Destinations On the Run

Help Me Plan The Most Unique Meetup

Most unique Meetup
Written by Charlie

I posted this the other day, but it was scheduled a bit early for west coast readers. So, I want more input and thought I would take a shot at a more decent hour for all of you on in the west! Thanks for any help/advice you can give!

Meetups are fun – it gives a chance for people of a similar interest to meet (sometimes for the first time) and share stories, tips, and information. Mostly, it is just a nice time to get to know people better.

Thanks to an expiring airline certificate and a desire to meet some readers of BoardingArea blogs, I came up with what I think would be the most unique meetup.  To make it work, I will need your help and suggestions. It would be fantastic to get quite a group involved in this, even if it is only for some of the time.

The Most Unique Meetup

Here is the story – I have a Delta certificate that is going to expire soon and I am the only one who can use it. While this would normally be great news (since it would allow me to travel someplace new at no cost), my schedule before the certificate expires is pretty packed and does not leave that many dates available for an extra trip.

So, I thought of just using it to get some more Delta miles (or Alaska miles) by flying to California and back. However, since I have been to California many times, I thought this might be a nice time to twist the trip up a bit to make it interesting.

THE IDEA: to fly to one airport and depart from another. The twist to such a trip is that I would run from my arrival airport to the departure airport. This would not only be a great time to enjoy a run a beautiful area, but it would also be an excellent way to meet fellow travel/running enthusiasts. This would definitely have to be one of the most unique ways to spend a layover (technically, it is not a layover but will have me on the ground about the same time as a longer layover).

Most unique Meetup

A map of a potential route and airport selection – Los Angeles to Long Beach.

Help Me!


Even if you are not able to run with me on this trip, I still need your help and input towards the planning of a route! Google Maps gives some very good pedestrian directions but it does not compare to first-hand knowledge. If any of you live in the areas near some California airports, I would appreciate any feedback you can give in regards to roads that I could run on, roads that I should not run on, roads that have places along the road where I can get water, and anything else that I could use to sketch this out.


Here are the airports that I am considering (to reduce the connections, LAX or SFO have to be one of the airports):

  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • Long Beach (LGB)
  • John Wayne Airport (SNA)
  • Bob Hope Airport (BUR)
  • San Jose (SJC)
  • Oakland (OAK)


I will be flying out and back the same day so cannot do anything longer than 40 miles (though the route from Long Beach to San Diego is definitely one I wish I could tackle!). I want to run at least a marathon (26.2 miles) and not longer than 40 miles. Some of the distances between airports are near 20 miles so I do not mind a more indirect route to get me to the 26.2 mile point.


I can only do this on May 8th or May 9th. I know, those are weekdays. Sorry, but I do not have any weekend days available. I know many will be at work, but hopefully we can meet during lunch hours or if you have a different shift. At the very least, maybe we can have a few people for the last couple of miles in the later afternoon/evening.

Running With Me

I can run 20+ miles anytime I want, so this is mostly about running with some of you. I would love to have people that are with me all along the way. This does not mean that I would expect any of you to accompany me the entire way, but it would be great to have people run different stretches of the route so that there is always at least a couple of us. If you can only run 1 mile, let me know and we can make it happen! For example, if any of you have layover at one of the airports, come on out for about 20 minutes to run!

If you want to hook up with me along the way, just let me know when and where and we can put it in a schedule. If you tell me if you are interested, I will set you up so you can track me along the way and know where I am at. In fact, I may actually put a map up on the blog so you can follow live on the run!

As far as pacing, I want to have the company so I will run whatever is comfortable for you. The only part would be if I do a run closer to 40 miles and only have 6 hours to do it in, I will have to keep a pretty steady pace. If I get a lot of people, I will obviously not schedule a route that would make the schedule be that tight.

Wide Open

I am just at the beginning stages of this so let me know if you have any interest in this type of meetup. I will gladly work routes out to even go by your place of business at your lunch time if that is what it takes to get some company! 🙂 I will need to book the trip in the next couple of weeks, so let me know soon what airports you feel would be best so I can at least get that down. Feel free to e-mail me – – or leave a comment below with suggestions.

I am sure that many of you have been to meetups before. I guarantee that this would be the most unique one you have been to! This will be a great time to share information, stories, and anything else while out on the great roads of California.

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.