Although I’m taking a year off from traveling too far for races (budget cuts hehe), I feel like my strategy could still be shared. In order to achieve my goal of running a full or half marathon in every state, I used to stalk flight deals like a hawk – pairing the best races with the cheapest flights and vice versa. Coming in hot after Summer, below are the best flight deals I could find to run around the country this Winter to somewhere warm (if you’re coming from the Northeast, like me, ESPECIALLY). All of these deals are compared across most major travel sites, but I find I always have the best success with Expedia.com. These, of course, are flight prices as of today and are subject to change.
The only thing similarly that I’ve done is Ragnar Miami, and to address the elephant in the room – YES, there will be alligators. If that skeeves you out already, this race may not be for you. It’s such beautiful weather in Miami in December – might be a teensie bit humid, but it’s totally doable (especially this early in the morning). Another bonus – Florida is SO flat. I used to have to drive an hour to find the nearest hill to train on when I lived in Tampa – seriously. Not even kidding.
- Flight Deals – Your best bet for this race (since it’s close to Key Biscyane) would be the fly into Miami, stay in Miami, and pop over via rental car or Uber on race day. Flights down to Miami this weekend from 12/1 to 12/5 will run you only $114 round trip there on United and back on American. Sign. Me. Up.
I’m still dying to get my butt to Texas for a half (it’s one of the next one’s up on the list – especially for a Winter month). I have my eyes set on Austin, but after peeking at this one I love all the history the SA course has to offer. Plus, Rock & Roll races are always such a blast and organized so well logistically. This race is also paired with St. Jude, where if you commit to raising a certain amount, they’ll cover your flight AND hotel too (which is always a huge plus). Something great took is if you drag along a friend for the adventure and they aren’t into running 13+ miles for fun, there’s a fun run for them too!
- Flight Deals – For December 1-5th (making a long weekend out of it), you can snag a good combo of flights at $298 on United.
I actually ran the C.I. half in 2015 – while the course was fairly flat, I thought it would be a bit more scenic. But, to be honest, it’s December and it’s 80, sunny and beachside. So, I’ll keep the complaints to a minimum. I stayed at the The Westin Grand Cayman which came into play as one of the better choices in this particular instance – the expo is in the lobby, as well as a ton of fun beach bars and activities right outside your doorstep (once you’re done running, of course). I even got to sit in on a talk with Bart Yasso – and since the field of runners is only about 5,000 or so, the setting has a super intimate and exclusive feel (which is so much different than the Disney races I was used to at the time)!
- Flight Deals – American Airlines both ways looks to be the most affordable as $338 round trip on average from Boston and New York from 12/1 to 12/4. I try to do direct in the Winter (since snow can literally deter everything). But, I think I could trust a layover in Charlotte….one would hope.
Anyone have some great ones in January that they’ve found killer deals for? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll feature it next month!
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