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Son to embark on Hainault to Hornchurch ‘man vs Tube’ challenge

16:00 05 September 2014

Grant Mills with his terminally ill father John

Grant Mills with his terminally ill father John


We’ve all sat on the District line as it slowly trundles towards Upminster and thought: “I could probably run it faster than this” - but one Hornchurch man has decided to make those idle thoughts a reality.

Grant Mills, of Ascot Gardens, embarks on his charity “man vs Tube” challenge this Saturday at 2pm, and he reckons he has a chance of winning.

The 22-year-old plans to run between Hainault station in Redbridge and his home stop of Hornchurch in Havering to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity - which funds research and offers support to those affected by the condition, including his father John Mills.

Transport for London’s website says the journey, which involves a change at Mile End, takes just under an hour.

And Grant, who works for construction company Mace, managed it in an hour and five minutes when he attempted it in training.

“The challenge is taking note of the fact that the Tube has its inefficiencies,” he said.

“I’ve chosen the route I have because it has to go into London.”

Where Grant’s run is about eight miles in length, the route taken by the Tube - the fastest way of getting between Hornchurch and Hainault on public transport - is more than twice that.

All of which makes his challenge no less daunting, but does highlight the poorly connected nature of much of east London.

“I live two stops from the furthest east on the District line and went to university at one of the furthest west stations, Uxbridge, so I know all about some of the poor connections,” Grant added.

Sister Demi, 20, is Grant’s competitor. Both will start at Hainault Underground station, with Demi signalling when she knows a train’s coming, and the winner will be the first to reach the Oyster barrier at Hornchurch.

Their father, John, was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour last November and given six to 12 months to live.

To donate to Grant’s cause, text TFRB61 £5 to 70070 or visit

Read more:

Tube strike: District line staff to take industrial action over ticket office closures
Man pulled from car after crash in Ardleigh Green Road, Hornchurch
Funeral horse pulling hearse dies mid-procession in Hornchurch


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