January 17 2018
Renee DeMarsh thrives on extreme physical challenges. She'll soon participate in the 2018 World Marathon Challenge.
In a committed relationship with running and ready to take things to the next level? It’s time to take a running retreat! Running retreats offer fantastic getaway running experiences for runners of all abilities. They typically include a bunch of time for running, plentiful activities such as yoga or hiking, relaxation time, training education and advice, and an entire weekend filled with runner-approved fun.
Over the last couple of years, I have had the opportunity to attend two completely different–yet completely wonderful–running retreats: the Kara Goucher Podium Retreat and the Wilder Running & Writing Retreat (with former pro Lauren Fleshman). I chose to attend each retreat for different reasons and came away from both refreshed and eager to keep running.
Runners of all abilities can benefit from a running retreat–not just the super serious or the super fast! Anyone looking to develop their running abilities, engage with a like-minded community and indulge in a weekend away from responsibility will enjoy a retreat.
Kara Goucher is a beloved name among female distance runners (and non-runners, too!) She is humble and thoughtful of her guests’ experiences, and it shows. Retreat attendees receive a weekend filled with running, expert advice and workshops with Goucher’s personal coaches and trainers, swag bags filled with runner goodies and luxury hotel digs in Boulder, Colo.
I attended an early iteration of the podium retreat, which was held in Goucher’s original stomping grounds in northern Minnesota and included a weekend filled with running, relaxation and delicious food. I assumed I would enjoy a weekend away from home focused on running but was unprepared for such a nourishing experience, both in body and mind. I knew then and there that the retreat experience needed to be had by all running lovers.
Lauren Fleshman is another powerhouse in women’s running, and her retreat is equally important. The Wilder Running & Writing Retreat is for runners and writers of all levels who wish to actively pursue both passions. The collection of teachers and instructors for the retreat’s various activities focusing on writing and mindfulness is nothing short of incredible. Attendees are treated to unique, Pacific Northwest accommodations near Sisters, Ore. and will leave feeling inspired to run, write and live.
I was honored to attend the Wilder Retreat as both a longtime writer and an enthusiastic runner, and was eager to learn how to blend both pursuits. The retreat was powerful and provided me a safe space to process ideas, think creatively and explore those things through the activity I love most: running! There were also dozens of opportunities to meet other runners and writers, do yoga, swim, hike, meditate and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
There are dozens of running retreats out there for runners of all levels and interests. Here is a short sampling of retreats you may want to investigate:
Take a trip to beautiful Mammoth, Calif. to train with Olympian Deena Kastor. The retreat includes luxury accommodations, incredible running views and a pampered runner experience.
Head southwest for a sunny stay in Flagstaff, Ariz. with professional runners Ben and Stephanie Bruce. The training camp includes running, feasting and getting the most out of your body, regardless of your fitness level.
Try something different and join Sarah C. (of Run Far Girl) in New England for an intimate retreat experience. The retreat includes running, relaxing, learning and community building among other female runners.
Skip the big names and head to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina for a Zap Fitness Adult Running Vacation. Packages include four-day or single-week stays filled with expert guest speakers, running, relaxing and more on a variety of focused topics, such as outdoor adventures and the marathon.