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Rich Temple - December 12-13, 1988

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.

Rich 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 you.

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!