The Metro Challenge

So what is this Metro madness, you might ask yourself. Well, it started as a cunning plan to achieve an ambition I've had since I was a wee kid, watching Roy Castle and the very studious Norris McWhirter presenting Record Breakers on the Beeb. Every week they would show a host of world record attempts, backed by the Guinness Book of World Records - most of them pretty dumb. But entertaining nonetheless. What kid didn't want to be a Record Breaker in the 80's? I still do!

I never did get around to it though, mostly through a complete lack of inspiration. But I recently had a 'eureka' moment, and a search through Google and Guinness' site revealed that no one has set a world record for travelling the entire Mexico City metro network in the quickest time. Because that would be a dumb thing to do. Which is perfect, because as I lack any natural talent to break a proper record, I really did need to find something dumb.

Not as entirely dumb as you might think though. Guinness set rules and recognise this type of record for the London Underground and New York subway system - so why not Mexico's system? I applied through their website, and they told me ehy. Because they can't be bothered. Lazy bastards! They only do London and NYC. So that was the end of my plan. Until I read a news report from Oaxaca.

If Guinness had approved my plan, I intended to make the most of it and try and raise a little money for a conservation charity, Wildcoast, who do a lot of work saving sea turtles in Mexico. I have some pet turtles and have become very fond of these mean, green, eating machines. Such innocent harmless things, and they are being rapidlt hunted to extinction.

Mexican police have seized tens of thousands of eggs of endangered turtles from a group of smugglers in the southern state of Oaxaca, where the eggs are a delicacy believed to have aphrodisiac powers. Police arrested six people when a search at a police roadblock near a Oaxacan beach turned up 57,000 Olive Ridley turtle eggs, the government said in a statement on Tuesday.

Hundreds of thousands of Olive Ridley turtles have landed on the state's Pacific beaches in recent days, part of an annual egg-laying migration. The eggs are a traditional part of the diet on Oaxaca's sweltering coastal plains, where markets openly display them alongside turtle meat, despite laws prohibiting their sale.


So even if Guinness World Records want to be spoilsports, I shall do my Metro Marathon thing anyway - I'm sure I can raise at least $100. A paltry amount for the effort really, but if it'll save a turtle or two, then it's got to be worth the effort.

So what exactly is the Mexican Metro Marathon, and what are the rules? How to sponsor me? Who are Wildcoast? What other idiots have done this around the world? Click on the menu to the right, and all will be revealed!