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Friends begin 335-mile London Underground run for charity

Left to right: Adam Broadbent, Jon Cooper, Simon Gibbs and Seb Hine. Left to right: Adam Broadbent, Jon Cooper, Simon Gibbs and Seb Hine.

Monday, March 24, 2014
8:00 AM

A team of friends are running the entire Tube network in a bid to raise £5,000 for two charities.

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Earlier this month, the group of four, led by Jon Cooper, 26, of West Hampstead, began the first leg of the 335-mile challenge with a six-mile run from Earls Court to Wimbledon along the District Line route.

The team are set to pass each of the Tube network’s 270 stations en route to the finish line at Bank station, which they aim to reach by the end of the year.

Company director Mr Cooper, of Lowfield Road, came up with the fundraising idea and drafted in friends Simon Gibbs, Sébastien Hine and Adam Broadbent, all aged 28, to join him on the challenge, which is being run entirely above ground and is following the route of the Underground lines.

Mr Cooper said: “We were just looking for a challenge, something which is more than just training for one event. I thought it would be cool to use something as iconic and everyday as the Tube to get people to donate.

“I thought it would be something a little bit different to the marathons people usually go for.”

The runners are bidding to raise £5,000 for charities War Child and Alzheimer’s Research UK, which carry personal significance for some of them.

“We have family members who have Alzheimer’s,” said Mr Cooper. “With War Child, it’s such an ongoing issue that you get these war zones and the people who tend to be most vulnerable are the children.”

Fitting in the challenge around their working lives, the team are aiming to run two legs of the 335 miles each month and have a number of 20-mile runs ahead, as well as a 30-mile trek.

The friends are relying on GPS-tracking watches to help them navigate the 11 interweaving lines of the Tube network.

“Travelling these massive distances, you realise how easy the Tube makes people’s commute,” said Mr Cooper.

“It gives you a bearing of just the size of London but it’s not quite as big as people think it is.”

He added: “When it’s a nice day, get out and have a run and a cycle, and enjoy the wonders of London above ground.”

To find out more about the challenge and to donate, visit justgiving.com/tuberunners or justgiving.com/runthetube-warchild.

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