Runners to walk through London’s 315 underground stations

Rimvydas Motiejunas / EyeEmGetty Images

On Sunday, December 19, psychologist and author Dr Kevin Dutton and British rower John Collins will embark on a unique leg-undermining challenge: walking all 315 London Underground and DRL stations over a two-week period. But that’s not all. They will sleep in the street between their legs and on day 15 they will complete their challenge by completing the 26.2 miles of the London Marathon. The pair badged the 305-mile feat of the “Metro Marathon Challenge”.

Fight homelessness

So why are the couple tackling such a feat of endurance? Dutton and Collins raise funds for The Running Charity, a charity that harnesses the power of running to support youth who are homeless or manage complex needs.

The Running Charity believes that running is as good for your mind as it is for your body. Running builds resilience and self-esteem, and they use it to improve the lives of 16-25 year olds who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

“The past year and a half has been tough for all of us,” said Dutton, “but it’s been even more difficult for those who don’t have a roof over their heads.”

Logistics of the Metro Marathon Challenge

Dutton and Collins enlisted a team of data scientists from Capgemini Engineering to help them chart the route. Data scientists calculated the optimal starting point and the shortest possible route between the 315 stations, starting at Chesham and ending at Lewisham, the station closest to the start line of the London Marathon.

The couple will be sleeping rough for the duration of the challenge, mostly in parks along the route, but occasionally in a friend’s backyard. On day 10, they’ll meet none other than snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan to stock up on his homemade pasta.

There will also be a few other famous faces that will support Dutton and Collins on their journey. The pair will be launched by former London Marathon winner Hugh Jones, and former SAS Private Andy McNab will also be on hand to support them at various points along the route.

“The Metro Marathon Challenge is quirky, quirky … but really, really tough,” McNab said. “It’s 50/50 in my book if Kev and John are successful. I hope they will – it’s for a good cause. But it will take a monumental effort of courage and will, not to mention extreme physical form.

You can follow Dutton and Collins’ progress on Instagram here and donate to their Just Giving page here.

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