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Setting a new speed record

by Benjamin Kabak

When Chris Solarz and Matt Ferrisi set out to break the record for fastest time through the subway, they knew they would succeed as long as the MTA’s system cooperated with them. It turns out that with few major service disruptions and generally reliable schedules, the duo was able to shatter the previous record. When all was said and done, they clocked in at 22 hours and 51 minutes, a good two hours and three minutes faster than the prior record.

As the two explained to the New York Press last week, they used extensive computer modeling to program the optimal route. But potential copy-cats are going to have to do the leg work the hard way. “The route is like our secret sauce,” Solzarz said to The Daily News. “We’re keeping it to ourselves.”

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7 comments

Marsha January 26, 2009 - 2:37 pm

I think the author of SAS should try to break the record.

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Kid Twist January 26, 2009 - 3:42 pm

I agree. Go for it, Ben.

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rhywun January 26, 2009 - 2:55 pm

I don’t understand the secrecy. The remarkable part is not that they “figured it out”–anyone with reasonable skills can do that. It’s that they actually went and did it. So why not share the solution they used?

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rhywun January 26, 2009 - 2:56 pm

(More clearly, that should say) Why don’t they share the solution they used?

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Marc Shepherd January 26, 2009 - 4:07 pm

It is not at all trivial to figure out a way to traverse the whole subway system in 23 hours. Quite a few people have attempted it, so it is pretty remarkable that these guys lopped 2 hours off of the previous record. That is a substantial improvement. I can well understand why they don’t want to tell other people how it was done.

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rhywun January 26, 2009 - 8:47 pm

They don’t want to tell other people how it was done because they want their names in Guinness. I don’t understand that motivation; if I had the spare time to code up a solution to this, I’d share it with everyone in the “spirit of discovery”, and the lively discussions it would cause would be a lot more interesting than getting my name in a book.

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Marc Shepherd January 27, 2009 - 8:18 am

It doesn’t float my boat to hold that particular record, and I gather you feel the same way. But it’s understandable that if you had invested all of that effort to get yourself in Guiness, you wouldn’t want to help other people beat it. Let them do the analysis themselves.

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