Romford man wins back Guinness World Record for Tube Challenge

Romford man Steve Wilson and his tube challenge partner Andy James

Romford man Steve Wilson and his tube challenge partner Andy James - Credit: Archant

Two Tube trekkers have wrestled back their world record for racing around all 270 underground stations in the fastest time.

Steve Wilson, of Romford, and friend Andy James, of Bournemouth, have this week been confirmed as the new Tube Challenge Guinness World Record holders for their effort on May 21 last year.

The pair recorded a time of 15 hours, 45 minutes and 38 seconds, beating the previous record, held by Clive Burgess and Ronan McDonald, by almost half an hour – one of the largest improvements ever.

Steve said: “Whilst it requires a lot of time, effort and preparation to come up with a route plan that produces a good overall time, you are always somewhat dependent to luck on the day – it only takes one broken down train to completely scupper all of your hard work.”

The two friends are no strangers to holding the world record. As well as having jointly held it twice previously (in 2011 and 2009), Andy has held it on two other occasions (both 2008) and Steve on one other occasion (in 2006).

In 2013, they were part of a team that conquered the New York Subway version of the same world record, although their time has since been beaten.

The routes followed on record-breaking runs are traditionally a very close kept secret, but Steve and Andy made an exception in 2013 when they volunteered their 2011 record-breaking route to a TfL Art on the Underground project known as Labyrinth, by Mark Wallinger.

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The project saw every London Underground station adorned with a unique labyrinth artwork, each of which was numbered in accordance to the order of stations visited on the record run.

“It felt right that, seeing that the Tube has given so much to us, we gave something back to the Tube,” said Steve.

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