When you’re sitting in traffic, sipping your morning coffee, and dreading your commute to work, think of Thurmond Alford.
Since 2012, Alford, 44, has traveled 220 miles (seven hours total), going through three major cities, nine different counties, and passing three large rivers almost every weekday for narly 12 years.
Not for any special occasion or life-threatening circumstance, but as part of his daily work commute.
Travel: Thurmond Alford, 44, (photographed) has traveled 220 miles (seven hours total) almost every weekday for nearly 12 years
Family: Thurmond said he decided to take on the long commute because everyone he loves is in Richmond, VA
Support: Alford said he doesn’t mind the commute, because his family support him
Alford lives in Virginia’s Chesterfield County, but works in Washington D.C. at the U.S. Department of Justice. This calls for a 3 1/2 hour commute to and from work each day — a total of seven hours.
Alford was offered his ‘dream job’ in 2002 which paid three times what he had been making, Alford told CBS News. There was no doubt that Alford would take the job, he said, but his family and everyone he loves is in Richmond, VA.
So, there was only one thing to do: make the seven-hour commute each day for the sake of his family.
Alford told WTVR that he’s put 27,000 miles on his 2014 Mazda 6 in just seven months.
He spends almost $45 every three days for gas, he gets an approximately $70 oil change every two weeks, and a $40 tire rotation every month to keep his car in good shape, according to Richmond BizSense.
‘Every two weeks I was changing oil,’ Alford told CBS News. ‘The guy at Jiffy Lube, he knew my first name. He knew my football team.’
But, Alford only uses his car to drive part of the commute, getting a carpool ride to the D.C. Metro.
‘Everybody has a monkey on their back– an issue they have to deal with,’ he told WTVR. ‘My issue is my commute, and I accept it.’
It isn’t all bad though, Alford says the long commute is worth it because it means he is able to stay close to his family.’
‘It’s all about family, if you don’t have family, what are you going to do?’ Alford told CBS.
Morning: Alford’s commute begins in the morning at 4am and he arrives at the U.S. Department of Justice at around 7.30am
Trains: Alford drives 80 miles to a parking lot outside of Fredericksburg, he then rides with a friend to another parking lot in Arlington, from there, he takes two trains to downtown Washington
In May, Alford was chosen by Washington Radio station WTOP 103.5 FM as the winner of its ‘Commuter Idle’ contest for his grueling commute.
As a prize, Alford won a limo ride to and from work one day and $1,000 for gas, BizSense reports. The DOJ reimburses Alford for his Metro cards.
Alford’s commute begins around 4am each weekday and the father-of-two arrives at the DOJ around 7.30am.
Alford drives 80 miles to a parking lot outside of Fredericksburg, he then rides with a friend to another parking lot in Arlington, from there, he takes two trains to downtown Washington.
Alford told BizSense that once his commute home took six hours due to a traffic jam.
And you thought your commute was bad?
Dream Job: Alford described his position at the U.S. Department of Justice as his ‘dream job’