Page 26                                             Spring 1987

Joggler's Jottings

Joggler's Jottings

by Bill Giduz, publisher

Davidson, North Carolina

Joggling takes big strides with Lucas's no-drop marathon


Albert Lucas left nothing to chance in establishing a Guinness world record for a joggled marathon in Los Angeles, Calif., on March 1.


The Lucas Racing Team and its effort were officially sanctioned by race director Bill Burke and the Los Angeles Marathon Committee. The public relations firm of Lapin and Rose made sure that Lucas, their client, received wide national press attention. There was extra benefit derived from the fact that Lapin and Rose was simultaneously contracted to handle all publicity for the $4.5 million event.


ESPN, CNN, Associated Press, dozens of radio stations and other media outlets contacted Lucas before and after the race for interviews. Even "The Wall Street Journal" carried a 10-inch article on Feb. 3 headlined, "Finally, a Solution to the Dilemma We All Face: To Run or Juggle?" There was sponsorship from Puma sportswear and a product tie-in with Exerballs, a new heavyweight joggling ball unveiled at the race exposition.


The rules for certification of the results by Guinness were spelled out ahead of time. To keep tabs on his progress and to keep him from being bumped by other racers, five runners recruited by race director Dottie O'Carroll flanked Lucas every step of the way.


But all the pre-race preparation and hoopla couldn't have gotten Lucas to the finish line without the most important preparation of all - months of training to

run the distance. During six months of per­formance in Japan last year Lucas ran daily, and stepped up his training when he returned to America in January. Three weeks before the Los Angeles race he joggled 22 miles.

The training paid off handsomely as Lucas became the first American joggler to complete a marathon, going the distance in 70-degree warmth in 4:04.38. (Canadian Michele Lauziere has completed three.) As a bonus for the sport, he completed the entire distance without a single drop!


"The first question everyone asked afterwards was how many times I dropped," said Lucas. "I'm glad I could say 'none.' I think it's a plus for joggling."


Lucas didn't start out with a no-drop marathon in mind. "I just wanted to finish the race. But when I got to 24 miles without a drop I realized how stupid it would be to drop after that point. I was pretty paranoid about it from that point to the finish line."


Other than general exhaustion at about 23 miles, Lucas suffered no chronic pains during the race. He stopped for up to a minute every two miles for water, but began juggling again a step back from where he had ceased. The only things that threatened his no-drop feat were sticky hands from an energy drink he took at an aid station and twice being jostled by a member of his own team.


The high profile taken by Lucas seems to have given joggling a positive image in running circles. Presentation of Lucas's Guinness record by Gene Jones, associate editor of "The Guinness Book of World Records," was part of the post-race awards ceremony. Representatives of the Los Angeles marathon said they would welcome jogglers to compete again, and a representative of the New York City Road Runners Club also expressed an interest in staging a joggling event.

Breaking into the clear along Wilshire. Boulevard, 19 miles down, 7 to go.

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