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The sound of laughter drifted through the screen door with the filtered light of the sun setting over the Vermont mountains. I paused to take it all in. Everything that was going on in that moment was the kind of thing that you hope for, you plan for, but you can’t force. What I heard and saw were the beginnings of friendship.
In 2014 on a road trip through Georgia, my friend Jesica and I hatched the plan for an all-women’s running retreat. Running had brought us together and we believed it could do the same for others. There’s something special that happens when you bring women together and run—through the sweat and miles we share our unfiltered selves, laying the foundation for self-discovery and friendship. With that idea, Rise.Run.Retreat. was born.
As we said goodbye to our first group of attendees and packed our bags to head home after the first annual Rise.Run.Retreat. in October 2015, we knew we had something special. The beauty of Rise.Run.Retreat. is the small numbers and the intimacy that provides. Limited to just a dozen participants, everyone feels included and the connections are deep and authentic. The women who have attended over the past few years have remained connected—what started with the commonality of running has extended beyond that into other areas of each other’s lives.
Beyond the friendships, the retreat features inspirational guest speakers and presentations relevant to running that include nutrition and cross-training specific to female runners. Group runs and unstructured down-time allow for meaningful conversations and fun, and each participant walks away with a swag-bag to die for. All set against a gorgeous backdrop: Rise.Run.Retreat. has been hosted on the Beach in Maine, in the Green Mountains of Vermont and this year, on the shores of iconic Lake Winnipesauke in New Hampshire.
Each year, I am amazed by the deep friendships that form and the ah-ha moments that are had by each woman who attends the retreat. It’s more than just a getaway, Rise.Run.Retreat. can be life changing—in the least it has changed mine.
For more information about Rise.Run.Retreat. 2017 visit the website riserunretreat.com.