with Phil Vanner
and Tom Murphy
29 hours, 47
minutes, 12 seconds
The following is
a account provided by Rich Temple on January 2, 2007
I would be happy to
give you the details on our little excursion way back when.
It took us a lot more time to complete the system than it took you
guys (29 hours and 47 minutes) and, it was funny, in retrospect,
there were so many things we realized we could have done to speed
up the journey.
Temple, Phil Vanner, and Tom Murphy set the Guinness World
Record and were featured in the 1990 edition of the book
(published Oct 1, 1989).
We made some
mid-stream mods, as well, including modifying our ending station
from Roosevelt Ave on the E/F to Main Street on the #7.
Ironically, we didn't realize until pretty far into the course of
our journey that we had attracted some media attention and that
was only because I called my parents from a pay phone (remember
those?) to check in and they mentioned that a couple of radio
stations wanted to talk to us.
Also, someone on the
train asked if we were the guys he had heard about, so we had
another sorta heads-up that some folks were kind of tracking
us. We didn't tell anyone except for Jim Dwyer, who back
then wrote a subways column for New York Newsday, but my mom
called the Associated Press and somehow the story wound up on the
national wire. My mom also told the AP that we were ending at
Roosevelt Avenue so, when we got off, someone shouted to us asking
if we were the people doing the subway. I responded that we
were, but we weren't done, and they were welcome to follow us if
they desired, since we had to run like nobody's business if we
were going to make it in under 30 hours. So, picture this: a
bunch of photographers and journalists running up the stairs and
up that long escalator after us to the elevated 74th Street
station on the #7, lugging all their gear. We all piled on to the
train when it arrived, much to the befuddlement of the passengers
already on the train. It was quite something.
By way of quick
background, the participants in our undertaking were me (Rich
Temple), Phil Vanner, and Tom Murphy. We did our deed on
December 12-13, 1988 with the temperature outside being about 6-12
degrees for most of the day. We wanted to celebrate the
opening of three new subway stops in Queens and the inauguration
of the new "Z" rush hour train that ran along the
"J" train tracks and so we began our trip at those new
stops (which probably cost us like 45 minutes, because we had to
do the run out to the Rockaways twice!). We slept very
little and ate very little and used bathrooms whenever we saw
them, regardless of the perceived need.
We would up at Coney
Island (pre-renovation) at around 4am and really needed a bathroom
and saw a men's room, but it was locked! We wound up using the
ladies room at the Coney Island station and, no matter how
horrible you would think it would be, it was ten times worse. One
of those great slice-of-life-in-the-city experiences, let me tell
Again, wow, I am way
impressed with what you guys pulled off, and it is refreshing to
know that there are other nutjobs out there (and I mean that in
absolutely the nicest way!) that like to do this kind of thing!