Four commuters have recently completed an ambitious challenge to run all 11 of the London Underground lines – a total of 363 miles (585k) – in just 18 months, raising nearly £3,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity. The four also raised over £1,000 for the charity War Child.
Friends Simon Gibbs, 29, Sébastien Hine, 29, Jon Cooper, 28, and Adam Broadbent, 30, began the gruelling challenge in March last year starting with a 10k branch of the District line. The foursome set themselves the challenge to run each continuous section of an underground line in one run and complete any branch-offs on a separate day – a total of 23 runs. Runs ranged from just a few miles to the more challenging 33 miles (56k).
Every station on each line or branch had to be passed and any overlapping lines had to be run multiple times. Contrary to the name of their challenge, the friends didn’t run through tunnels, instead they followed the tube lines via GPS from street level, taking in the sights and sounds of the city on their way. On Thursday 10 September the friends completed their final and shortest of all the lines, the two-mile long Waterloo and City, to bring their efforts to a close.
Speaking about their reasons for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK, Simon Gibbs, a solicitor who lives in Pimlico, said:
“I think we would all agree that the toughest runs had to be Cockfosters to Heathrow on the Piccadilly line, which is 56km long, and the Jubilee line section from Stanmore to Stratford (52km). The Jubilee line gets a bit tricky out towards Canary Wharf where the Thames gets in the way and we had to double back on ourselves. We were all of varying running abilities at the outset but to complete this challenge we’ve run four ultra-marathons, which would test the most experienced of runners.
“We’re really pleased to have raised so much money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Dementia is a devastating condition, both for the people that are living with it and for their loved ones and friends. It’s down to everyone to do what they can to defeat dementia, that’s why we’re supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK.”
Jessica Hiscocks, Regional Fundraising Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Congratulations to Simon, Sébastien, Jon and Adam for successfully completing this unique challenge. We couldn’t be more grateful for their support.“There are 850,000 people across the UK living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia’s today, including over 72,000 people in London. With no treatments available to stop the disease process in its tracks, we urgently need new ways to combat this devastating condition.
“Alzheimer’s Research UK invests in research projects that hold the best hope of finding preventions, treatments and a cure for dementia. Research has the power to defeat dementia and Alzheimer’s Research UK is leading the charge. We rely on public donations and it’s thanks to people like the Run The Tube team we can help provide crucial resources for our scientists and fund pioneering research, driving the next breakthrough.”
If you would like to help the Run The Tube team raise more funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK visit https://www.justgiving.com/Tuberunners/
For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org.