Worker Documents Ongoing Rivalry Against Commuters He Races On Walk To Work
Sometimes we need things to entertain us on our commute to and from work. For many people that comes in the form of Bejeweled Blitz or Solitaire, while others may be found adding Snapchat effects to newly-papped pictures of the the poor oblivious souls sat opposite.
Adam Woollard, on the other hand, has an ongoing rivalry with seemingly unsuspecting fellow travellers, against whom he races on his walk into work - in fact, he's been battling with one particularly speedy bloke for an entire year. Someone get this guy a hobby.
The 28-year-old captured a cheeky viral photo of his fast-paced 'worthy adversary', who he would usually leave for dust at around 8.30am on his way into the office.
However one day Adam, a freelance script writer, lost his edge and was pipped to the post by his route-marching rival.
Now Adam has a new side job working two nights a week at a pub. But despite it being only a five-minute walk, he's discovered a new adversary - a 'very quick' woman on the same route who he pits himself against.
Another hilarious photo shows the back of the seemingly unaware woman last week as he raced behind her in his bid to overtake.
Speaking about his male competitor, Adam, from Tufnell Park, North London, said: "I would see him pretty much every day I was working at about 8.30am approaching Aldgate East.
"I would follow him for around ten minutes before we'd split ways at the traffic lights that go down Commercial Street, which for me is where the race ended. That would be when I would know whether I'd beaten him or not.
"He often beat me because he was quite quick. He wasn't as tall as me but he had two legs and he knew how to use them - he knew what he was doing.
"I saw him as a marker for being on time for work and if I didn't see him I assumed he was ill, then I was worried about him, wondering whether he was running late, early, or if I was running late. This happened for about a year.
"I only ever saw the back of him, and from the back he looked like one of my friends. I wasn't brave enough to turn around and look at him - I didn't want to ruin it for myself by seeing his face."
Adam originally shared a post about his smartly-dressed competitor back in May 2018 but it went viral last month, racking up nearly 33,000 likes, shares and comments.
Adam's original post read: "He doesn't know it, but me and this guy race on our walk to work every day. Today he got the edge on me because I had to stop and tie my shoelaces but usually I pip him just before the T junction. Never spoken to him, but he's a good competitor. A good kid. Strong walker.
"One time he stopped in to get (I think) a Lucozade from a Londis and it was the most exciting thing that's ever happened to me. I f***ing smashed him that day."
Adam walked from Archway to Aldgate East on the three days he was in the office - a 10-mile round trip that took an hour and 45 minutes each way.
After settling into the rhythm of his lengthy commute, Adam said he noticed his soon-to-be competitor walking the same route at 8.30am and decided to race him.
In the viral Facebook post, Adam reminisced about one time he left his smartly-dressed competitor trailing in his wake. Adam said: "One day I think he went in for a little drink - a Lucozade or an energy drink probably.
"At first I thought, 'This doesn't feel like a real achievement to beat him by this much because he's gone in there.'
"Then I thought, 'In F1 they have pit stops and that counts.' So I decided it was still winning, it wasn't by default or a moot race, so I won.
"I was way in front of him - I left him in the dust - as it's busy in shops at that time in the morning with people getting their morning bits. It was endgame, no question."
Flush with success, Adam shared his emphatic victory with pals on Facebook, writing: "It was a high that took me through the day. I didn't bandy it about the office because I didn't want to be crass, so I just kept it to myself and had a nice little warm glow throughout the day.
"I put it online because I thought it was something that people in London and other cities would relate to - it feels quite British for some reason - but I didn't know how far it would go."
Having left his role in February, Adam said that although he longer gets to race against the unknown competitor, he doesn't need closure.
Adam said: "I feel like my nemesis and I parted on good terms. It was like ships in the night but that's OK, I didn't need closure because he was a worthy adversary.
"I hope he was aware of me. I think he saw the back of me a few times but I don't know if he saw it as a race and if he did, maybe he would have beaten me. All we know is that he walks quite quickly - the rest is for the history books to decide."
Despite ditching his rivalry of 12 months, Adam has found himself a new speedy competitor who he's yet to beat. Adam explained: "I work a couple of days a week at a pub in the evening that's five minutes away - that's more of a sprint than a marathon, but there are always walkers.
"There's a woman who walks the way I'm going around 6pm, who is genuinely very quick. In my head she's called Taylor - because she's swift. She has locomotives for legs, I've never got past her."
Adam quipped that if he beat her, he could quit his job and hunt down his next competitor, adding: "I want to be the undisputed champion of the competitive walking circuit. Some people would say that's a pipe dream but I think it's possible.
"I think if I beat her I'll quit my job there and I'll find somewhere else and then take on the champion of that track."
Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media