August 23, 2006

Two seek record for riding entire New York subway

By Dan Wilchins

NEW YORK (Reuters) - It's a test of endurance, but few
would call it athletic.

Matt Green and Don Badaczewski, two friends from college,
set out on Wednesday morning to break the record for traversing
the entire New York subway system.

That's 468 stations and 660 miles, and the trip will likely
take around 24 hours, or more.

"We really like the subway, and it's sort of a logic puzzle
to figure out the best way to do this," Badaczewski said on
Wednesday while riding the 7 train to Flushing, Queens.

Green, a 26-year old transportation engineer, and
Badaczewski, a 24-year old law student, share a dry sense of
humor, and complete each other's sentences. They both like beef
jerky, and laid in a small supply to sustain themselves during
the journey, along with a few bottles of water.

Which brings up an important issue -- the bathroom. The New
York subway system has about 70 bathrooms for each gender, but
the Metropolitan Transit Authority said they would reveal their
locations only if the two made a request under the Freedom of
Information Act, which can be a slow process.

"We're eating and drinking almost nothing, and we're
willing to hold as long as we need," Green said.

As of midday, the two were about 11 minutes behind

Green and Badaczewski are looking to break a record set in
1998 by Mike Falsetta and Salvatore Babones, who traversed the
system in 25 hours and 11 minutes.

The challengers are following the same rules: every station
in the system must be passed by, but not every station must be
stopped at.

Green and Badaczewski reckon they can do it in about 24
hours, but Falsetta is not so sure.

"If they beat us, it will be by 10 or 20 minutes. We did
really well," Falsetta told Reuters.

If Green and Badaczewski do set a record, Falsetta promised
to come out of retirement.

"We're 9 or 10 years older than these guys, but we can
teach them a trick or two," he said.