Today, I was able to get a chance to interview Doctor Dribble, (real name: Darren Weissman). It’s amazing finishing a marathon but this man just moved it to another level. He’s very inspiring and one day it would be nice to run the same race, of course he’d probably be doing double my pace! So do you realize that a marathon is already hard to do and he took it to another level by using basketballs?
Doctor Dribble ( Darren Weissman)
You can watch a day in his life here:
1. Tell us about yourself and how you started running marathons with a basketball.
As a kid I would dribble a basketball all around my neighborhood. I have always enjoyed developing and mastering new basketball drills. If I could do something with one ball I would find a way to do it with 2!
Once I got into running a friend of mine suggested that I complete a marathon dribbling 2 basketballs the entire time. I thought it was a cool challenge so I signed up for the ING Miami Marathon this past year and shocked just about everyone there!
2. Were you the first person to dribble 2 basketballs while running a marathon?
I didn’t know that anyone had done it until I did some research after completing ING Miami and saw that Jerry Knox, a well established elite runner in California, had done it and set a World Record for completing the “Fastest Marathon Dribbling 2 Basketballs”.
After receiving such a warm embracement from the running community at ING Miami, I took it upon myself to give it an encore and break the World Record but more importantly raise money and awareness for the charity “Our Kids” to help find permanent homes for foster children that have been abused, neglected, or abandoned.
On February 17, 2013 I broke Jerry Knox’s world record at the Publix Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon with a time of 4 hours 39 minutes and 12 seconds while raising money for “Our Kids”!
My next big race will be June 2nd, 2013 at the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon where I will actually defend my world record against Jerry Knox head to head, toe to toe, mano a mano!
There will be a race within the race as we both dribble our way with 2 basketballs each alongside 30,000 runners and 60,000 spectators for a new world record, a chance at redemption, and an opportunity for each of us to raise money for our respective charities.
Despite our competitive nature, we are setting a good example that together everyone can achieve more when displaying good sportsmanship and supporting a good cause.
3. How did you get the nickname “Doctor Dribble?”
I have been instructing basketball players for over a decade now. I work with everyone from young children to NBA players. I have earned the reputation as the man to work with if you take the game seriously and want to improve your ball handling skills. There is a science behind the way I operate all of my drills.
They are progressive and involve footwork, form, and coordination which will immediately transfer onto your in game performance.
4. Where was your first marathon and did you have a basketball?
My first marathon was the ING Miami Marathon in 2012. I did not have a basketball with me. I hadn’t heard of the prestigious race until a week before. I didn’t even know how many miles a marathon consisted of but wanted to seize the opportunity and do it.
People told me I wasn’t a runner and in just one week before the race shouldn’t go out and do the full. In fact many people said I wouldn’t finish. That just motivated me even more and throughout the race whenever I was exhausted and my body wanted to shut down I would hear those voices of people doubting me. I finished the marathon in under 4 hours proving that anything is possible.
You just have to want it bad enough!
5. Do you get weird stares when you pass people (on a race) and they see you’re bouncing a ball?
It’s a lot of fun to see people’s reactions! I hear a lot of laughs, funny remarks, and OMG’s as I pass people. Many runners pull out their phone’s and take pictures of me as I’m running. Some ask if they can take a picture next to me as we run together. It’s very humbling to know that I can entertain and inspire some of the most dedicated athletes to finish such a difficult race.6. Who keeps you inspired to keep going?
There are many people and things that keep me inspired. Helping runners forget about the pain their body is going through and seeing the smiles on their face is very rewarding. During a marathon your mind has plenty of time to wander! I think about all of the kids that I train. I never want them to quit and the best way to lead is by example.
I fostered a boy in 8th grade all the way through high school and helped him earn a D1 basketball scholarship. He dreams of eventually playing in the NBA and I feel like if I never give up and show resilience so will he.
I raise money for the charity “Our Kids” to help find permanent homes for at risk foster kids. I think of them during the race. I want children and adults, athletes, artists, students, professionals and everyone to believe that if I can dribble my way through 26.2 miles in world record fashion, they can reach whatever goals they set their minds to. Life is a marathon.
7. Basketballs take a beating. Do you regularly replace them?
Yes! I donate my old basketballs (except the one’s I used for the world record) to homeless shelters and youth centers. I often buy new basketballs just to hand out at children’s hospitals.
8. You’re probably asked this a lot but who’s your favorite basketball team?
I live in Miami and have always been a huge Miami Heat fan through their ups and downs. I’m certainly enjoying their current success. I route for all of the Universities throughout the state of Florida but especially University of Miami.
9. Training. Do you always run with a basketball?
I try to. I often run around Miami dribbling basketballs to Newton’s Method Gym where I train, Lululemon Athletica where I buy my favorite running gear, Roaster’s n Toaster’s where I eat, and to clients houses to train them. Sometimes I run a little too far and have to phone a friend to come and pick me up!
10. Ever had the feeling of giving up and feeling unmotivated?
I think we all have had that feeling at some point. What helped me get through that was surrounding myself with positive people. Energy is contagious. I made the choice to eat healthy, exercise, and help others by doing something I love.
The formula for success begins by making the decision to be healthy, surround yourself with the right people, and do what you love.
11. What’s your best advice to give for new runners?
Best advice is to remain consistent and feed off of whatever fuels you. What I am most intrigued about by runners is what motivates them. We all have a unique story behind us. I love how supportive runners are for each other.
It’s a great sport where the real competition are the goals you set for yourself. It’s also a healthy way to meet many interesting people.
12. Last question doc, would you get mad if I stole the ball? (lol)
Only if I was going for a world record! Otherwise I’d be happy to share the spotlight with you in any race!
It’s very motivating to have you on my blog, I hope that this also reaches
my fans. Just FYI to everyone, he will be in the July edition of Runners World magazine and I can’t wait to read about it. (I hope everyone used the coupon I posted a few months