parkourfi 800x425 - Parkour versus the Tube

We’ve seen a few videos where people race the tube, namely between Mansion House and Cannon Street, and yes people beat the tube easily. This one is different. Its a parkour race against the tube. For those of you who do not know what parkour is, its jumping, acrobatics, often using walls, roofs, drain pipes, lamps, and even places that might be a little out of bound. I love seeing these videos and watch them almost as soon as they come out.

The video in question however isn’t real. Not in the sense of the time taken or the route used. The many comments posted below Storror’s video point this out too. The one obvious for most of the comments is the fact there are two trains in Farringdon station at one point (this is between 3.56 and 4.05 minutes when the guy lands on the platform) and then there is only one train in the platform. Its a good spot, but its not the only one. First I do not think they could have done it in the time allocated – the tube train doors open at 1.07 minutes and they race to the stairs at Moorgate but wait for it – they are racing against a westbound train from Moorgate to Farringdon but have actually alighted from an eastbound train!

Right at the start they make it clear they indicate they are getting on a Circle Line train from Aldgate, however when the camera switches to the inside of the train its a Metropolitan! The camera shots are clearly done to show the scrolling (as well as the sound to pick up the announcements) that the train is indeed going via Liverpool Street and Moorgate. And it does indeed arrive at Moorgate. However as soon as the doors open its clear there has been a switch to the eastbound platform! The reason obviously is because of the temporary arrangements at the station as this way they can film a seamless shot from the platform as far as the Barbican Centre.

moorgate - Parkour versus the Tube
Wait! This is the eastbound platform at Moorgate you are getting onto from a westbound train?

Storror then race through the square and shops between Moorgate and Moor Lane and scramble up a lamp post into the Barbican. There is a cut here because the video shows them getting over the top of the wall and immediately there is another flight of steps beyond. This just isn’t possible because there are flats in that very location, so a cut was made to a different part of the Barbican, in fact the stairs by the bottom of the Shakespeare Tower. Thus nearly 300 metres of the alleged route has already been cut out. I have done a map to show the sections filmed and clearly its not straightforward, also there are huge gaps.

parkourmap - Parkour versus the Tube

The map details are as follows: Clip #1 is Moorgate eastbound platform to the walls of the Barbican. Clip #2 is the short bit by the Shakespeare Tower. Clip #3 is across the rooftops. Clip #4 is from the stairs by Defoe House to Carthusian Street – just past the Barbican station. Clip #5 is from Peter’s Lane/White Horse Alley and into Farringdon station. Clip #6 is the jump onto the platform.

Storror are next seen jumping across flat roofs, an amazing feat, its just incredible they way they do it and jump over those walls and down these stairwells. Its one of the reasons I am drawn to these videos. The only problem with the filming is this bit takes one away from the direction they should be taking! These flat roofs head southwards to the rear of Lauderdale Tower where the green fence is then jumped. There’s clearly a cut here and the camera then switches to a position by the Defoe Tower which is over on the other side of the estate!

This is obvious because as on the right Tower 42 (the old Nat West tower) can be seen. If they were really heading towards Farringdon that wouldn’t be possible. The other thing is the steps they take are actually way back they way they came, so they’ve sort of tried to make it look like one location.

barbicanrun - Parkour versus the Tube
Running eastwards towards Defoe House. Tower 42 can be seen on the right!

In the early part of the video they point out the route was looked at prior to the attempt so clearly they had prior knowledge and a practice run.

Dont get me wrong, its brilliant, its fantastic the way it has been done – whether its been edited or not I still cant wait to see their next videos come out! At least when Storror get down the stairwell by Defoe House and onto the Barbican tunnel road (its actually Beech Street but I always call it the Barbican tunnel road) it seems they are at least on the right track towards Farringdon. But wait, the Storror guy with the Go pro puts his hands on the camera and suddenly one sees a totally different road! So this is another subtle switch. Instead of going past the Charter House they instead are filmed at the entrance to White Horse Alley, where they jump the railings surrounding a ramp leading to Save the Children’s charity head offices.

Thats another 300 metres of route missed out! Anyway they continue down White Horse Alley and turn to go through the ITSU cafe into Cowcross Street. From there its a straight run towards Farringdon station. There are at least six transitions within the video with the final one being the pole vault down onto the platforms at Farringdon.

Now I know some might rub me for liking the Farringdon station bit but I really loved it. That mad dash through the station, jumping over the barriers, one guy actually sliding down one of the station’s roof columns lol! I simply wish I could do this sort of thing! It doesn’t mean I condone people jumping barriers – this is part of the plot and it most likely has been done with the prior acknowledgement of the station’s staff.

farringjump - Parkour versus the Tube
That fantastic jump into the station platforms! Waaay to go!

Storror get on the train at Farringdon at 4.05 minutes, having left their train in Moorgate at 1.07 minutes. This is almost three minutes (that is without the sections of the route the have cut out!) Its clearly not possible to do it. It might well be if one runs the shortest route between the two stations as opposed to jumping the Barbican rooftops.

The time taken for a train to travel between the two stations is at the fastest about two minutes forty five seconds – say three minutes for the sake of brevity.

Almost from the word go, the video is clearly edited. One cannot be filmed riding on an westbound train and then race against an eastbound train. Its clearly been planned like this other one, a fantastic parkour across the rooftops of the City of London. Here’s the second video showing how they did it. These are brilliant and I loved watching these. I was open mouthed watching it but it obviously couldn’t have been done in one go! Storror did the same thing in Paris too, so it probably be no surprise there’ll be a documentary on the London parkour vs tube.

Anybody trying to do this sort of thing raw (that is without practice, choreography etc) is not going to do it, they are going to injure themselves very badly. I’ve seen a lot of these videos and there is no doubt from the training sessions shown it needs helluva skill, training and enormous confidence.

I would give these guys ten out of ten for making the video despite the fact it was edited and choreographed. Well done Storror! Jazz hands! 🙂

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