Marathon man to take on 63 mile Metro running challenge

Metro ultra marathon runner Ben Cook with Metro Customer Service Managers Louise Smith and Val Dejong
16 August 2023

An ultra marathon runner is taking on the unique challenge of running the length of the Tyne and Wear Metro network over two consecutive days to raise money for charity.

Ben Cook will undertake the 63-mile run over the August Bank Holiday weekend, charting the same route as the iconic Metro map. He will track the Metro lines, taking in the fastest routes from station to station via public roads and footpaths.

Ben, 30, of West Moor, who runs at club level for Heaton Harriers, is supporting The Running Charity, which helps 16-25 year olds who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

He’ll clock up 27 miles on day one, running on Metro’s green line from South Hylton in Sunderland all the way through to Newcastle Airport.

And on day two he will be covering a more taxing 36 miles, running on Metro’s yellow line from South Shields to St James via the North Tyneside coast.

Ben is using his Metro run as preparation for a 100 mile ultra marathon he’s taking on in September, which will see him run all the way from Holy Island to Hexham in a single day.

He said: “I’m really excited about this Metro running challenge. It’s 63 miles along the network route and I’m expecting it to be tough as it’s two days of back to back running.

“I’ll be running both of the Metro’s yellow and green lines, following along the same routes as the Metro network map. It’s a lot further than it looks.

“A friend of mine in London is doing a similar challenge running the length of all eleven Tube lines, and it made me think about doing something along the lines of the Metro. I’d never heard of anyone do that here before, so I thought that I’d give it a go.

“It’s going to be really good preparation for my next ultra marathon. The big test will day two of the run when it’s the 36 miles from South Shields to Newcastle via North Tyneside. I’ll be sore after the Saturday and will need to grit my teeth in order to get started again the next day.”

He added: “The Running Charity is one that is really close to my heart, as it provides support for homeless young people. Running has done a lot for me and I want to use it to help other people out too.”

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said it wished Ben well with his running challenge.

Head of Station Delivery, Lynne Dickinson, said: “This is a fantastic fundraising challenge that Ben is undertaking along our Metro lines.  We all wish him well with it. It will raise vital funds to help homeless young people.

“To run the whole length of our yellow and green lines over two consecutive days is a huge test of fitness and endurance. 

“He’ll be covering 36 miles running between South Shields and St James, which takes in all of the North Tyne loop. The green line from South Hylton to Airport is going to be distance of 27 miles.

“All of the runs are taking place on the quickest routes adjacent to our lines, so none of it will actually be taking place on the actual tracks themselves.” 

Ben Cook's Just Giving page. 


Metro marathon man Ben Cook

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