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Kevin Foster - October 25, 1989

26 hours, 21 minutes, 8 seconds - Touching All Stations

In 1972, a twelve year-old New England boy named Kevin Foster had to watch a video of President Richard Nixon and Chairman Mao Tse-Tung for a sixth grade class assignment. The video included a clip of the two world leaders walking along The Great Wall. The next day in school, when the teacher asked their impressions, the adventurous Kevin responded that he wanted to ride his bike from one end of The Great Wall to the other.

Kevin's teacher and classmates laughed at him at the time, but fourteen years later, he received the necessary permissions and was hard at work preparing to challenge The Great Wall. A serious training accident delayed his attempt for several years, and when his training resumed, he needed a diversion, so he decided to open the Guinness Book of World Records, another boyhood dream. But what record could he break?

Studying the book, he noticed that in a few months it would be the 85th anniversary of the New York subway system, so he decided to spend 85 continuous hours on the subway in recognition of the event. In October 1989, while spending 85 hours on the subway, he actually beat record for traveling the entire system in 26 hours, 21 minutes, 8 seconds. That record hadn't been broken in nearly 20 years and created national attention that eventually propelled him into China and the Great Wall the following year.

When asked about the August 23-24, 2006 ride by Matt Green and Don Badaczewski, Kevin Foster responded, "My best to the guys for giving it their all. Perhaps Guinness should reinstate the NY record in their books, thereby letting others knows the stats and going for the record. About 10 years ago they retired the record, taking it out of their books in order to conserve space. I'd like to see it back in the book, and on the record for others to try." 1

 

Photo and content from Kevin Foster's Website

(1) from the amNY Subway Tracker