Castles | Cliffs | Guided Trail Runs | Irish Pubs | Wellness Workshops | Natural Running Clinics | Charming Hotels
A women’s trail running and wellness retreat on the Emerald Isle
Nothing helps you reconnect with what drives you as a runner and in life like exploring a foreign land, where every sight and sound is new and stimulating. At this women’s running and wellness retreat in Ireland, you’ll free yourself from the routine of daily life while enjoying the exhilaration of running the Emerald Isle’s most stunning and famous trails like The Wicklow Way, Valley of Glendalough, Cliffs of Moher and Killarney National Park.
You don’t need any trail running experience to participate in this retreat!
This fully guided running retreat will take you through Ireland’s most stunning natural landscapes, fascinating historic sites and off-the-beaten path trails and hidden gems that only our locally based guides know about. Freed from the burden of having to think about navigating, planning meals or taking care of others, you are able to focus fully on your self and your well-being.
September 16 – 22, 2018
What You Learn:
Train Smarter not Harder
Run Trails Better
Find More Flow in Running and Life
Ireland Running + Wellness Retreat ItinerarySeptember 15 - 21, 2019
Day 1 | Glendalough
Our retreat begins in Dublin City, where we’ll pick you up at a central location at 1 p.m. and drive 75 minutes south to County Wicklow, where our retreat program begins. Upon arrival, we’ll check into our rooms at a family owned hotel nestled in the wooded valley of Glendalough. You’ll have some time to change your clothes before we gather for our Official Retreat Opening Meet + Greet, after which we’ll head outside for a relaxed, refreshing 4-mile shake-out run. We will run past the famous round tower and the ruins of a 12th-century cathedral, then along the boardwalk leading to Upper Glendalough Lake. After our run, you’ll have some free time to freshen up before dinner at the Glendalough Hotel.
Run: 4 miles, 0 elevation gain/loss
Day 2 | The Wicklow Way
After breakfast, we’ll drive about 25 minutes to the trail head at Crones, where we’ll have our first Natural Running Form Clinic to warm up before starting our 8-mile point-to-point run along a spectacular and scenic stretch of The Wicklow Way. Starting on a wooded trail, we’ll gradually ascend through fields of vibrant purple heather bushes to the high country, where we’ll enjoy views of the Irish Sea and Lough Dan before descending to the Valley of Glendalough. We’ll warm up with a hot buffet lunch at the cozy, historic Lynham’s Pub in the village of Laragh, then have some free time before our first of three Wellness Workshops at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at the famous Wicklow Heather restaurant.
Run: 8 miles
Day 3 | The Wild Atlantic Way
After enjoying an breakfast, we’ll begin our morning run right from the hotel and that overlooks the scenic lakes in the Glendalough Valley and loops around past Poulnass Waterfall. After a late checkout and casual lunch, we drive 3.5 hours across the country to the West Coast, and settle into our hotel in Ennistymon for the evening.
Run: 7 miles, 1200 feet elevation gain/loss
Day 4 | The Cliffs of Moher
After breakfast, we’ll check out of the hotel take a 20-minute drive to the starting point of today’s run along the section of coast known as The Wild Atlantic Way. This point-to-point run along a grassy and gravel coastal path that takes us to the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most visited and iconic natural features.we’ll begin today’s 8-mile run along the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most photographed coastlines. We finish in the quaint village of Doolin, a noted center of traditional Irish music and have lunch in a traditional Irish pub. Then it’s a 3.5-hour drive south to County Kerry, where we’ll check into The Lake Hotel, where we’ll stay for the next three nights.
Run: 8 miles, slight rolling terrain
Day 5 | Gap of Dunloe
After breakfast, we have a 25-minute drive to Kate Kearney’s Cottage at the mouth of the Gap of Dunloe, a narrow mountain pass forged between the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Purple Mountain. Today’s run is a relatively easy and relaxed 11-mile run on an historic unpaved road that we’ll share with hikers and horse-drawn carriages (colloquially called “jaunting cars”). We’ll run through Ireland’s most beautiful mountain valleys, home to pristine lakes. From the run’s end, we have a short transfer to our hotel in nearby Killarney, where you can freshen up and enjoy some time this afternoon to explore the historic village before our second Wellness Workshop followed by dinner.
Run: 11 miles, 900 feet elevation gain, 1,000 feet of loss
Day 6 | The Waterfall Run
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll have our third and final Natural Running Clinic, then start The Waterfall Run, which takes us approximately 10 miles along a route dotted with waterfalls. Starting in Killarney National Park at Galway’s Bridge, we’ll run Old Kenmare Road one of the most scenic and historic roads along the Ring of Kerry, which crosses through the Esknamucky Glen, a narrow pass between Cromaglan Mountain and Stumpacommeen high in the mountains. Near the run’s end, we pass Torc Waterfall and the ruins of Muckross Abbey, ending the run at The Lake Hotel. This afternoon, you’ll enjoy some free time to have lunch on your own, explore Killarney before our Wellness Workshop at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner in downtown Killarney.
Run: 10 miles
Day 7 | Muckross Run and Back to Dublin
This morning, you’ll have the option to participate in an early pre-breakfast run from the hotel. After breakfast, we’ll have our Official Retreat Closing Meeting and take a moment to reflect on the week’s experiences. At 11:30 a.m., we’ll check out of our rooms and board the bus one final time for the return trip to Dublin. We’ll arrive in the city at around 4 p.m., where we say our final goodbyes before our final departures.
Optional run: 3 miles
Transform Your RunningWellness Workshops led by Heather Lee
Learn not only how to run more consistently, with more ease and flow, but also reconnect with how running feeds your SOUL. During the retreat’s wellness workshops, we’ll explore what it exactly you need to breathe new life into your running and daily life. Don’t have a running routine? No problem! After our week together in Iceland applying the principles of mindful running, you’ll return home with a renewed love of running, sky-high confidence in your ability to pursue lofty dreams and goals, and brimming with energy and vitality.
WELLNESS WORKSHOP – Part I
Where does your energy go? Do you ever feel too tired to run? Do you ever feel so overwhelmed at the prospect of starting a training plan that you give up before you’ve begun? Do you want to run with others but fear you won’t be able to keep up or be the slowest in the group? Do your long runs or hard workouts so wiped out that you’re pretty much useless the rest of the day? Discover what feeds your energy and what depletes your energy and how to stop the energy leaks.
WELLNESS WORKSHOP – Part II
How well does running fit into your life? How often do you lack time to run, feel you should be running more, or feel guilty when you do “slip out” for a run. Reclaim your right to put your self-care at the top of your priority list. Discover how time it actually takes to develop the fitness you need to reach your goals without risking overtraining, under-recovering or cutting into your other obligations like family time or work. Using the tools we provide, you’ll design your own mindful running practice that will allow you to fulfill your goals and run with confidence.
WELLNESS WORKSHOP – Part III
Create goals with soul. Fearlessly step into your highest potential. No, this doesn’t mean becoming a super athlete (who needs that kind of pressure?!). Rather, our mindful intention-setting exercises allows you to bravely become the runner (and woman) you want to be on your OWN terms. Forget trying to fit into society’s, the media’s or your running partners’ idea of what it means to be runner and be the runner you know you already are.
About Your Retreat Leader
Heather Lee of Boulder, Colorado, is a trail runner and highly inspirational Women’s Mind/Body Wellness and Longevity Lifestyling Coach who leads several retreats a year for Run Wild Retreats + Wellness. She has spent the last 25 years developing and facilitating dynamic and transformational retreats designed exclusively for women’s lives and life transitions. Heather is a masters-level mental health professional with advanced training in mind/body medicine from the Harvard Mind/Body Medical Institute and is the past Director of the Mind/Body Medicine and Women’s Health Education programs at The University of Virginia Medical Center. Her forthcoming book: Run. A Way With Your Problems, inspires women in using running as “lifestyle medicine” for balancing emotional well-being. When Heather isn’t leading retreats she is trail running and maximizing her “midlife mojo.”
Located in the Northern Atlantic, Ireland’s vast landscape is characterized by agricultural lowlands, hills, lakes and bogs surrounded by coastal mountains. Known as the Emerald Isle for its lush vegetation, this is a diverse island of extraordinary natural beauty and has a deep artistic and historical heritage.
The weather in Ireland is mild and ideal for trail running, as the country typically avoids the extreme temperature fluctuations. In September, the temperatures are typically between 48 and 55 degrees. We undoubtedly will encounter wind and some rain, however. For this reason, we recommend carrying a light wind/rain shell jacket on every run.
We spend most of our time at sea level, so elevation is not a factor in this retreat. A couple of our runs do take us into the “mountains” though these are low mountains that take us no more than a few hundred feet above sea level.
The trails we’re running are well-established, and some have been in use for millennia. The trail surfaces include dirt road, wide dirt pathways, singletrack trail and boardwalks (to traverse the shoe-sucking mud bogs!).
The traditional gastronomy, influenced by the crops grown and animals farmed in the island’s temperate climate and historical influences, is made up of meat, salted butter and potatoes. More recently, a “New Irish Cuisine” has emerged, featuring fresh vegetables, fish, traditional soda breads and a wide range of cheeses, locally made on the island. Traditional Irish Pubs, filled with Irish music, memorabilia and tavern-like warmness are an outpost of Irish culture, and popular among visitors to the island.
Your 7-Day, 6-Night Retreat Package Includes:September 15-21, 2019
• Daily breakfasts and dinners, some lunches
• Daily guided runs with local runners and retreat leader
• Ground transportation and luggage transfers
• Drop off at Dublin International Airport
• Wellness Workshops
• Natural Running Form Clinics
• Introduction to Mindful Running Program
• Guided tour of Ross Castle
• Trail snacks/energy food and drinks
• Run Wild Retreats gift bag
• Retreat Planning Guide
|Package Per Person (Shared Room):|
|Package Per Person (Private Room):|
*See below for more details about this retreat’s running level.
September 16 - 22, 2018Sorry, this retreat is no longer available.
September 15 - 21, 2019Save your spot with a deposit of $900
This Retreat is Right for You If:
- You’re comfortable running/hiking six days in a row. Our shortest run is 30 minutes, but most are around 2 to 3 hours (including hiking sections, water breaks and photo ops).
- You’re OK with running/hiking on trails with loose dirt, rocks and some muddy sections.
- You’re game for running in the rain (don’t worry about what to wear; we provide you with a comprehensive packing list).
- You have (or are willing to acquire before the retreat) trail running shoes.
What are the accommodations like?
How should I plan my travel?
On Day 7, you may choose to be dropped off at the Dublin International Airport at 4:00 p.m., or in the Dublin city center.