15 Minutes of Fame

I'm interviewed for the 'and finally' section for the 6pm ITV news programme Granada reports - 7th July 2011
A sports radio station interviews me, because that's how athletic riding trains all day is
 BBC Radio
 ITV Granada Reports talkSPORT

Actually, with 8 minutes on the BBC, 3 on ITV, and 6 minutes on talkSPORT I reckon I must owe someone 2 minutes.

There were also newspaper articles, including a front page in Manchester:

Manchester Evening News
 Sunday People
 Tameside Advertiser
And some online articles:

 Mensa Londonist 

Press Release

For further information contact [Marc at TheTubeChallenge dot com]

Guinness confirms that Marc J Gawley is officially better than anyone else at riding the London Underground. 

On the 21st April 2011 Marc visited all 270 tube stations, the Tube Challenge, in a time of 16 hours and 29 minutes, faster than anyone has done so before.

“It was either that or get 40 of my mates into a mini, and as you might imagine, I’d probably struggle to find 40 mates,” said Mr Gawley by way of explanation.

The first attempt at the record was made in 1959; a steady stream of enthusiastic challengers have followed. Participants are allowed to exit the system and travel on foot between stations in order to minimise backtracking through stations already visited (the use of cars, bikes, etc is, however, strictly forbidden). Complicating matters is the fact that some stations are not open all day, and other stations are served very infrequently, such as Kensington Olympia where Mr Gawley made the train with a mere second to spare – the difference between success and failure is that tight.

A 33-year-old marathon runner with an unhealthy ability with Microsoft Excel, Mr Gawley decided to turn his mind to the Tube Challenge last year in order to raise money for Crisis, a charity for homeless people. “The secret to my success was spending as much time cooking up spreadsheets, reading timetables, and pounding the treadmill, as I did actually ‘going underground’.  This really was the perfect storm for a marathon running management consultant,” he said.

Though he got up at the crack of dawn to start his attempt, it was really only toward the end of the day that the record came into sight as the network suffered significant line failures for part of the day resulting in changes to the route being made on the fly.

Said Martin East, who was Marc’s wingman on the day providing food, drink and good company, “It was actually a lot of fun, I managed to cover 207 stations myself! Marc had to do something early on in a different way than expected that put him behind the plan in terms of time, but ahead in terms of numbers of stations. We were constantly strategising throughout the day, but looking back, that tweak really helped and I’m glad to have contributed in setting a new Guinness World Record!”

Mr Gawley’s record-breaking route remains a closely guarded secret, known only to the people at Guinness who have this week finished enduring some of the dullest video footage ever in adjudicating the record. He was found to have provided “very thorough evidence”.

“I like to think of myself as the Jack Bauer of the London Underground – there was no time for eating or dignified toilet stops, and although I wasn’t shot at or tortured, the last minute line changes and delayed trains felt every bit as hairy,” said Mr Gawley.