Have you tried: The Glasgow Subrun?
It takes just 24 minutes to complete a 6.5-mile circuit of the Glasgow Subway – if you take the underground train.
On foot – and above ground – a run between all 15 stations is more likely to take a couple of hours.
So why would you bother?
For fun and fitness, reckon a group of 12 Scottish runners who recently completed the 10.5-mile tour to every Subway stop.
The members of Glasgow Triathlon Club (GTC) – including me – braved the chilly weather and festive shoppers just before Christmas to take on what they are calling the “Subrun”.
The idea was dreamt up by twins Iain and Andrew Todd from GTC. Iain said: “I had heard of people running between all the London Underground stations, nicknamed the Tube Challenge, and I thought it would work really well in Glasgow.
“What is even better is that the Subway is much smaller than the Tube so it meant the run would be more achievable in a shorter timespan.”
It was his brother who coined the Glasgow challenge the Subrun, a clever twist on the somewhat less healthy Subcrawl.
Andrew said: “The right of passage of so many city students is the Subcrawl. The aim of that is to travel the Subway in one direction and have a drink in a pub close to each station.
“I’ve never done it because I doubt I would be able to drink that much but I did like Iain’s far healthier idea of running to the route of the Subway stops.
“The Subrun seemed like an obvious name, instead of the Subcrawl”
How to run the Glasgow Subrun
The runners met at St George’s Cross for the inaugural GTC Subrun. The plan was to run the Subway clockwise and take a photograph at every station.
From St George’s Cross to Cowcaddens Station is around half a mile, followed by Buchanan Street and then St Enoch stations in fairly quick succession.
One of the runners, Christine Cruz, said: “We had to run around the Christmas shoppers on Buchanan Street and some people were obviously a bit confused by us.
“However, most were amused and we got a few ‘go on yerselves’ as we jogged by.”
The Subway, which is also known as the Clockwork Orange, was built in the late 1800s to both the north and south of the city centre.
The trains, which run clockwise on the Outer Circle and anti-clockwise on the Inner Circle, twice head beneath the River Clyde.
To reach the next station, Bridge Street, the runners left St Enoch to cross over the Clyde on Jamaica Bridge.
Andrew said: “We adapted the route of the underground system to create a mini tour of Glasgow above ground.
“It forms a sort of oval shape, just like the underground Glasgow Subway.”
The stations south of the Clyde, from Bridge Street include West Street, Shields Road, Kinning Park, Cessnock, Ibrox and Govan.
Another runner Billy Cameron said: “I’ve travelled on the Subway for the last 30 years or so, getting on and off at pretty much every stop, but this is the first time I’ve seen exactly how they all join up above ground.
“Running between them is a great way to see how the Subway links places together.”
To run between Govan and Partick Subway stations the group used the Clyde Tunnel.
While driving the 2500ft long tunnel is a common occurrence, it was a new experience for almost everyone to run under the river.
Andrew said: “It seemed fitting that the Subrun went underground for a section, just like the Subway does for its entire route.”
Four more stations, Partick, Kelvinhall, Hillhead and Kelvinbridge, led the runners through the city’s west end.
The streets were by this point very busy with shoppers, especially on Dumbarton Road and Byres Road.
With a stop at every station and a pace that allowed for chatting, people dodging and road crossings, the group took almost two hours to complete the Subrun.
Runner Vicki McLaren was pleased to reach the last station, Kelvinbridge, before the finish back at St George’s Cross.
She said: “I haven’t run as far as this for a while and I was feeling quite tired by the last couple of stations.
“But it was a really good route and a great way to do a sightseeing tour of Glasgow.”
Andrew and Iain were delighted with the success of their Subrun outing. Andrew said: “It was great to see Glasgow in a different way and to find out which stations were closest – Partick and Kelvinhall – and which were furthest apart – Govan and Partick.
“It was also a chance to see how Glasgow changes from area to area and how, in many ways, they’re just the same despite the vastly different reputations.”
How to do the Subrun
Check out my Strava for a Subrun route.
- Start at any of the Glasgow Subway stations.
- Run clockwise or anti-clockwise around the 15 stations.
- You must go to each station as they appear on the Subway map.
- You must include the Clyde Tunnel in the run.
- You should take a selfie – or group photo – at each station.
- You must finish at the station that you started at.
Historic metro line
The Glasgow Subway system is owned and operated by the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT),
It was opened on December 14, 1896, and is the third oldest underground metro system in the world, after the London Underground and the Budapest Metro.
The service was originally called the Glasgow District Subway, but was later renamed Glasgow Subway Railway. It is also known as the Clockwork Orange.
Formerly a cable railway, the Subway was later electrified, but its twin circular lines were never expanded.
A clockwise train runs on the Outer Circle while an anti-clockwise train runs on the Inner Circle.
It is used by thousands of people daily to access different areas of the city from Govan to Cowcaddens and Kelvin Bridge to West Street.
Why not run the Glasgow Subrun for fun? See Glasgow Subrun in photos.