Dana Guglielmo has seen a lot of running in her life. She was a member of the track team at both Ridge High School and University of Richmond . But, when she saw a joggler on television while watching a marathon race, she was immediately enthralled.
“I had never seen anything like that,” Guglielmo said. “I thought it was hilarious and I knew I had to try it.”
Joggling is a mix of running and juggling. Guglielmo had the running down, but she had to master juggling before she could really start joggling. She had a little background in the sport, but she knew someone who could really show her how to do it.
“My older brother ran track in high school, too,” she said. “He mastered juggling during track meets. Sometimes you’re at the track for a whole day and you only run one race, so he used to practice all the time during the meets and eventually he got pretty good at it.”
She picked it up quickly, and it wasn’t long before she was joggling during races. One race in particular put her in the record books.
“Not long after I really started joggling, I realized I had a chance to break the Guinness World Record. I knew I had the running down, and once I learned the juggling, I just had to put the two together,” she said.
On April 6, at The Codependency 5K at Cooper River Park in Pennsauken, she broke the record, running the race in 20:40. The previous 5K joggling record was held by Laurie Young, whose time was 27:42.
“The hardest part of the entire process was actually collecting the evidence,” she said. “You need to have three witnesses and a video to prove you broke a record, which is definitely going to make it easier going forward.”
Now that she is the 5K record holder, Guglielmo has set her sights on breaking more records. Her long-term goal is to joggle during a marathon, but in the meantime, she is planning a 10K at the end of August in Atlanta.
“I have to keep running shorter races before I just dive head-first into a marathon,” she says. “And these races are going to be for charity, too, so I want to raise as much money as I can.”
Guglielmo has suffered from Rheumatoid arthritis since she was 17. During the 10K in Atlanta, she will be running for the Arthritis National Research Foundation.
“I used to wake up with severe pain in my joints and I knew something was wrong,” she said. “It has been tough dealing with the pain and I used to try to just run through it. But, I now see that the pain is always going to be there if I don’t take a proactive approach, so I don’t run through the pain anymore. Whatever I can do to help with arthritis research, I want to do. So, hopefully I can spread the word a little bit during my next few races.”