponsors who helped make the Navy 10K possible included Engel & Völkers, Lasik MD, Babcock, Via Rail and Alexander Keiths.
Full results from this year’s race are available at http://results.raceroster.com.