AMR Women’s Running Retreat: Join Us in Spokane, Washington!

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Badas$ mother runner, we cordially invite you and your best running friends to join us for our 2017 AMR Retreat: Run + Refresh. Whether you want to rev your engine at a challenging race, release your body with foam rolling, hone healthy eating habits, or befriend a bevy of other BAMRs, you will be delighted by the extended-weekend’s offerings.

Insert yourself here (along the banks of the Spokane River with an amazing group of women runners!)
Insert yourself here (along the banks of the Spokane River with an amazing group of women runners!)

Like last year, we are convening in Spokane, Washington, at the Hotel RL by Red Lion Spokane at the Park. (The name’s a mouthful, but the property is lovely and relaxing, ideally situated right on the running path!) The friendly, informative fun starts on Thursday, September 21 and wraps up on Sunday, September 24. We’ll run, gab, laugh, eat tasty food, drink craft beer, sleep on luxurious beds, share racing advice, showcase how to decrease the risk of running injuries (and banish those niggling aches and pains!) and increase your speed, impart nutritional wisdom, and reinvigorate your passion for our beloved sport.

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And—AND—we will be taking part in Happy Girls Spokane, an amazing all-women’s race that serves up 5K, 10K, and 13.1 options (with SBS emcee’ing!). The race will be the culmination of a Train Like a Mother Club program so we all get to celebrate the finish line together, in person, after getting to know each other through a private Facebook page for Retreat participants.

Picture yourself here in September, fresh off a foam rolling session with scores of your new best running friends!
Picture yourself here in September, fresh off a foam rolling session with scores of your new best running friends!

We're going to let 2016 Retreaters chime in (their quotes are sprinkled throughout this page), but here’s the sweetened, condensed version of our 2017 women's running retreat: Our goal is for you to leave the AMR Retreat feeling refreshed, inspired, informed, connected, supported, and fired up for many more miles.

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A Few FAQs

Some Q+A's to break down the details into bite-size pieces.

When is the Retreat? September 21-24, 2017.

Where is it?In Spokane, Washington, a charming small city/big town in eastern Washington situated along the banks of the Spokane River surrounded by towering evergreens and sweeping valley vistas. The Hotel RL by Red Lion Spokane at the Park, overlooking the river, will be our base camp for the Retreat.

What level runner do I have to be to attend? Newbies to ultra-marathoners are all welcome. In order to get the most out of the Retreat, it will be helpful if you can cover 3 miles in run/walk intervals, regardless of pace.

SBS (royal blue/patterned tee, center) and an informal posse on a group run the first morning of 2016 Retreat. Laughs already being shared.
SBS (blue patterned tee, center) and an informal posse on a group run the first morning of 2016 Retreat. Laughs already being shared.

What does the schedule look like? The Happy Girls race is the cornerstone of the Retreat, so we’re planning around that Saturday morning race. Check out the complete schedule of our 2016 Retreat in a nifty PDF; we'll have a 2017 schedule finalized soon. In the meantime, here's a rundown:

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We’ll kick things off Thursday afternoon with two educational sessions, then an evening party to get to know each other a bit AND do a live recording of the AMR podcast!

Friday morning will start with a shake-out run (2-5 miles on the lovely riverside path that runs pas the hotel) and a scrumptious breakfast buffet (the first of three for the weekend), followed by educational sessions with experts who get the mother running lifestyle and concerns. Friday afternoon will feature get-you-fired-up-and-informed talks that are focused on racing wisely; Dimity will co-lead one with coach MK Fleming, and Sarah will tag-team with coach Amanda Loudin for the other.

Raring to go: Happy Girls indeed!
Raring to go: Happy Girls indeed!

Saturday morning will be the race (and celebration!), followed (most likely--still TBD) by a group yoga session and some optional info sessions (and, yes, some R&R—maybe poolside, if weather permits). If you’re so inclined, we’ll check out a few fun boutiques and stores in downtown Spokane, a short walk across a bridge. Both Friday and Saturday nights will be delicious, friendship-forming dinners, and Sunday morning we’ll wrap up our weekend with a celebratory group brunch.

Joining us are:
Ellie Kempton, the gracious, insightful nutritionist from the Train Like a Mother Club, who will help Retreaters develop simple nutritional habits for sustained health and vitality.

Coach Mary-Katherine “MK” Fleming, the fast-talking coach who spearheads the TLAM Club heart-rate training programs.

Amanda Loudin, the TLAM Club coach of traditional programs and occasional AMR podcast co-host. Amanda is also a freelance writer whose work often appears in the Washington Post, Runner's World, and other publications.

A TriggerPoint Therapy Master Trainer (at our 2016 Retreat, it was a charming, witty, savvy fellow named Jess) who will show you how to roll and release like a pro.

This is truly a dream team of experts. Whether you cover a mile in 14 minutes or half that time, your running—and your life—will benefit greatly by hanging around these inspirational, insightful folks for a weekend.

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I'm a new runner. Will I fit in? Absolutely: You'll leave with a bunch of BRFs from around the country (and possibly the globe) who will virtually cheer you on through your upcoming miles and races!

I've run countless marathons. What will I get out of it? Along with the aforementioned BRFs (because you can never have too many!), you’ll learn from sessions on training schedules, injury prevention, fueling for running (and life!), racing, and living, and goal setting will add to your running arsenal.

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Do I have to be a mother to be a part of the Retreat? Not at all (and thanks for asking!): All women runners are welcome. Nothing mother-specific about the Retreat (except for the name of our brand!).

What’s up with Train Like a Mother Club program being incorporated into the build-up of the Retreat? First off, it’s up to Retreat’ers whether or not they participate in a Train Like a Mother Club program pre-Retreat.

I live in Spokane (or nearby). Can I come?You betcha. We welcome locals and out-of-towners alike.

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Should I attend solo?Um, do we sweat when we run? Yes, yes, yes, attend solo! Promise, you'll have an army of running buddies within the first mile—or actually, first hours, as we already have some introductory games planned (pack your creativity!). You'll also have the opportunity to enjoy some much needed quiet in your room, by the pool, or exploring downtown Spokane.

What if I want to come with my BRF? We've got you covered, and have options for rooms with double beds or a king-size bed if you care to spoon. And if you want to attend solo, the Retreat's private Facebook page can help you find a roomie to cut the cost of hotel. Here's the Retreat registration page, if you want to jump on signing up!

What if I want to come with my posse of BRFs—and pretend this is a non-stop slumber party? Pack your PJ’s and bring 'em! The hotel has rooms with two queen beds in them.

Stunningly scenic Spokane
Stunningly scenic Spokane

And if I attend with just me, myself, and I, can I get a roommate? Yes: Hold off on booking a room. Within 48 hours of registering for Retreat, you'll get invited to private Facebook group for Retreat. You can then post you are looking for a roomie; you should be able to find one pretty easily. We can help if you don't get any takers after a week or so. Once you find a roomie, book your room at Hotel RL.

The course is demanding, but you'll have badass new BRFs to propel you forward! (Long-armed Dimity might even help propel you uphill!)
The course is demanding, but you'll have badass new BRFs to propel you forward! (Long-armed Dimity might even help propel you uphill!)

From its name, the Happy Girls race sounds like a lot of laughs. What's the course like? We'll be honest: You'll earn your medal by testing your mettle. All three race distances--5K, 10K, and half-marathon--are on courses partly on the road, partly on the trail. There's a good bit of elevation changes in the 10K and half-marathon, often on a rough, rocky trail. This is not the race to gun for a personal best: The satisfaction of this race comes from conquering challenges many races don't serve up. (Please know: Participation in the race is optional.)

Is there a limit on how many gals can attend? Yes, we want to ensure everyone has a memorable, meaningful experience, so we are limiting the 2017 Retreat to 45 women. 

Mousse sighting: Saturday night dinner
Mousse sighting: Saturday night dinner

What's included in the package? Guided runs; all educational sessions; meals (breakfast on Friday + Saturday; a celebratory brunch on Sunday; lunch on Friday and Saturday; evening reception on Thursday; dinner on Friday and Saturday); and race registration for Happy Girls Run (distance of your choice). Travel to/from Spokane is  not included, neither is lodging: You will book your posh, spacious digs at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park separately. (When you register for the Retreat, you will go to this page to book your accommodations.) Laughter, camaraderie, and sweat: limitless—and free-flowing all Retreat long.

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Just so I’m clear: Once I register for the Retreat, I should book a room at the host hotel, right? If only our children were as good at following directions as you are! Yes, you are correct: Lodging is not included, so you need to make your own hotel reservations. Our host hotel is the lovely Hotel RL by Red Lion Spokane at the Park, and we have negotiated great room rates. (This page is set up for Retreat attendees to get the great rates, which apply Wednesday, Sept. 20-Monday, Sept. 25.) All the educational sessions and all meals but Friday and Saturday dinners will take place at the Hotel RL by Red Lion Spokane at the Park.

Do I need a rental car? Nope! The Hotel RL is the only hotel in Spokane that has a free shuttle to and from the airport so you’re covered there. The hotel also has free bikes for guests to tool around town, so no need for a gas-guzzler.

What time should I arrive in Spokane then, sniff, sniff, depart on Sunday? We'll kick things off in early afternoon. Since the airport is a quick, easy drive (in free Hotel RL shuttle!), plan on arriving in Spokane by 11:00 a.m. or noon, at latest, on Thursday, Sept. 21. The Retreat will wrap up around 11:30 on Sunday, so best to book a flight home that leaves at 1 p.m. or later.

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Will there be swag, great running gear, and other surprises along the way? In the words of Minnesota-bred Dimity: You betcha! We want to keep some details secret, but you’ll definitely be swagged many of our favorites, including Nuun Hydration; GU Energy GelsChews, and StroopwafelsBalega socks; Sweat X Sport detergent; and much more. There will also be giveaways at the farewell brunch.

AMR's fearless leaders, Dimity (orange shorts) and Sarah captured mid-run with Spokane Falls behind them.
AMR's fearless leaders, Dimity (orange shorts) and Sarah captured mid-run with Spokane Falls behind them. We hope you'll join us to discover the fun and beauty of the 2017 Retreat!

I'm in! Any price breaks on early registration? Why, YES, there is! Register before February 1, 2017, to save $100; sign up by March 1 for $50 savings. (Current registration cost reflects this savings: On Feb. 1, price will increase $50; on March 1, registration fee will jump up $50 more dollars.)

But what if "life" happens and I have to cancel? We know broken bones, business trips, and the unexpected can happen in any woman’s life. That's why we have cancellation terms with a mom's schedule in mind:

90  days or more prior to the start of the Retreat, you receive:  100% credit of the cost of the retreat toward a 2018 AMR Retreat or 100% full refund to original method of payment.

31-90 days prior to the start of the  Retreat, you receive:50% credit of the cost of the retreat toward a 2018 AMR Retreat or 50% refund to original method of payment.

0-30 days prior to the start of the Retreat: No refunds or credits will be given.

Ready to Run + Refresh?
Register for the 2017 AMR Retreat: Run + Refresh

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Have more questions? Email us at
motherrunnerstore [at] gmail [at] com