Well, it’s been a minute! I’d planned to write this wrap up on the first ever Runner 2 Mumma running retreat right after it was held, but COVID-19 took all the attention away. Literally the week after the first retreat was held, we all went into lockdown!
This retreat started out as a crazy dream and with some encouragement from my best friend Mandz, I decided to go for it. I wanted to create a space where women could connect, with themselves and other like minded women, spend a weekend running, eating hearty and healthy food and enjoy a wine or two if they pleased.
As this was the first retreat, I put the call out to some friends, including school friends I hadn’t seen since I left high school to see if they would be interested. I was overwhelmed by the response and support.
Everyone arrived Friday afternoon and evening, settled in, grabbed some food, introduced themselves and had a glass or 2 of wine. I was SO pumped as everyone was arriving, as I said previously, a few of these women I hadn’t seen since high school and it was pretty incredible to pick up where we left off! A lot of these women didn’t know each other – but very quickly we all become good friends.
A few of the guests who arrived earlier headed off to the beach (myself included), instead of the optional shakeout run we walked and climbed some sand dunes. A very important intention of mine for this retreat was for it to be flexible and for everyone to do what they were comfortable with and not feel forced into completing any activities they didn’t want to. It was nice to see this optional shake-out run morph into a very fun, albeit windy beach walk and sand dune climb!
Friday night was very chilled with a relaxing dinner – I made my Asian Tofu salad (all the food was made by me and designed to be hearty, soul food and easy to share). We cracked a few bottles of wine and got into the opening ceremony! We set some intentions for what we wanted to get out of the weekend and I handed out the gift bags. The connections made around that table that evening were incredible – we opened up about goals and obstacles relating not only to running, but also life in general.
Saturday morning started with a run around the trails in Cudmirrah. It was muddy and fun! The group split up in two, with those who wanted a more relaxed pace and to walk coming together, and those who wanted to go a bit further sticking together. Having never actually run the trails myself, it was an adventure for us all.
Approx run distance: 5.05 km
We headed back to the house to have some breakfast and showers and most importantly, coffee! After everyone was fed and refreshed we had our first yoga session with Jessmyn. Jessmyn has been a friend of mine since primary school and it was such an amazing experience being a pupil in one of her yoga classes. She has truly found her gift in teaching yoga!
For lunch I made a huge roast veggie and brown rice salad with nuts and seeds. Again, something wholesome and hearty that would see us through for the afternoon session.
I scheduled some free time after this and a few of the guests took the opportunity to go and check out the beach and chill out. We then moved into the gratitude and goal setting workshop where I had all the guests participate in an exercise of drawing one of their running goals to help them visualise the end result. This was hilarious – I was impressed by some of the girls drawing skills!
We then moved into more free time. I wanted to ensure the weekend was the right mix of relaxing down time and structured activities. After some down time (including some well earned naps) we headed out for another run – along the coastline of Cudmirrah. It was a moody afternoon but that didn’t dampen our spirits. There were many laughs along that run. It was also eye opening to see just how extensive the fires were in this area as we saw so much burnt bush right up to the edge of the coastline.
Approx run distance: 4.80 km
We headed home for some platters and wine – well earned I say! That evening, I made roasted cauliflower burritos with purple cabbage slaw. I then put on the movie “Brittany Runs a Marathon” and we all chilled out drinking wine, talking and enjoying a great movie.
Sunday morning – the last hoorah before everyone made the long journey back to their respective homes. Another easy run, some girls decided they were just going to hang at home have some breakfast and get ready for the long drive home.
Approx run distance: 4.25km
We then headed back for breakfast and the final yoga session with Jessmyn before wrapping up and saying our goodbyes.
The connections made over this weekend and the laughs shared are something I will treasure for my lifetime. Our gratitude for the weekend shared together was further cemented by heading home and being in lockdown thanks to COVID-19. We were very lucky to get that experience!
A huge shoutout to Jessmyn for bringing her amazing yoga experience and all of my amazing guests – Courtney, Kiera, Emma, Sinoma and Naomi. You all put your faith in me and I appreciate your support and believing in me!
I have been thinking about the next retreat and with COVID-19 still raging it will look a little different but it’s doable! Each guest will be responsible for organising their own accommodation – as much as I think staying together adds to the experience in the current environment it’s too much of a risk and your health and wellbeing is the most important thing!
The next retreat is to be held on Saturday 19 September – Sunday 20 September 2020 in Mudgee, NSW.
A huge thank you to the retreat supporters: