While the Berlin Marathon is regarded as a Mecca for world record times for elite performers, the annual Toronto Waterfront Marathon has earned a standing as THE place for records of a quirkier nature. We look ahead to Sunday's race by looking back on the records behind that reputation.

The following world records are not conventional:

– Stephane Hetherington, fastest half marathon in a superhero costume, 1:17:30 (2014) and fastest marathon in a superhero costume, 2:33:58 (2012).

– Lindsay Santagato, fastest marathon in a firefighter uniform (Female), 5:38:51 (2014).

– Mark Wilding, fastest marthon dressed as a bottle, 3:39:25 (2011).

– David Hiddleston, fastest half marathon by a mascot, 1:46:27 (2011) and fastest malf marathon dressed as a fruit, 1:25:45 (2013).

– Paul Statchuk, fastest marathon in a full hockey kit including stick, 4:08:43 (2012) and fastest marathon in a lacrosse uniform, 3:46:48 (2013).

But a common theme runs through them all: each was set at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. We caught up with some more record breakers, including the man who started it all. 

Michal Kapral

Fastest half marathon joggling, 1:20:40 (2014); fastest marathon joggling, 2:50:12 (2007).

Joggler Toronto Waterfront Marathon ()

 

Michal Kapral is to 'joggling' what Usain Bolt in to sprinting and Ashton Eaton to multi-events. Phenomenal.

Joggling, in case you don't know, is the art of jogging and juggling at the same time. It’s a tricky art, requiring perfect synchronicity of arms, hands, legs and mind over endurance sapping distances. As his two world records set at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon attest, 43-year-old Kapral is really rather good at it.

“I was obsessed with the Guinness Book [of Records] when I was a kid, and when I saw that there was a world record for the fastest joggling marathon, I thought it was the funniest thing,” the Toronto resident explains.

“And since I knew how to juggle and how to run, I went out to my local park to give it a try. To my surprise, I was able to joggle right away, and I was amazed at how well the juggling tosses synchronised with the natural arm swing of running.”

Fast-forward 20 years, and he re-ignited his passion for joggling by attempting and breaking the joggling marathon world record at the Toronto in 2005. This triggered a rivalry with red-bearded American Zach Warren, with whom he traded the record several times before setting the current best of 2:50:12 in 2007. Last year he smashed the half-marathon record on his beloved Toronto Waterfront course.

Kapral says the ability to multi-task, stay relaxed under pressure and concentrate for long periods of time are key to becoming a top joggler. And while he might not have the fame of Bolt or Eaton, recognition of his artistry has come in the form of joggling job on a US TV commercial for Fairfield Inn and Suites.

Next year he plans another crack at his joggling world record. He is also eying new challenges, and one star he would love to see joggle is double Olympic and four-time world champion steeplechaser Ezekiel Kemboi.

“I've been scheming about trying a joggle steeplechase for a couple of years now because it would be the funniest thing ever to be doing high tosses to clear the water jump,” the joggling juggernaut explains.

“Kemboi is such a showman that he would be the perfect elite athlete to do some joggling. He could do his post-race dance while juggling!”

Bridget Burns

Fastest marathon dressed as a zookeeper, 4:08:17 (2014)

Zookeeper Toronto Waterfront Marathon ()

Taking up running six years ago after a near fatal cycling accident, Bridget Burns has reinvented herself as a Guinness World Record chasing marathon addict.

Last year, in an effort to raise her awareness for her charity Friends of High Park Zoo, a local non-for-profit zoo that has been at risk of closure due to a lack of funding, she ran the Toronto Waterfront Marathon dressed as a zoo keeper in 4:08:17 – a world record feat.

Although running shoes are allowed for costume record attempts, Burns chooses to run in authentic footwear. Her zookeeper record was achieved in heavy hiking boots. She even carried a stuffed animal for the entire race.

In 2013, she completed the course dressed as a boxer in 3:52:27. This year, she will attempt the world half-marathon record dressed as a peacock. She is again raising money and awareness for the plight of High Zoo, but for Burns to be running at all is already a major triumph.

“I started running to mentally block and overcome pain after my cycling accident when I collided with a large van,” the 33-year-old says. “I had extreme pain from two fractures to my right scapula and I was not able to lift my right arm for one year.”

A funeral director and embalmer by trade, Burns adds that running has taken on a secondary role.

“It helps me deal with the trauma and charged emotions that go along with my job.”

Jeremiah Sacay

Fastest marathon in a baseball uniform, 3:47:35 (2014)

Baseball Toronto Waterfront Marathon ()

Entering his first-half marathon only two years ago, Jeremiah Sacay would never have dreamed how his running odyssey would propel him into the Guinness Book of Records.

As a youngster he was obsessed by the annual records almanac, and last year the Toronto-local used some creativity to combine his long-time passion for sport and new-found passion for running by setting a world marathon record of 3:47:35 in a baseball uniform at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Sacay is a huge fan of the Toronto Blue Jays, and the 27-year-old says running the 42.2km distance of the marathon with the additional obstacle of carrying a wooden bat was far from easy, yet the accomplishment has certainly not deterred him from future record attempts.

“I have a lifetime plan to try to set five Guinness World Records by the age of 30, and I will be looking forward to the 2015 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon to break Jerry Knox's record of 4:10 marathon while dribbling two basketballs. This year, I'll be wearing my Toronto Raptors jersey, so watch out for me,” he adds.