Mates try to outrun subway in viral TikTok

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For all the frustrated commuters and tourists who have wondered if legging it is faster than catching the subway in New York — two guys on TikTok have the answer.

Tyler Swartz tried, and failed, to beat a local 1 train between the 18th Street and 14th Street stops in Chelsea, a neighbourhood on the West Side of the borough of Manhattan in NYC.

Swartz and his friend Joe Fowler documented their effort in a 46-second clip posted last week — and it’s racking up million of views, the New York Post reports.

From the video, it’s not clear how long the dash took Swartz, who organises running group runs and shares tips for race training online.

But Swartz’s loss may actually be the subway riders’ gain — the subway’s on-time rate has increased dramatically in recent years to 82 per cent on weekdays.

Reason TikTokker races against NYC subway

Compare that to the last time someone made a high profile race against the subway — in 2017, when Matthew Ahn did it, and managed to win.

Back then, only 63 per cent of trains ran on time as the system was plagued by chronic lateness and delays.

Although the mission was unsuccessful, many commenters came from supportive New Yorkers who offered advice. Some recommended Swartz hop the turnstile next time, or start from a train car closer to the exit to save time.

“There’s definitely stops where it’s possible,” one commenter said.

Another offered a dim opinion of the speed of New York’s subway system: “lol with the way the MTA is some days u can walk and still beat the train.”

Ahn, 32, a train geek who lives in Cleveland, proved the stunt was possible back in the bad old days of MTA reliability when he outpaced the 2-3 train between Chambers Street and Park Place in 2017.

He clocked in with a time of 1:44 as the train crawled between the Financial District stops, footage showed.

“The primary reason I actually decided to use those two stations was because it minimised the number of crosswalks I’d have to cross at street level,” the lawyer told The Post on Monday.

“From start to finish the entire process only took a single morning. We did two test runs, if I remember correctly, and on both of them, I succeeded. So, we decided to go for it with the cameras rolling.”

Ahn had never run competitively and estimated the fasted mile he ever ran in his like was in about six minutes — which is respectable for a weekend warrior but unacceptable for a high school track runner.

The stunt did earn him a feature in Canadian Running Magazine — “of all things,” he says — and came after he set a Guinness World Record for traversing every station on the New York City in the fastest time.

Ahn had to hoof it plenty for that contest, too — running 8.5 to 10 miles to transfer between trains.

He finished the exhausting commute in 21 hours, 28 minutes and 14 seconds.

Last year, a Swiss woman set a new world record by including the recently added Second Avenue subway stations, even though her time was longer.

The Post has reached out to Swartz for comment.