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Re: Christmas Park Challenge 2018 - 15th December - Finsbury Park

Posted: 03 Dec 2018, 23:40
by Going Underground
michael_churchill wrote:
03 Dec 2018, 14:22
tufnellpark wrote:
03 Dec 2018, 12:00
Hyde Park Corner doesn't seem to have its name on the roundels at the top of the stairs, so what do you take a photo of?
Unless my memory is playing tricks there is a white text on blue background illuminated sign in the subway above the very threshold of the station itself. Isn't that what you're supposed to photograph?
There is a TfL roundel at the top of the stairs with no name but is clearly identifiable as HPC that is what you take a photo of, trust me I have at least 12 or so :lol:

Re: Christmas Park Challenge 2018 - 15th December - Finsbury Park

Posted: 04 Dec 2018, 23:54
by RJSRdg
I was of the understanding you could photograph either.

Re: Christmas Park Challenge 2018 - 15th December - Finsbury Park

Posted: 05 Dec 2018, 12:37
by Going Underground
RJSRdg wrote:
04 Dec 2018, 23:54
I was of the understanding you could photograph either.
Any photo is fine, I have never stopped there long enough to actually visualise and memorise what's there!

Re: Christmas Park Challenge 2018 - 15th December - Finsbury Park

Posted: 14 Dec 2018, 16:05
by hopeful traveller
I still haven't decided whether to do this tomorrow or not. I can't get a route quicker than 8hrs, and I'm not sure my bank account will let me do this.

Yeah, probably not.

Re: Christmas Park Challenge 2018 - 15th December - Finsbury Park

Posted: 14 Dec 2018, 19:26
by tangy
Going Underground wrote:
05 Dec 2018, 12:37
Any photo is fine, I have never stopped there long enough to actually visualise and memorise what's there!
As I am normally running to/from there, I often take a photo of one of the bus stops flags near the entrance to Hyde Park Corner subway.

Re: Christmas Park Challenge 2018 - 15th December - Finsbury Park

Posted: 15 Dec 2018, 10:50
by RJSRdg
Thought about it, but in view of the cold weather, and the amount of hanging around at certain stations, decided against it.

Not really my favourite challenge, especially at this time of year...

Re: Christmas Park Challenge 2018 - 15th December - Finsbury Park

Posted: 15 Dec 2018, 11:20
by dstock17
RJSRdg wrote:
15 Dec 2018, 10:50
Thought about it, but in view of the cold weather, and the amount of hanging around at certain stations, decided against it.

Not really my favourite challenge, especially at this time of year...
Same for me pulled my hamstring at parkrun slightly walked the rest now having a beer cold weather has got into my bones not good.

Re: Christmas Park Challenge 2018 - 15th December - Finsbury Park

Posted: 15 Dec 2018, 13:34
by tractakid
Afraid I was a DNS too. Just not in the right place to do it today. I normally love the Parks Challenge.

Re: Christmas Park Challenge 2018 - 15th December - Finsbury Park

Posted: 15 Dec 2018, 17:56
by greatkingrat
DNF for me. Started OK then got to Hyde Park Corner to be greeted by a torrential downpour. Couldn't go back in the station as it was exit only and didn't particularly fancy trying to run to Green Park. Jumped on the first bus I saw which was heading up towards Marble Arch and decided that was enough.

Re: Christmas Park Challenge 2018 - 15th December - Finsbury Park

Posted: 15 Dec 2018, 18:36
by Iain
It's absolutely filthy out there - I didn't envy you lot

Re: Christmas Park Challenge 2018 - 15th December - Finsbury Park

Posted: 16 Dec 2018, 11:13
by xcooler123
For those who did not start, you probably made the right decision at the end of the day as it was an absolute nightmare out there!

I also DNF due to Hyde Park Corner "exit only" issues so only 18 stations completed for me. After attempting to get into Green Park (closed) and Piccadilly Circus (exit only), I was completely soaked through, cold, shattered from lots of running and more than 1 hour down on my schedule. I therefore chose the pub as the best place for me to go next.

Up to that point, my bad luck on Park Challenges was continuing with one really stupid error on my part (realising I had forgotten to take an external photo at Tufnell Park when I had reached platform level) followed by a succession of late running trains (16 in a row!!). After my usual bad luck with buses between Kilburn Park and Westbourne Park, I was about 25 mins down on schedule when I reached Holland Park and finally caught a train which was on time. This was swiftly cancelled out by the usual farce on the Uxbridge branch at Park Royal and a late running train into Chiswick Park meant the run to Turnham Green was off the table. Then the Hyde Park Corner issues happened and that was that.

On a side note (and due to the issues people have had today), if Winter Wonderland is going to cause all these issues again and ultimately take all the fun out of doing the Parks Challenge (well for some of us Kev :lol: ) we should probably look at a different weekend next year if at all possible.

Re: Christmas Park Challenge 2018 - 15th December - Finsbury Park

Posted: 16 Dec 2018, 13:29
by tangy
I battled through and managed to complete in a time of 08:26:22.

I deliberately timed my start carefully to get the Tube to Holloway Road so as not to have a long wait for the bus to Tufnell Park. Some good changes followed, including a 3 minute in/out at Belsize Park (train to train) and immediate turn arounds at Woodside, Canons and Moor.

It started to go downhill however, which all started when my H&C rolled in to Ladbroke Grove and I could see the bus I wanted to get me to Holland Park down below but couldn't quite reach it in time as there was a lot of crowding in the ticket hall. So ran to Holland Park but must have just missed a West Ruislip as the next four trains were for White City 1 min, North Acton 2 min, Ealing Broadway 3min and Ealing Broadway 8 min!

This was not good, so thought about running from West Acton to Park Royal, which after studying a map was pretty straightforward but to no avail, stood at Park Royal for 15 minutes waiting for a train (the curse of the UXB branch strikes again)!

Ran Chiswick Park- Turnham Green in the rain dodging some rather large puddles to try and claw some time back but think I got the next ex Ealing anyway. There was a "fist pump moment" coming back from Wimbledon Park as approaching Earl's Court the driver came over the tannoy and said we would be pulling into platform 1 (which is unusual for an ex Wimbledon train). Another bit of rare track which I have been trying to do duly done!!

As predicted Hyde Park Corner was exit only so jumped on a bus to Green Park (slow traffic) which I found fully open for entry and exit so had very little problem here.

Coming along the south side of Circle/District heading towards the three eastern Parks I still needed to visit the train pulled into Westminster and I made a last minute decision to ditch the District for the JLE to West Ham. Got to West Ham and back to the District platforms only to find the westbound at a stand with trains not moving but there was still trains going east at regular intervals.

Boarded the next eastbound to Upton Park, noting there was another Upminster behind in two minutes so quick dash in and out only to have a bit of deja vu as the train I ditched at Westminster rolled in, so my gamble to bail at Westminster paid off (as the next two trains behind were only going to Barking).

As I travelled towards Elm Park I still noted trains blocking back westbound to Barking, so knew I would have problems coming back. All appeared well coming back west with a 3-4 minute wait at Elm Park, just missed at GOBLIN at Barking by two minutes so decided to stay on the District. Bad move! The signalling fault had not yet been fully resolved so had an extended wait at Upton Park and again at Plaistow due to blocking back. I gave up and bailed at Plaistow for a bus to Stratford, saw two buses pull away just as I reached the stop but another was two minutes behind but traffic was slow approaching Stratford (and at the rear of a 5 bus convoy so had to wait our turn to get onto the stand). However got straight on a Newbury Park terminator to finally finish!

Re: Christmas Park Challenge 2018 - 15th December - Finsbury Park

Posted: 16 Dec 2018, 14:38
by tufnellpark
Well you can't say you weren't warned! Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland was in full swing and a storm was due for the afternoon. It was my first Parks Challenge, so it could have been a baptism of fire. But actually it all went quite well.

An early 10:09 departure from Finsbury Park (leaving A2 to wait for a late running PC Brown) saw me head first to Tufnell Park and then north and west via the Parks to Park Royal. A few missed trains but generally it all went well. On my return to Zone 1, I knew Hyde Park Corner was exit only, so like many others I caught a Piccadilly Line train to there and ran in the rain to Green Park, which was shut. A quick external photo and a packed 38 bus to Victoria saw me on to the Victoria line and a pass through Green Park, 20 mins after I had arrived there. And that delay was to prove crucial.

Out to the east via Regents Park and Liverpool Street, I waited 9 mins for a Central Line train to Newbury Park, giving Stevoo the chance to catch up with me. We had a wait at Stratford for the lovely jubbly Line and then got lucky at West Ham with two consecutive Upminster trains and an Elm Park finish. Same time for both of us but Stevoo had started 15 mins later than me so was quicker; I told you the Green Park fiasco would prove crucial. My final time was 08:04:50. Not bad for a beginner.

Despite the weather and Winter Wonderland chaos around Green Park, I enjoyed the challenge. I just wonder why the taking an external photo rule was dreamt up? It would knock about 90mins off the challenge, if we were allowed to pass through a station and take a photo of the roundel on the platform (GWR rules), rather than head up to the surface in a lift, stairs or escalator when you don't have to. It simply makes a long challenge longer! What do others think?

Re: Christmas Park Challenge 2018 - 15th December - Finsbury Park

Posted: 16 Dec 2018, 19:30
by Going Underground
There will be no rules change sorry, the external photo is what makes this challenge so unique and cant really be altered after so many years...
I was pretty lazy, waiting for buses rather than running in the filthy rain but managed with to get through HPC / Green Park deliberately early as I know what carnage can ensue there... But with a pathetic 8hrs 35mins on the clock and being at West Ham with Upton + Elm to do and the district line being in meltdown myself and A2 aborted and headed to the pub...

Here are the results as I know them as not sure how many stations Peter and Das has left to do??

1st Steeevooo - 7 49 36 at Elm
2nd Clive - 8 04 50 at Elm
3rd Tangy - 8 26 20 at Newbury

DNF + stations left
Das - ??
Peter - ??
Kev and A2 - 2 stations
Roblo - 5 stations
David - 6 stations

Roll on next year :D Starting station to be announced in due course

Re: Christmas Park Challenge 2018 - 15th December - Finsbury Park

Posted: 17 Dec 2018, 01:20
by roblo97
It was a long day for me. Started at 4am with Formula E practice sessions in Saudi Arabia… that ended up being rained off. This might become a theme as it really was one of those day! Made my way to Finsbury Park and started on 10am from the back entrance to the station where I promptly missed the train I wanted to catch by seconds. I got off at Walthamstow where I promptly managed to miss the bus I wanted while trying to navigate the bus station. 12 minutes later and the W15 arrived to whisk me to Leytonstone.

It was here where I had someone try and force me into a rail. Whether it was intentional or otherwise, I’ll never know but on the plus side, there was a nice Woodford via Hainault train waiting for me. I went to Newbury Park and done the photo in good time before having another good change at Stratford to the Jubilee Line to go to West Ham, with a 1 minute hold at Leytonstone and a 2 minute wait at Stratford. Got to the District Line to Upton Park and then on to Elm Park via a red signal at Barking; both of which went well and from there it was up to Upminster.

I caught a C2C train back into London where I realised I was at the wrong end of the train. To make matters worse, I was slow on the stairs and then turned the wrong way out of the station. The rest of the change was good but I caught the District to St. James Park. I realised the exit I wanted was closed but that went ok before I got lucky with door positioning at Victoria. I went to Green Park before that went badly and I had to wait for the second train to get to Hyde Park Corner where I also had to take the stairs up instead of the escalator.

Ran back in to go to Earl’s Court and changed to the District Line again to head down to Wimbledon Park where I just saw the train pulling in as I was running down the stairs. Ravenscourt Park was cold but went well before getting back to a 5 minute wait for an Ealing Broadway train. I got off at Chiswick Park and ran to South Acton. It was going so well… right up until I just missed an Overground train and was faced with a 12 minute wait for the next one.

I eventually made it to Willesden Junction where I caught a late running Bakerloo Line train up to Stonebridge Park before heading down to Queens Park and Kilburn Park. It was here I opted to bail for a 206 to Wembley Park. This was so slow that I bailed at Harlesden to double on the Bakerloo line to Kenton. I then almost drowned on the run to Northwick Park as it was raining so heavily and the storm was at its strongest. I then waited to go to Moor Park before heading to Wembley Park. I went out at the side of the station as Tottenham had just finished beating Burnley and with the station busy, I opted for another bus, this time the 297 to Alperton.

This was slow as well so I got off at Perivale to be faced with a 14 minute wait to get down to Park Royal. I went there and then ran to Hangar Lane where I had a 4 minute wait for an Epping bound train to Holland Park where I saw something about Severe Delays on the status update boards. I then changed to the Jubilee Line at Bond Street and then after getting lost in Baker Street, went to the Bakerloo line to go to Regents Park. I then checked the status on my phone while walking to Great Portland Street and with the Circle and H&C both broken and having gone over 9 hours, I decided enough was enough and went for a pizza and a beer or four in the pub.

I have since worked out that I was on course to have theoretically finished in 11 hours 29 minutes. Not bad considering my worst case scenario time originally without those bus connections and finishing at Park Royal was 9 hours 11 minutes!