We were chatting after our long Sunday run recently and the subject of travel to run or race came up. We always talk about various races and cities that we’d like to visit to run in. This time we started thinking about the economics of just going somewhere for the day to run, vs. going for a few days to do a race.
Part of this was spurred by the fact I had strongly considered taking the train to Ottawa a couple of weeks ago simply to go for a long run in a different place. The plan I had included hopping the VIA Rail train out in the morning, taking the O-Train downtown, going for a 21km run and then returning to Toronto the same way via O-Train and VIA Rail.
Total cost for that trip would have been about $250 including the train tickets, transit and a meal or two somewhere along the way in Ottawa. Not bad, honestly.
We started thinking about whether it would make sense to go further afield and really push things a bit more. I suggested Montreal or Quebec City, but Miguel was thinking further – Halifax. My method of transportation was generally the train, but the time spent on our not-so-fast corridor services with VIA Rail really eats into the day. Flights, on the other hand…
Depending on the day, we could fly Toronto to Halifax for about $230 return. That would be about the same cost as my Ottawa trip, but quite a different experience. Flying from the downtown airport in Toronto would mean we could easily get there on transit for a couple of bucks.
The Halifax side would be a bit more complicated, but if three or four of us went, splitting a cab or Uber from the airport to downtown wouldn’t be too expensive. If we grabbed the first flight of the day, we could be in downtown Halifax by just after noon local time. A two hour run around town would have us back in time for a late lunch/early dinner somewhere and plenty of time to catch a 7:25 P.M. back to Toronto around 10:15 P.M.
Total spend on a trip like that would be something like $350 per person which is far less than a marathon race weekend would cost. The key to this would be finding a cheap flight and avoiding an overnight stay. Something to think about for sure!