Racing subway cars on foot is now officially a thing. No word yet on when it might become an Olympic sport, but the adrenaline fueled event is half all-out sprint, half urban obstacle course. And it is surprisingly fun to watch.
[Scroll Down for Videos]
The concept is simple. Ride a subway car. When it stops, jump out and run, quickly, to the next station and hop back into the same car.
The feature attraction below is a race against a London Underground train recorded a couple of years ago. The proof-of-concept video was taken as a challenge by many who have since repeated the race all across the world.
James Heptonstall filmed this 380m dash from London’s Mansion House station to the Cannon Street station. In the car (the much easier part of the race) was filmed be Noel Carroll on the Circle Line Tube.
The original video just showed the run. You had to trust that the passengers on the train were the same, and that he’d really traveled the distance he claimed. But a new version shows the videos in split-screen and in real time. The run begins at 2:10, or so.
This course was an estimated 380m underground, and required climbing 75 steps. Heptonstall also had to negotiate two ticket barriers.
Heptonstall, 30, is an environmental consultant from Hampstead, says this wasn’t his idea, originally. It is just his video that’s taking off. And being copied.
“It was just a test project. We had seen some people had done endurance challenges on European transport networks and put them online but we had not seen anything done in London. I usually get the Northern line to work in the morning – it is not an enjoyable experience so I sometimes run or cycle if I can.”
The whole run lasted just 80 seconds.
“I got some quite strange looks from people in the carriage,” he told the local newspaper after the video went viral, “because I was in my sportswear and a camera attached to my head.
“While I was running someone asked Noel what I was doing – they said they did not think I would make it. [The other passengers] were all waiting on tenterhooks. But then I dived on the Tube and they were applauding.”
Now there are others doing it.
Race the Tube in Hong Kong?
Race the Tube in a Wheelchair?
This may be the best thing to have come out of this whole concept. It is brilliant.
You can watch the a full interview about the concept with the nutters that do this here. As for me, I’m content to race the rest of the city. I start above ground, and then run into the station and catch the tube. After I ride, I walk back up into the same city. My version isn’t as entertaining on camera, though.