The One With Sam vs Matt
The morning worked well, before it obviously all went wrong. On the run from North Harrow to Rayners Lane I was pleased that my fitness was paying off and I ran all the way, leaving Matt & Sam behind! I got a little cocky though, and decided that as I was ahead of time, I would walk the last bit to conserve energy ... this may have been a mistake.
As i entered the station, I could hear and then see a Piccadilly train pulling out, and I think if I'd have run all the way, I would have quite easily caught it, and put me a train ahead. As it was, I had to wait for the next one during which time Matt & Sam caught up with me, and they liked the fact that although I'd run way ahead of them, I hadn't gained by getting the earlier train!
And that's where it all went wrong .. an incident at Arsenal earlier on the Piccadilly (somone got attacked by someone else with a hammer) meant that the Picc. had been suspended, and trains were now badly backed up. We crawed between the two Sudbury stations, and I called Chris - made a call - and decided to bail.
Sam and Matt stayed on to brave the Piccadily, whilst I got out at Park Royal and ran to Hanger Lane to pick up the Central.
This meant ending up at Uxbridge in the daylight which was odd - because I normally only ever come here on challenges where it's dark! Even here though it failed, as the earlier problem on the Met meant there were no trains waiting to go out, and I had to sit on the same train that I'd come in on waiting for it to go out again.
I made a good run at Northwick Park to Kenton - sprinted, in fact - where Chris was waiting for me, and I turned around at Harrow & Wealdstone with ease. And here's where it really went wrong.
When you're behind (as we were) you have to take risks to try and make up the time, and so we thought we'd try and make a sneaky move ... which just failed to work out. It involved getting a couple of stations done and then getting a connection to a Hainault Loop train on the Central Line, and I missed it by 30 seconds.
As I ran onto the Central Line platform, it was pulling out and I instantly knew then that our day was over, because I was now a futher 20 minutes behind.
To compound matters .. we almost caught up with it, but failed to again. The train following was a Hainault via Newbury Park terminator, we we chanced that we might catch the Woodford loop train as that would be on platform 2 at Hainault, and we would come in on platform 1. It almost worked .. almost ..
At Hainault, as we came in on platform 1, there was the train that we had just missed a while back previously, waiting to go round the loop to Woodford - we had caught it up! ... not. Because as we slowed to a halt, we saw its doors close, and left .. again, just a few seconds in it. Agonosing.
So a 20 minute wait at Hainault then beckoned, a full standing-around-doing-nothing twenty minutes, during which you know your day is over.
But I kept going, because ... well .. I like to keep going, as I don't like to quit. But I stopped taking photos, and only wrote down the key times of interchanges, as there was no point to do full loggin anymore.
There were still a couple of other nice moments. I got chatting to girl playing Worms on her iPad on the Northern Line, shortly before making a perfect cross-platform connection onto the VIctoria Line at Stockwell, and she gave me a big 'thumbs up' and grin.
At Earl's Court, as I painfully waited 9 minutes for the Olympia train, I got chatting to a lady called Moira, who told me she was "One quarter English, One quarted Spanish, One quarter Australian, and one quarter Iraninan", and in the time before the train came she told me her complete lift story ... she never asked what I was doing, or why I went running off the moment the train pulled into Olympia.
I set a new personal best between High Barnet and Cockfosters of just 17 minutes. Made Canons Park to Edgware in 6 minutes, and chanced getting a tram for once at Wimbledon, surprising Chris by arriving at Morden by coming in from the street. KFC as always though, natch.
At Blackfriars, the barriers were down and we got to see the dimly lit rennovated station as we passed through it.
Vicki came out after work late on to meet me, and tried to rally me to keep me going ... but I'd missed North Ealing, not done the Richmond branch, and although I could do it, if I went to Heathrow, I'd have missed the last train back. So we went as far as we could, and eventually aborted around the Acton/Ealing area around half past ten.
Twenty station missed in total, and we later predicted that if I'd have kept going, I would have completed at around seventeen and a half hours.
Oh, and Sam and Matt? Well Matt had quit quite early at around 10am, Sam had battled on to about 3pm before giving up. They both came out to meet us and say 'hello' on the Upminster part of the day later on, which was nice.
Sam had said that this would be her last attempt, but later said that "She couldn't go out like that". Expect there to be more attempt by people before the big big timetable change coming up in December, when the change to the Olympia train really upsets everything ...
Tube 16 stats
Stations visited: 249/270 (Missed Richmond Branch, Heathrow Branch)
Start time: 06:49.07 Finish time: 22:34.17
Time taken: 15 hours, 45 minutes, 10 seconds.
Projected time if completed all 270: 17 hours, 29 minutes.
Number of people: 1
Support team: 1, plus 1 other
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Tube 8 | Tube 9 (Tube Relief) | Tube 10 | Tube 11 | Tube 12 | Tube 13 | Tube 14 | Tube 15 | Tube 16 | Tube 17 | Tube 18 | Tube 19 | Tube 20 | Tube 21 | Tube 22 | Tube 23