Alpine Inns | Guided Trail Runs | Mindful Running | Mountains | Meadows | Gondolas
There’s something about running the mountains that feeds the soul. Perhaps it’s the grandeur of soaring peaks or the vastness of the landscape that can shift your perspective about things that are happening in your life. In a place like the Dolomites, those seemingly big problems become minuscule when compared to these vertical limestone mountains.
Run the trails of the Pale Mountains, as the Dolomites are known, a UNESCO World Heritage Site preserved for its stunning natural beauty with an amazing group of women who, like you, run because of how it makes them feel.
Every run will be completely different as we explore different natural parks within the Alta Badia region of the Dolomites. At times, we’ll use gondolas to access the valley’s upper elevations in order to maximize our rewards (and views!) while running sections of the area’s most famous trails, the Alta Via 1 and 2.
What to Expect
• Group trail runs of two to five hours with locally based Italian Guides
• Long uphill hikes and steep descents on established trails
• Trail running technique clinics
• Interactive Wellness Workshops
• Small group setting (8 – 12 women)
• Nourishing, traditional Italian meals
• Post-run refueling (with a glass of Italian wine, of course!)
• High-end hotels every night (no roughing it!)
• Amazing mountain views at every turn
• A supportive atmosphere, encouragement and camaraderie
Italian Dolomites Trail Running + Wellness Retreat ItineraryJuly 9 - 15, 2018
Day 1 | San Vigilio di Marebbe
We ask that you book your flight to arrive before noon, otherwise arrive the day before. We will rendez-vous at the Venice Marco Polo Airport at 1 p.m., then meet our driver for the 3.5-hour drive to San Vigilio di Marebbe. Arriving at around 4:30 p.m., we will check into our rooms and have some time to freshen up before we convene for the Official Retreat Opening Meet and Greet at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner. After dinner, one of our guides will give us a briefing about what to know about trail running in the Dolomites.
Overnight in San Vigilio di Marebbe.
No run today.
Day 2 | Passo Furcia to Plan de Corones
After breakfast at the hotel, we will meet for our first Wellness Workshop. Come to the workshop dressed to run, as immediately afterwards, we’ll begin an uphill 4.3-mile trek from San Vigilio to Passo Furcia. This steep-but-short run/hike is a thorough warm-up for the mountain runs we’ll do throughout the week. The distance is short, so we’ll take our time, stopping periodically to enjoy the views. From Passo Furcia, we’ll take the gondola to Plan de Corones, then you have the option to run back to San Vigilio or take the gondola and public transportation back to the hotel (there will be plenty more downhill running in the days to come). Upon return to our hotel in San Vigilio, enjoy some free time to explore the village before dinner. Overnight in San Vigilio di Marebbe.
Run: 4.3 miles ascent (1,870 feet elevation gain) with optional much longer descent.
Day 3 | San Vigilio to Corvara (Alta Via 1)
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll check out of our rooms and set aside the luggage for transfer to our next hotel. At 9 a.m., we’ll take a 15-minute bus ride to Pederü, where we’ll have our first trail running technique clinic, then begin an adventurous 9.6-mile point-to-point high alpine run along the Alta Via 1 trail through the Fanes Plateau. Most of our uphill gain is in the first 1.5 to 2 hours of today’s run, so we’ll hike sections of it until we reach the plateau’s gently rolling terrain. After descending a series of switchbacks, our run finishes in San Cassiano, where we can toast the day’s adventure with a gelato before riding the bus 35 minutes to our hotel in Corvara. We’ll arrive at mid-afternoon, at which time you are free to explore the village before dinner. Overnight in Corvara.
Run: 9.6 miles (2,460 feet of elevation gain + 2,130 elevation loss)
Day 4 | Corvara to Pralongia
After breakfast at the hotel, we walk a short distance from our hotel in Corvara to the gondola that will whisk us up to the Utia Col Alt, the starting point for today’s point-to-point run of 8.4 miles. Today’s run is at a lower elevation on relatively smooth footpaths, so we can gaze out at the mountains without having to watch the footing so closely. From the top of the Piz La Ila, we’ll enjoy a rolling route that takes us to Utia Pralongia before the long descent to Corvara, finishing at our hotel. After lunch in the village, enjoy some free time to explore the town or rest. We’ll reconvene for our second Wellness Workshop at 5 p.m., followed by dinner. Overnight in Corvara.
Run: 8.4 miles (1,575 feet elevation gain + 1,870 feet of loss)
Day 5 | Corvara to Val Gardena (Alta Via 2)
After breakfast, pack your luggage and set it aside for transfer to Val Gardena. From our hotel in Corvara, we’ll do a short warm-up run to the gondola for a 15-minute ride to the Jimmy Hutte, where we can grab an energizing espresso on the sun-soaked deck before starting today’s 9-mile run along the Alta Via 2 trail. This high-alpine singletrack trail takes us through a tree-less rocky landscape surrounded by limestone peaks. The last portion of today’s run is a beautiful descent through the Val Lungia along a trail that will take us straight to our hotel in Selva. After checking into our rooms, enjoy some free time to explore the village and relax before dinner. Overnight in Selva.
Run: 9 miles (2,950 feet elevation gain + 1,870 feet elevation loss)
Day 6 | Loop Run in Ortisei
Today’s run is shorter than yesterday’s, but be ready for a lot of downhill! After breakfast, we’ll board the bus and have a one-hour bus ride to Ortisei, where we take the gondola to Resciesa. Here we enjoy a run 7.7-mile loop that takes us back to the gondola for the return trip to Ortisei. After a 40-minute bus ride back to Selva, you’ll have some free time before our third and final Wellness Workshop before dinner. Overnight in Selva.
Run: 7.7 miles (985 feet elevation gain + 2,130 feet of loss)
Day 7 | Final Wrap Up and Departures from Venice
This morning we have an optional recovery run of about 3 or 4 miles along the valley floor (no big climbs today!), followed by breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m.. After breakfast, we’ll have our official Retreat Closing Meeting. After checking out of your hotel room and loading your luggage into the van, at 11 a.m. we board the van for our private transfer to the airport, arriving at the Venice Marco Polo Airport around 3:00 p.m.. From the airport, check in for your flight departure, or if you booked additional hotel nights in Venice, take a shuttle or taxi to your hotel.
Optional Run: 3 – 4 miles along valley floor
Transform Your Running
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 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.
What People Say
“Before the retreat, I had lost the “fun” element of the run since I was always working towards a specific race or goal. At the retreat, I found that running at my own speed with a group and in a different environment helped ease the ‘have to’ mentality. I was able to stop when I wanted, take pictures and enjoy it, when I normally would not have allowed myself to. Running this way, I wasn’t sore or tired any day of the retreat!”Carla R., Escondido, CA
“Before the retreat, I was constantly getting sick, missing training days, feeling generally crappy and stressed about my running schedule. The retreat taught me that I am a strong runner–stronger than I give myself credit for–and that I need to curb the negative self-talk and have more self-compassion.”Allison A., Oakland, CA
“I truly feel like a brand new runner! The incredible scenery, sights and sounds of this beautiful country were inspiring and an adventure I will never forget. Elinor Fish taught me a new understanding in mindful running, becoming more present and running more relaxed. She is passionate about what she teaches and her enthusiasm and encouragement was a great motivator, as well as the support from all the amazing ladies on this retreat. This experience has been the best of my life and I strongly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new adventure and new friendships!!!”Nicole K., Denville, N.J.
About Your Retreat Leader, Elinor Fish
Elinor Fish, CEO of Run Wild Retreats + Wellness, is a writer, speaker and mindful running pioneer whose mission is to educate, inspire and guide runners on a path to balanced health through mindfulness, stress reduction, natural running form, self-care and sustainable training practices.
Her personal health challenges fueled her commitment to support women’s journey of self discovery through running, travel and mindfulness. Since founding Run Wild Retreats + Wellness in 2010, the company has grown to offer premier trail running retreats in five countries.
Over her 18-year career in running and wellness, her articles, programs, workshops and retreats have helped thousands of runners make their running a mindfulness practice to reduce their stress and bring their best selves to their roles as parents, professionals, caregivers and leaders. Elinor’s work and ideas have been featured in major running, outdoor and active lifestyle magazines across the country including Runner’s World, Yoga Journal, Women’s Health, Los Angeles Times, Outside and many more.
The Dolomites, also known as the “Pale Mountains,”, are a mountain range in the northern Italian Alps covering an area that is shared by the provinces of Belluno, Bolzano, Trento, Udine, and Pordenone. The Dolomite region is characterized by jagged peaks and ridges with scenic valleys nestled in between. The Dolomites is comprised of several natural parks and protected areas that collectively became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009 to officially recognize it as “among one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes in the world.”
Our runs take place generally between 4,500 feet and 9,500 in elevation on well-established trails. All runners–not only those coming from sea level–find it necessary to adjust their running pace to account for the elevation. We have accounted for this slower pace in our allotted run times, giving you plenty of time to run and hike at the speed that suits you best.
July is the warmest month of the year here, with daytime temperatures usually between 50 and 70 degrees. However, since we’re in the mountains, weather can change rapidly, so we’ll want to have light rain jackets with us in case of some precipitation.
We’ll dine daily on traditional Ladin/Italian dishes that showcases the Italian’s passion for fresh, delicious food. Some local favorites include Tris di Canederli (three different flavors of farm-style dumplings), speck, a type of cured ham similar to prosciutto specific to South Tyrol, polenta, the “bread of the Dolomites,” and of course, apfelstrudel, an Italian-style apple strudel. Even though menus are heavy on breads, pastas and meat, gluten free and vegetarians will find satisfying alternatives.
Local residents speak different languages: German is spoken in the north and northwest; Italian in the south; and Ladin in the central area – in the four valleys that branch off the Sella Massif (Val di Fassa, Val Gardena, Val Badia and Livinallongo) – and in Ampezzo. For this reason, you’ll notice the villages, mountains and other landmarks have three or more different names.
Your 7-Day, 6-Night Retreat Includes:July 9-15, 2018
• Six nights’ accommodation in three- and four-star hotels
• Daily breakfasts and dinners
• Some lunches
• Daily trail runs with professional guides and retreat leader
• Private van transportation to/from the Venice Marco Polo Airport
• Wellness Workshops with Elinor
• Trail Running technique clinics with Elinor
• Trail snacks/energy food
• Lifts, gondolas and ground transportation to trails
• Luggage transfer between hotels
• Run Wild Retreats souvenirs
• Introduction to Mindful Running online course
• Comprehensive Retreat Planning Guide
*We will match you with a roommate if you are traveling alone and choose a double occupancy room.
|Max. Retreat Group Size:|
|Price Per Person* (Double Occupancy Rooms):|
|Price Per Person (Single Occupancy Rooms):|
July 9 - 15, 2018
Save 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 4 to 5 hours (including hiking sections, water breaks and photo ops).
- You have some experience running on trails.
- You’re OK with running/hiking on trails with loose dirt, rocks and some muddy sections.
- You’re comfortable on high and exposed, and at times narrow, trails.
- You’re game for running in the rain (don’t worry about what to wear; we provide you with a comprehensive packing list).
- You don’t mind sharing a room (single travelers are matched with roommates).
- You have (or are willing to acquire before the retreat) trail running shoes.
Is trail running experience necessary?
This retreat is best suited to runners with trail running experience, who are in good health and can run at least 13 miles on the road. These runs take place at a relaxed pace, with plenty of stops to soak up the view, take photos, eat and drink from your hydration pack. Our professional mountain guides ensure your safety and comfort as you move through this mountainous terrain. Expect steep uphills and downhills each day of running. You may choose to skip runs if you feel the need, though run distances cannot be shortened in most cases.
What are the accommodations like?
The retreat package included double occupancy rooms (two beds) in three- and four-star hotels. All of the hotels include private bathrooms, free wifi, on-site restaurants and other amenities. You may request a roommate (if you are traveling with a friend), otherwise we will pair you with another solo traveler. We spend two nights in each hotel, and rotate roommate assignments.
How should I plan my travel?
Included in the retreat package is transportation for the group from the Venice Marco Polo Airport departing at 12 p.m. on July 9 (Day 1 of the retreat). Therefore, please schedule a flight that arrives the morning of July 9th or earlier. If you are arriving on July 8th, contact a retreat travel specialist for assistance with booking a hotel in Venice.
On the last day of the retreat, July 15, you will be dropped off at the Venice Marco Polo Airport at 3 p.m., so book your flight departure accordingly.
Note: you are welcome to fly in and out of a different airport of your choosing, however, you will be responsible for the cost and arrangement of your own transportation from that airport to and from Val Badia.