Sunday, May 17, 2015

Ultramarathon Roadtrip?

I'm signed up for Plain 100 in Washington one weekend in September, and IMTUF in Idaho the weekend after. There's a very small but non-zero probability that I'll want to do Mogollon Monster outside Phoenix the following weekend. What's the most fun way to do this? I could take the time off work, or even do a little work remotely, so how should I do this?

Thinking of just the first two races, driving would be about 2,000 miles, or about 32 hours. Given my gas-hog truck that's about $450 (16 mpg, gas $3.50/gallon). Or I could fly OAK->SEA, run a race, fly SEA->BOI, run a race, and fly BOI->OAK. Three one-ways on Southwest, Alaska, and Southwest would be $360, total.  With two rental cars, and gas for them, the total would be around $725. I suppose I could also just fly to Seattle and drive the 666 miles to both races and fly home from Boise, but that's over $1,000 just for the one-way car rental. Or I could fly to Seattle and drive to Idaho and back. Or I could fly to Boise and drive to Washington and back. Or I could make two roundtrip flights and be home for three days in between races.

Which way does George get to come? I was thinking that I know people who like dogs in both Seattle and Boise, but that's not actually where the races are, so leaving George with people there adds a solid 400 miles of driving. Do I know people in Lake Wenatchee, WA or McCall, ID who like dogs? I guess that also means there are yet more options: drive to Seattle, leave George with friends there, fly rountrip to Boise...OK, enough thinking about this. Driving the whole way seems like the cheapest, and possibly even the least frustrating thing to do. As long as I ignore wear and tear costs to my truck, and the fact that I should really be writing a paper and going on the job market this fall instead of taking a running vacation. That last one I'm going to blame on the USDA not having given me data I was supposed to get last summer.

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