In preparation for the Man vs Horse Marathon, I’m racing against another wheezing, bucking beast next week: the London Tube.
I’ll be retracing the steps of Richard Guthrie, an amateur runner who first conceived of the event in 1999. The challenge is simple: to sprint 1.5 miles between four District line stations in the same time it takes a Tube train.
I’m told the Tube takes roughly nine and a half minutes to make the journey. On a flat, traffic-free road, I’d back myself to beat it quite comfortably. However, in rush-hour traffic, with two busy stations to exit and enter, it’s going to be very tough indeed.
As Mr Guthrie explained to the London Evening Standard: “We have 1.5 miles and 27 roads and have to go in and out of two Tube stations and have to negotiate countless pedestrians all in about nine and a half minutes.”
As ever, success will depend on getting the little things right. So I’ll be boarding the third carriage of the train (it stops right under the steps at South Kensington) and running during rush hour (the train runs slower).
Wish me luck!