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Wonder what it is like to run 70 miles while juggling?

Posted Jul 29 2010 2:44am

Last weekend, UK joggler Tim Butler joggled a 70 mile race. He filed this report about the experience. This race was a prelude to Tim’s bigger plan of joggling a 100+ miler. I know this was a dream of mine but I can’t wait to see Tim do it. Who knows, maybe I’ll take a trip to the UK and do it with him.


The 70 miles consisted of a small 3.5 mile lap followed by 7 big 9.5 mile laps. It was around the estate of a country castle and was 1/2 on roads and 1/2 on grass tracks and through fields.

The race started at 10:00 am and lasted 27 hours (if necessary) to complete the 70 miles. I was planning to use normal thud balls for the daytime and LED balls for the night joggling.

The thud balls are a lot lighter so my aim was to complete 50 ish miles before dark and then just have 2 laps with the heavier LED balls. After each lap I had a 15-20 minute food break and change of t-shirt etc.

During the race we had to carry our own water and any treats to last us for the 10 miles, so I wore a belt pack with a hydration system and full of cake and energy bars / gels – though I kept having to stop every time I wanted a drink.

The first 30 miles of joggling were fine – about 10-11 min mile pace, but I soon realised that it is better to walk up the hills and difficult parts of the lap – by this stage I’d developed a walking joggling pattern (I’m calling it a woggle) – like a forced march – that was easier than running but still kept a synchronised joggling pattern – found it easier to really stomp my feet for some reason but you can manage a good 4mph pace doing this.

Lap 4 (30-40 miles) was about 60% run & 40% woggle.

Like I said I wanted to get 50 miles out of the way before I used the heavier LED balls so set out for lap 5 with standard thuds and just a head torch at 8:30pm hoping to get back before the sun went down at about 10:30. Unfortunately I was doing a lot more woggling than joggling so by the time I got to the last 2 miles it was completely dark, and to make it worse this was all off road through fields and a wood. The head torch either lit up the joggling balls or the path but not both so I had to stop every 20 metres to point in the right direction. I’ve never dropped so many juggling balls as well – about every 10 foot – and they always rolled under a bush so it took me ages to find them. It took about 40 minutes to finish the last 2 miles.

For lap 6 I got the LED balls out and attached a couple of led torches to my belt pack pointing downwards to light the route. Also had the head torch on but this just lights up the LED balls even more so you just see a mass of colour in front of your eyes (looks good for the cameras though :) . Managed to do a little bit of joggling on the road sections but couldn’t see well enough off-road so had to woggle this bit.

Lap 7 was just a big woggle – everything was aching at this stage and it was just a concentrated stomp to the finish at 06:30am.

In total it took 20.5 hours from start to finish with about 10 hours joggling and 7.5 hours woggling, and the remainder eating and resting.

Injuries / aches – Legs were ok but feet started hurting after about 40 miles. They swell up so took a voltarol (anti-inflammatory) tablet every few hours. No blisters though thanks to new 1000 mile socks. Arms were ok but had big bruises on the back of each hand.

My tips – don’t use energy gels / caffeine / chocolate / music etc for the first half of the race. I promised myself the MP3 player and a chocolate bar after lap 4 and it gave me something to look forward. Used flat coke and energy gels etc for last two laps to keep going. Also drink plenty of electrolyte – filled the bladder pack with electrolyte and just had an energy drink after each lap.

Great job Tim! We look forward to hearing about more races in the future.  You can read more about Tim at his excellent joggler blog,

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