The World Joggling Championships were held during Wednesday's convention field day and attracted dozens of spectators and two film crews. Those who showed up for the action witnessed the first women's joggling race and Owen Morse breaking his IJA and world record for 100 meters. It was the only IJA record broken in Akron.
In the winner's circle at the end of the day were Morse; Laura Green (women's 100 meters); Todd McLeish (mile); Billy Gillen (5-k); and Bill Fowle, Bill Giduz, Bill Gillen and Morse again (mile relay).
The track at the University of Akron was ideally situated near the main gym. The weather was nearly perfect with a partly cloudy sky, temperature in the mid-70s and a slight breeze. Race director Larry Kluger and several volunteers handled events smoothly.
Morse was the main focus of media coverage. He shaved more than 1/10 second from his previous 100 meter record with a time of 12.12 in the first heat of the event. He took a tumble at the end of the run, but was able to come back to win the finals heat in 13.50 a half-hour later. Tom Sparough placed second at 14.61 and Todd McLeish in third at 14.89.
In the mile joggle, McLeish pulled ahead of Gillen in the last 100 meters to take first in 5:26.74. Gillen led most of the race, but couldn't resist McLeish's kick and finished second at 5:28.55. Third went to 16-year-old Clark McFarlane in 5:24.28.
With a time of 19:52.4, Gillen's 5-kilometer joggle took first. McFarlane came in second in 20:06.9 and Fowle placed third.
An exhibition women's race was organized just minutes before the men's races were to begin. Five women competed in the 100-meter joggle, with first place going to Laura Green, IJA art director. In order of finish, Sandy Brown, Jane Hussey, Mary Wilkins and Risa Davis followed. The women showed their enthusiasm by developing an official high-five salute and doing the Hokey Pokey before the race.
Brown also became the first IJA woman to enter the regularly scheduled races by running in the mile joggle.
A respectable 4:31.2 took first place in the mile relay as "The Jogglers," Fowle, Giduz, Gillen and Morse, blazed their way around the track. "Miscellaneous" finished second at 4:59.04 with the combined team of Lars Rohrbach, Sparough, McLeish and Tim Heil. The "Baltimore Bouncers," Mike Rosman, Marlin Ballard, Russ Kaufman and Paul Ballard, had a 6:35 time in third place.
The teams used a system in which the runner with three balls handed off one of them to a waiting teammate who held two. The pass had to be made within the regulation relay passing zone and the next runner's juggle had to begin immediately.
After the crowd thinned out, Morse and Gillen ran exhibition five ball 100 meter joggles for a film crew from "The Amazing World of Guinness Records." Morse beat Gillen and established a record time of 15.25 for that event.
100 meters 1. Owen Morse 13.58 broke world record in first heat: 12.12 2. Tom Sparough 14.61 3. Todd McLeish 14.89 1 mile 1. Todd McLeish 5:26.74 2. Billy Gillen 5:28.55 3. Clarke McFarlane 5:34.28 5000 meters 1. Billy Gillen 19:52.40 2. Clarke McFarlane 20:06.91 3. Bill Fowle 1 Mile Relay (exhibition) 1. 4:31.20 Bill Fowle, Bill Giduz, Bill Gillen, Owen Morse 2. 4:59.04 Lars Rohrbach, Tom Sparough, Tim Heil, Todd McLeish 3. 6:35 Mike Rosman, Marlin Ballard, Russ Kaufman, Paul Ballard
Race director: Larry Kluger.
Assistants: Kyle Canfield, Carl Jara, Greg Orlowski.
Other competitors entered: Paul Ballard, Sandy Brown, Risa Davis, Josh Ferrell, Laura Green, Timothy Heil, Jane Hussey, Russ Kaufman, Scot Morris, Tony Palomino, Lars Rohrbach, Jim Steffans, Obediah Thomas, Mary Wilkins.