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Running the Tube

In 2010, Laura Tomlinson and Tim Moss ran the length of every Tube Line in London.

They did so in support of the British Lung Foundation and by the time they finished on Thursday 9th September, they had run nearly 300 miles on 12 routes over 9 months and their final run was broadcast on BBC London News.

Stats

  1. Circle Line – January 10th – 15 miles, 3 hours
  2. Hammersmith & City – January 24th – 22 miles, 4 hours
  3. Victoria Line – January 31st – 15 miles – 3.5 hours
  4. East London Line – February 10th – 7 miles – 1.5 hours
  5. Northern Line – February 28th – 29 miles – 5.5 hours
  6. Bakerloo Line – March 28th – 18 miles – 5 hours
  7. Jubilee Line – June 7th – 38 miles – 9 hours
  8. District Line – June 26th – 35 miles – 7.5 hours
  9. Central Line – July 10th – 45 miles – 12 hours
  10. Piccadilly Line – August 22nd – 36 miles – 9 hours
  11. Metropolitan Line – August 28th – 24 miles – 6 hours
  12. Waterloo & City Line – September 9th – 4 miles – 45 minutes

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Tube Stations visited: 223 out of 270

Miles of track covered: 221 out of ~250

Actual miles run overland: 288

Boroughs visited: 27 out of 32

How?

Let’s use the Victoria Line as our example. We “touched-in” with our Oyster cards at Brixton then turned around and ran back up the steps to the street. Then we ran to every Victoria Line Tube stop on our way overland to Walthamstow Central where we leant over the barriers and “touched-out” so we’ve got a record of the journey. That one was around 15 miles.

There are 12 Tube lines and we spread them out over the year, starting with the Circle Line in January and finishing with a group of runners in fancy dress on the Waterloo & City Line in September.

Why?

 

  1. To explore London – The Tube’s a fantastic method of transport but by travelling underground you miss out on all of the wonderful places that the tunnels connect. Running overland combined a great bit of exercise with the opportunity to explore some unknown areas and build new memories for the familiar places.
  2. For an adventure – It’s easy to get stuck into the routines of daily life, especially in a big city like London. We used one of it’s great icons as an excuse to embrace our surroundings, do something new, exciting and challenging and live life as a bit of an adventure. (This is part of my campaign to get people having an adventure everyday)
  3. To raise money for the British Lung FoundationLaura lost her granddad to asbestosis in May 2009 and so the British Lung Foundation is a natural choice for us to support.

Has anyone else done this?

Mark Moxon: Tube Walker

Prior to our run, Mark Moxon walked the length of all the Tube lines. His website – TubeWalker.com – is a great resource for anyone considering a walk/run along these lines.

The London Photo Project

Another chap walked the Underground routes in 2007-2008 and captured his trip in photographs.

Stephen Wright: Running the Tube Lines

Shortly after our run, Stephen Wright started a similar challenge. He broke the lines into smaller chunks than us but, where we just ran the longest branch of each line, he methodically ticked off every single station. His website no longer appears to be online but you can find him on Google.

Steven Whyley: Harry’s Tube Runners

In 2011, Steven Whyley ran between every Tube station in much the same style as Stephen Wright to raise money for Cancer Research.

Mark Mason: Walk the Lines

Finally, a separate Mark with a very similar name to Mark Moxon, also walked between all the London Underground train stations and wrote a book about it called Walk the Lines: The London Underground, Overground.

Rory Coleman: Underround

Performance coach Rory Coleman has apparently registered the “Under-Round” as a trademark. It’s a challenge that involves covering 42 underground stations over 42km on foot. You have to pay him £10 to get the route.

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