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The mission of Run Wild Retreats is to offer transformational active wellness travel experiences that support women's overall health and well being.
Quick Facts About Run Wild Retreats
- Founded in 2010
- Owned and operated by Elinor Fish
- Employs 5 dynamite women
- Based in Carbondale, Colorado, USA
- Operates in six countries
- IATA-accredited travel company
- Member of the Adventure Travel Trade Association
- Member of the Transformational Travel Council
- Winner: 2019 SHAPE Magazine Healthy Travel Award
- Retreats are typically 4 or 7-day itineraries
- Retreats are for women only
- Group size ranges from 8 to 18 women
- Retreats are categorized level I (easiest) to level III (advanced).
- Daily runs range from 3 to 10 miles
WHAT MAKES A RETREAT DIFFERENT FROM A CAMP?
Running camps generally focus on workouts and coaching for building fitness and improving run performance. At Run Wild Retreats + Wellness, our focus is on building the foundation of health you need before you can safely and sustainably build fitness. That’s why our retreats are truly a retreat from your everyday routine and offer you a mental and physical break. That space allows you to slow down, tune in and rediscover what your body and heart are craving right now. Our retreats are enriching immersions that blend running, travel, adventure, education and community.
WHY ARE YOUR RETREATS WOMEN-ONLY?
Not only do women learn differently from men, they see the best results in a learning environment in which they feel comfortable, supported and free from judgement, which seems to work best with all-women groups. Plus, we spend a lot of time together, and part of what helps bring everyone together is sharing their stories, triumphs and struggles in their everyday lives. And when learning new things and traveling in new places, women have to overcome certain fears and self-perceptions that men generally do not.
WHY is mindful running a part of each retreat?
Since our priority is wellness over fitness, each retreat includes elements designed to infuse mindfulness throughout the retreat experience. This includes running clinics, wellness workshops and a style of leading our group runs that reinforces such mindfulness principles as:
- Self compassion: becoming aware of and changing negative self-talk
- Find more physical relaxation and flow in the running gait
- Breathing mindfully to deactivate the stress response
- Improve running efficiency as the foundation for building strength and speed
- Cultivating self-awareness of one’s stress levels and using mindful running to mitigate its effects on the body and mind
what should participants expect to gain?
By having an opportunity to get a “taste” of the mindful running experience at the retreat, participants can take home with them the tools they learned and continue practicing them to improve their stress management and run in a way that is sustainable over the long-term.
who comes on the retreats?
Most of our retreat participants are women from the U.S. and Canada between the ages of 30 and 65. They love to run as part of their healthy, active lifestyle. Many of them participate in running races, though for most, running is a recreational and/or social activity and competition is not their primary motivator. Many come to a retreat seeking more than an active vacation, rather, they see it as an investment in themselves and their wellbeing. They are driven, hard working and very giving. A retreat is their opportunity to replenish their energy and vitality.
WHAT DOES THE RETREAT LEADER DO?
The retreat leader plays a vital role throughout the retreat that is very distinct from that of the running guide. Nor is she a running coach.
While our locally based running guides are primarily responsible for clients’ safety on the trail, the retreat leader facilitates the entirety of the retreat experience.
It’s vital that our retreat participants feel included and supported, so the retreat leader provides specific mindful running techniques and tools to help the runners feel comfortable on the trails, which for many, is a new experience.
The retreat leader also leads a series of workshops through the retreat that suppor the runners’ transformational journey.
The adventure of traveling in a foreign place, running in a new environment and being with strangers offers retreat participants a unique opportunity to embark on an inner exploration as well as an external one.
For some, that may include facing certain challenges and working through them with the support of their fellow retreat participants and the retreat leader.
lastly, the retreat leader manages all of the retreat logistics so that the runner runners can relax and fully immerse themselves in the retreat experience.
Runners seek transformational travel experiences
The Adventure Travel Trade Association reports than more travelers are motivated to seek out experiences that will help them grow and learn something new. Is this true for runners, too? If so, what would such an experience look like?
Run Wild Retreats recognizes the increasing curiosity among runners for experiences that are less about running for performance, and instead are about personal growth and connection. But delivering on this promise is not easy. Here’s how Run Wild Retreats does it.
Mindful running helps active women better manage life stress
While running’s stress-reducing effects are well known, the science behind the health benefits of mindfulness are relatively new. But more and more runners are experiencing the power of running as a mindfulness practice for super-charging stress reduction and increasing overall well being and mental acuity.
Demand for women-only travel on the rise
According to travel industry experts, there has been a 230% increase in the demand for women-only travel experiences. As a result, there more travel companies than ever specializing in women-only tours. Many are women-owned and employ primarily women staff, including professional guides, as Run Wild Retreats does whenever possible.
And women-only travel itineraries don’t center around spas and soft adventures. Rather, a large number of itineraries feature active adventure and impactful experiences that leave a lasting impression on the women who take part.
Discerning travelers seek experiences that combine wellness with adventure
Both the Global Wellness Institute and Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) have identified that travel experiences combining adventure with wellness to be one of the travel industry’s fastest-growing segments, especially among women.
Wellness travel has historically referred to spa-based vacations, though that is changing as women are seeking vacations that combining active adventure with time for rest/recovery and personal development. The definition of “wellness” is expanding to include activities that help reduce stress and facilitate personal growth and learning.