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Adham Fisher, CTA record setter | Interview

CTA president Forrest Claypool recognizes the Englander’s El speed record.

Photograph: Courtesy of Adham Fisher

Adham Fisher has made nine attempts to break the Guinness World Record for traversing London’s entire Underground system, coming within an hour of the fastest time (16 hours, 29 minutes, 13 seconds). In August, the 26-year-old from Leicester, England, raced through the Paris Metro—but not before conquering the El in 9 hours, 36 minutes, 33 seconds in March. In September, CTA president Forrest Claypool awarded Fisher an honorary El sign bearing his last name.

Odd hobby.
You could say the same of a mountain climber, really. And to be perfectly honest, I think mountain climbers are bloody mad! Public transport can be used to ferry you from A to B, or you can explore it to extremes. I find the latter option far more interesting.

The record attempts depend a lot on luck, right?
It’s 30 percent planning, 70 percent luck. You can have the fastest route in the world, but if the system doesn’t perform, if there’s a medical incident, or station or line closures, there goes your plan.

Chicagoans love to hate the El. Do we have legit complaints?
Well, Londoners complain about the Tube, Parisians complain about their Metro. At least we have something to complain about! [Laughs] There’s good and bad, clean and dirty on every system.

I hope you did a seat check every time you got on an El car.
No, and maybe I was lucky! My nose did discover evidence in one carriage that someone had relieved himself.

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