February 23, 2023

On a Quest to “Run the Metro”

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Whether you Ride On to work, school or sporting events, MetroLink provides access to some of the very best our region has to offer. For example, if you’re looking for fitness options, MetroLink can help you explore Forest Park or hit the MetroBikeLink trail in Illinois. Or, if you’re like Mark Fingerhut, MetroLink’s region-wide access might inspire you to try a completely unique fitness challenge he is calling Run the Metro. 

The goal is to run from his home in Dogtown to each of MetroLink’s 38 stations. “I figured it’d be something to keep me busy over the winter, help me keep in shape, keep me off the couch,” Mark says. After each run, he simply jumps on the next train and rides back home. 

Although he’s somewhat centrally located on the MetroLink system, this challenge is no easy task. MetroLink has 46 miles of track, but by the time he completes his challenge, Mark will have logged more than three times that mileage. The nearby Skinker Station is less than two miles away, while the Shiloh-Scott station is a daunting 30-mile trek. As he builds up for some of those longer runs, he has extra motivation in mind—training for the GO! St. Louis Marathon on April 2.

A map of the St. Louis area overlaid with running routes

Click on the map to explore the Run the Metro routes

Each station he visits gives him the chance to explore a little more of the St. Louis area with new routes and new neighborhoods. When he hops the train to come home, he sees the vibrancy of our region reflected in his fellow riders, “There are a lot of different people riding the MetroLink, so it’s a good representation of St. Louis.” 

He says one of his favorite stations on the system is Laclede’s Landing, because of the views of the Gateway Arch and the historic Eads Bridge. The bridge, which carries MetroLink across the Mississippi River, also provides the best pedestrian access for Mark to reach all 11 stations in Illinois. Although his back is to St. Louis as he crosses the Eads Bridge, he says he always manages a glance back to take in the iconic skyline.

A runner poses with the St. Louis skyline behind him.

Mark Fingerhut is attempting to run to all 38 MetroLink stations.

Mark grew up riding MetroLink to get from his home in North St. Louis County to classes at St. Louis University High School. This challenge has renewed his appreciation of MetroLink and the convenience it offers. “As I’ve been doing this run, I’ve been using the MetroLink a lot more just for regular trips to get around town,” he says. “The closest station is about a mile-and-a-half from my house. Then I hop down to SLU, or downtown, or a Cardinals game or wherever. So, it’s a great option for transportation. I’m certainly going to use it a lot more.” 

One of his favorite aspects of using MetroLink is the openness of the stations, and the ease of using the Transit app, both of which make it easy to jump on and off the train. Mark also notes how safe he feels while riding, “I didn’t know what to expect in terms of security when I started doing this challenge. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised at almost all the stations I’m at, and almost every train I’m on, there’s a security presence and I feel very safe.” 

With about 80% of the stations checked off his list, Mark is focused on completing the longest remaining runs. We applaud him for finding such a unique way to engage with public transit in St. Louis, and we look forward to seeing him finish this challenge and the GO! St. Louis Marathon.

Categories:
Metro Lifestyle

1 thought on “On a Quest to “Run the Metro””

  1. Theresa Kirchmer says:

    Great idea, Mark. Good luck with the rest of the stations.

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