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What to Do When Your World Record Gets Broken

Posted Apr 11 2012 6:39am

In 2007, I broke the world record for the fastest to ever joggle 50 miles.  Many people ask if I was the only person to ever do it.  I wasn’t.  The previous record holder was Ashrita Furman  who set the record in 1989.  Ashrita is an interesting guy who holds a number of world records including the world record for holding the most world records.  Starting in 1979, he has set or broken 390 world records and continues to set new ones every year.  

The thing about holding a bunch of world records is that there is always someone who will be inspired to try to break it.  While Ashrita has achieved 390 records, many of them have been broken. He currently holds about 133 so he’s used to people besting him.  Indeed, I was inspired to break his record when I discovered that the world record for the fastest Marathon done while joggling was out of my reach thanks to jogglers Michal and Zach.  In my first try I beat Ashrita’s time by over 30 minutes.  I was proud.  I’m still proud.  It is rare that you get to claim to be the best at something in the world and actually have proof of it.

Now, there is a new kid who is looking to break my world record.  On May 12, 2012 Thomas Gounley is going to make an attempt.  And he quite likely will beat it.  He can joggle a 5K in 18 min, has joggled a marathon in 3:20, and has already run a 50 miler and a 62 miler.    Of course, anything can happen but I anticipate to be world recordless on May 13, 2012.  Sigh.

While I have mixed feelings about losing my world record overall, I’m happy to see Thomas set a new mark.  The world record is a source of pride for me but there are many other things in my life which make me happy.  Being recordless will not change that.  Indeed, being recordless will actually be inspiring.  One of the reasons I’ve had such a hard time getting motivated to train for the 24 hour (100+ mile) joggling world record attempt is because I haven’t been inspired.  Holding one record is awesome.  Holding two records is still awesome but not twice as awesome.

So, here’s my advice to anyone who loses their world record to someone who did it better…set another one.  This is what Ashrita does and it’s what I’m going to do.  I know it will be a ton of work but I want to do this.  And I can do it (at least my brain says so).  It will not be easy but if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

I wish Thomas well and we will be reporting on his progress as the date approaches.  50 miles is not easy but world records are made to be broken.

Joggle on!


Incidentally, I found it interesting that his longest standing record was The Farthest Distance Traveled by Somersault – 12 miles 390 yards, set in 1986.   And one of his records that seems easily breakable is the Farthest Distance Gone on a Unicycle While Juggling – 1.75 miles done in New York in 2011.


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