Chesterfield man describes his 7-hour work commute

Posted at 10:41 AM, Jun 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-20 10:41:26-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – Next time you’re stuck in rush hour traffic and your blood pressure starts to rise, take a breath and think of Thurmond Alford.

Alford lives in Chesterfield County, but works at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. That calls for a 3½-hour commute of more than 120 miles. And that’s just one way.

Alford said he’s put 27,000 miles on his 2014 Mazda 6 in just seven months, and he only drives part of the way before hitching a carpool ride and taking the D.C. Metro.

“If I make all the right connections at all the right times, it’s 3½ hours,” Alford said. “I literally go through 11 counties, cross four rivers and three major cities.”

Alford’s commute is so hellish he was chosen last month by Washington radio station WTOP 103.5 FM as the winner of its “Commuter Idle,” a contest for “listeners experiencing the daily horrors of commuting in and around Washington,” the station said.

As a prize, Alford got a limo ride to and from work one day and $1,000 for gas.

Alford, 44, is surprisingly upbeat for someone who has been on the road seven hours a day for 12 years.

“Everybody has a monkey on their back– an issue they have to deal with,” he said. “My issue is my commute, and I accept it.”

Click here to read an hour-by-hour breakdown of Alford’s commute on