A mind-joggling performance
Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
The 2012 Boston Marathon was one of the hottest in recent marathon history, with temperatures approaching 90 degrees over the course of the event. Even with these scorching temperatures, UNH senior Thomas Gounley chugged along and finished with an official time of 3 hours, 52 minutes, 33 seconds.
What makes Gounley's performance in Boston even more impressive, though, is the fact that he "joggled," a combination of jogging and juggling, throughout the entire race. With three bean bags and a temporary tattoo that read "#MeatHouseJoggler" across his chest, Gounley competed in the marathon as part of his preparation for a Guinness World Record attempt in Augusta, N.J. on May 12.
Gounley served as the executive editor of The New Hampshire in the 2010-2011 school year and as the editorial page editor and web editor this spring. As with every senior at the newspaper, his job officially ended April 15.
Gounley came about the obscure sport of joggling while searching through unusual Guinness World Records that he could potentially obtain. When he saw joggling, Gounley felt that the sport played to his strengths: juggling and running. Having run the Boston Marathon last year, Gounley figured he would add joggling this year to train for the world record attempt.
When it came to preparing for the marathon, Gounley said that he simply tried to incorporate a decent amount of long runs around campus. He said for him, there wasn’t a set training regiment that he utilized in order to properly prepare for the marathon.
“I’m not super great with sticking to regimented training plans,” Gounley said. “I try to have something of a life, so it is a bit sporadic at times.”
One thing that Gounley did actively pursue to become properly ready for the marathon was a sponsorship. According to Gounley, it was always a dream of his to become a sponsored athlete. So, back in February, he reached out to some of the more traditional running sponsors.
When Gounley started interning with The Meat House in Manchester, N.H., Gounley said his boss expressed interest in sponsoring him for the marathon after having a discussion about joggling. This led to the “MeatHouseJoggler” concept, which helped Gounley stand out from the rest of the pack.
On Marathon Monday, the weather conditions played a huge factor for all runners. Leading up to the race, Gounley had a keen eye on what the weather was supposed to be like.
“I never check the weather more than I do the 10 days before Boston,” Gounley said.
During the race, Gounley noted that the weather played a major role, and actually caused him to slow down and walk more frequently than he would have preferred. Despite all of the adversity caused by the heat, Gounley said that he was able to go through the entire marathon while juggling, even going as far as the first 14 miles without a single drop of his beanbags.
What made this year’s marathon memorable for Gounley, though, was the reaction he received from the crowd, which he stated was generally positive.
“It [the reaction received] was basically 100 percent positive,” Gounley said. “And the reaction was bigger than what I had expected it to be, and generally, I thought it would be a decently big deal.”
Spectators in the crowd were not the only ones excited by Gounley’s juggling, as runners even expressed excitement for the joggler. Some, according to Gounley, even went as far as to pass him, only to turn around and film him or take photos of him during the race.
For the marathon veteran, this year’s experience at the Boston Marathon topped last year’s race, as the atmosphere seemed to be better, even with the heat.