Biggest Fear About The Trip
Last year, I was worried about how the weather might affect the bus schedule. This year, I’m not as worried about this as I’m traveling south. Hopefully, warmer weather and less risk ensues. I’d say my biggest fear this year is the mileage. I’m running more miles this year on far less training. The combination of snow, a broken treadmill a few weeks back, and a child has slowed me down a bit over the last month.
Thing I’m Looking Most Forward To
My visit to three of the cities this year (Memphis, Oxford, Athens) will be new experiences to me. Last year, I had previously been to each of the eight cities. While exploring new places is always fun, I always get most excited about seeing friends and spending time with them. I’ll be seeing quite a few people who I have not seen in years.
Biggest Thing I Learned Last Year
Simple. I don’t need as much stuff. Luckily I documented last year’s packing list and was able to cut it down quite a bit. I packed my bag tonight and everything fit easily.
City I’m Most Excited About
There are two cities that stand out in my eyes this year. First of all, I can’t wait to go back to my hometown. Although I now live only an hour away, I haven’t been to Fort Dodge in more than seven years. When I was in Cincy, Tillie and I would travel back to either Ames or Omaha for the holidays. I can’t wait to reflect on great memories, run by many places that helped shape my life and see how the city has changed. We all have pride in our hometown, and I’m damn proud of Fort Dodge. The other city that stands out is Oxford, Mississippi. I’ve traveled to close to 100 colleges and universities over the last eight years, but I’ve never been to Ole Miss. From what everyone says, Ole Miss and Oxford can’t be beat. The quintessential college town.
My Prediction For Best Landmark Picture
I think the best my be the last – The Iron Horse Statue. It stands in a random field outside of Athens, Georgia. It is the reason for 11+ miles on my last day, but it will be very symbolic to the run.
Miles From Start To Finish
Dollars Spent To Get To Athens, GA
$10.50 – No joke. I have two options for each of the five bus routes that I will take. I purchased all tickets for $1 from Megabus, as I was one of the first three tickets on each route. They charge $.50 to process the order.
Dollars Spent to Get Home
$130 one-way flight. My flight home is 13 times more costly than the front-end of my trip. Pretty crazy.
Athens – 11.2 miles
Oxford – 5.4 miles
Predicted Miles Running
Longest Bus Trip
Chicago – Memphis – 9 hours
Shortest Bus Trip
Because I’m visiting Oxford, MS and there is no Megabus from Memphis to Oxford or from Oxford to Birmingham, I only actually have four Megabus rides. I think I’ll also be in a car from Atlanta to Athens, but I’m not sure yet. With that being said, the shortest bus trip is from Birmingham to Atlanta which is 2:55 minutes.
Worst Bus Schedule
My trip from Nashville to Memphis is overnight. I leave Nashville at 1:40am and get into Memphis at 6:00am. Should be interesting.
Meal I’m Looking Forward To The Most
BBQ in Memphis
Shout Out To The Individual Who Has Helped Me The Most Prior To The Trip
Ben Boden – Memphis. Memphis is a unique stop because I get in at 6am and have to get down to Oxford via car. Ben has been very hospitable offering to pick me up that morning, let me crash for a few hours at his place, drop me off at my starting point, run a bit with me and get me Oxford that evening. I owe him.
Most Time Spent In One City
Atlanta – I get in on Thursday early evening and will be based there until I fly back on Sunday morning.
Least Time Spent In One City
Chicago – 14 hours
Chicago – 2.8 million people
Oxford, Mississippi – 19,000 people
What I’ll Do To Celebrate At The End
Spend a few days with my beautiful bride in Atlanta/Athens and then fly home to a smiling baby.