Fall 2020 Portland Running Retreat!

Portland Running Retreat

Introducing the newest stop on the AMR Retreat Tour:

PORTLAND, OR

When considering where to have AMR's Run + Refresh Retreat next, we decided it's time to put a bird on it, and bring the Retreat to AMR's HQ city, Portland, Oregon!

Join a bevy of BAMRs for the amazing 4-day, 3-night Another Mother Runner Run + Refresh Retreat in Portland, October 23-26, 2020. Whether you want to learn more about running from Train Like a Mother Club coaches (including Dimity); plan your race calendar; be part of the audience at a podcast recording; run with Sarah + her BRF, Molly, while looking for #foundchange; explore legendary Powell's City of Books with Ellison "Book Bully" Weist; croon karaoke; or befriend other BAMRs, you will be delighted by the extended-weekend offerings.

  • The Location

    Portland, Oregon, the quirky, bastion-of-hipness you've probably heard all about--and laughed about on the spoof comedy show "Portlandia." (Or on "Shrill," "Stumptown," "Grimm," and other TV shows set in Portland.)

    Our host hotel, Embassy Suites by Hilton Downtown Portland, is, you guessed it, in downtown Portland, a literal stone's throw from Voodoo Donuts and a short walk to numerous boutiques, Pioneer Courthouse Square, coffeeshops, and world-famous Powell's City of Books. And, get this: The restaurant/bar adjoining the hotel is called Mother's Bistro & Bar. Kismet!

  • The Hotel

    Our Portland home base is the Embassy Suites by Hilton Downtown Portland, a grand, historic property that's been beautifully restored.  Every room is a spacious suite, allowing attendees to easily share the space, if they want.

    The Embassy Suites is located a literal stone's throw from countless Portland hotspots, coffeeshops and boutiques. It's also a few short blocks from the Willamette River and the paved trail that runs alongside the river down the middle of city. Lovely!

  • The Race

    We're exploring race options: The lead contender is the Scary Run Half-Marathon, 10K, and 5K run along the gorgeous Columbia River in Washougal, Washington. This race is organized by a mother runner we've known and respected for years.

    If you choose, the race can be the culmination of a Train Like a Mother Club program allowing us to celebrate the finish line together, in person, after getting to know each other through a private Facebook page for Retreat participants.

    Not interested in running or walking the race? Be part of Dimity's epic cheer squads! At previous Retreats, numerous attendees cited Dim's cheerleading posse as the highpoint of the weekend.

  • The Party

    Our traditional final-night, post-race celebratory dinner will be held at a lovely downtown restaurant/event space. We'll celebrate our accomplishments - and new friendships - with tasty food, adult beverages, and special desserts, then sing like mothers as we karaoke the night away. No pressure to sing - karaoke always needs an audience to clap (and laugh along!).

  • The Extras

    Given that Portland is Another Mother Runner HQ, many folks you're familiar with will be part of the action. For instance, Sarah's husband, Jack, and her beloved French bulldog, Auggie, will stop by the welcome reception on Friday. Alex Ward of Sounds Like Pictures will be present to produce the podcast we record on Friday evening.

    On Saturday afternoon, Ellison "Book Bully" Weist, an occasional podcast co-host, will take a group to Powell's City of Books after giving a short talk. On Sunday afternoon, Sarah and her BRF, Molly, will lead an optional visit to the acclaimed Portland Art Museum.

    Opportunities will abound to share a craft beer or drink fair-trade coffee with new friends. There will also be at least one group yoga session, which, like all Retreat activities, is do-it-or-not: your choice!

  • The Schedule

    The final schedule will be available about six weeks before the Retreat, but know that it will include all of the fun things we have done in the past, and some new tricks up our sleeve. (See The Extras!) Group runs, strength training, yoga, expert-led sessions, podcast recording party, karaoke, race, and many more ways to experience all that an AMR Retreat has to offer.

    Check out the 2018 Cape Cod Retreat schedule to get a sense of how the weekend flows. Please know all activities are optional: As with all AMR Retreats, each participant chooses whether to emphasize the "Run" or "Refresh" aspects of the Retreat. 

Our 2018 Cape Cod Retreat sold out in less that 36 hours, so don't delay: Sign up today!

FAQ

When is the Retreat?

Retreat is October 23-26, 2020.

Where is it?

Portland, Oregon, the quirky, bastion-of-hipness you've probably heard all about--and laughed about on the spoof comedy show "Portlandia." (Or on "Shrill," "Stumptown," "Grimm," and other TV shows set in Portland.) Our host hotel, Embassy Suites by Hilton Downtown Portland, is, you guessed it, in downtown Portland, a literal stone's throw from Voodoo Donuts and a short walk to numerous boutiques, Pioneer Courthouse Square, coffeeshops, and world-famous Powell's City of Books. And, get this: The restaurant/bar adjoining the hotel is called Mother's Bistro & Bar. Kismet!

What are the room rates at the hotel?

Lodging is not included, so you need to make your own hotel reservations. Our host hotel is the lovely Embassy Suites by Hilton Downtown Portland.  We negotiated a great room rate of $189/suite--and the price remains the same whether there are 1, 2, 3, or 4 women in a room. (Attend the Retreat with friends, or find roomies on the Retreat's private Facebook page.)

With every room being a suite with a pullout sofa bed, you can share a room and still have a door for privacy.

Room rates apply Thursday, Oct. 22-Tuesday, Oct. 27, in case you want to extend your time in Portland. All the educational sessions, all breakfasts, Friday evening welcome reception + podcast party and Saturday lunch will take place at Embassy Suites by Hilton.

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. There are several race options, including half marathon, 10K, and 5K. Or join members of Team AMR as part of a boisterous cheer squad! The race is completely optional.

What does the schedule look like?

A pleasing balance of running, learning, exploring, eating, and chilling. Check out the complete schedule of our 2018 Cape Cod Retreat in a nifty PDF; we'll have the Portland schedule finalized about six weeks prior to the Retreat. In the meantime, here's a rundown:

We’ll kick things off Friday afternoon with an educational session, then an evening welcome reception, complete with a get-acquainted icebreaker or two (Dim always organizes great ones!). Recording an episode of the Another Mother Runner Podcast is the highlight of the evening. (Sarah's husband, Jack, and their lovable French bulldog, Auggie, will join the festivities.)

Saturday morning will start with a shake-out run (2 to 5 miles along the esplanades flanking the Willamette River) and a scrumptious breakfast buffet (the first of several for the weekend), followed by educational sessions with experts who get the mother running lifestyle and concerns. After a group lunch, Saturday afternoon will feature a quick talk by occasional co-host and book-lover Ellison Weist, then a group visit to Powell's City of Books. And time to explore town on your own or with newfound friends. A pasta dinner will end the day.

Sunday morning is the half-marathon, 10K, and 5K, followed by lunch on your own, and a group yoga session. If you’re so inclined, there are numerous stores and coffeeshops to explore in downtown Portland, as well as the nearby Lan Su Chinese Garden, and Sarah and BRF Molly will lead an optional outing to the acclaimed Portland Art Museum.

A celebratory dinner and karaoke will cap off the evening.

We're still working on programming and guests (we know we're welcoming a pelvic floor expert), but there will be plenty of members of Team AMR and the Train Like a Mother Club.
Whether you cover a mile in 14 minutes or half that time, your running—and your life—will benefit greatly by the experts we assemble for the weekend.

I'm a new runner. Will I fit in?

Absolutely: All levels of runners (including injured ones) attend our Retreats. 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 races. What will I get out of the Retreat?

Along with the aforementioned BRFs (because you can never have too many!), you’ll learn from sessions on goal-setting, self-care, pelvic-floor health, and more. Plus, we know you've been hankering to see Portland for yourself--this is your chance!

Do I have to be a mother to be 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!). At all of our Retreats, we've had numerous attendees who aren't moms--plus moms of older children who attend with a grown daughter. We welcome all!

What's the "Refresh" part of the Retreat?

You mean other than being away from laundry-duties, having cooked food magically appear, and a bed all to yourself? All activities at the Retreat are optional--no judgment if you want to sleep until 9:00; sample coffee, craft beers, and CBD; get a tattoo or piercing (it's Portland, after all!); and read a book. We are also looking into having certified, vetted massage therapists on call so you can set up an hour-long unwind session. (Not included in price of Retreat.)

There will also be at least one group yoga class.

What if I like to mix in cross-training?

On Friday morning, when some Retreaters do a shake-out run, Dimity always offers a strength session bookended by a warm-up/cool-down walk. She often leads a similar session on Sunday morning. And there will be at least one group yoga class.

What's up with Train Like a Mother Club program being incorporated into the build-up of the Retreat?

All Retreaters get 50% off a Train Like a Mother Club program pre-Retreat to get ready for race day, but like we said above: The race is optional. That said, with the expert training plans, support, swag, and camaraderie, we think following a TLAM plan is a smart move.

I live near Portland. Can I attend?

Please do! We welcome locals and out-of-towners alike with open arms.

Should I attend solo?

Um, do we sweat when we run? Yes, yes, yes, attend solo! We promise, you'll have a cadre of running buddies within the first mile—or actually, the first hours. At previous Retreats, the majority of gals attended solo--but they weren't alone.
That said, you'll also have the opportunity to enjoy some much-needed quiet in your room, strolling by the river, or exploring Portland. (We envision numerous informal gatherings at adjoining-our-hotel Mother's Bistro & Bar!!) If you attend solo but want to split cost of hotel room, the Retreat's private Facebook page can help you find a roomie. Loads of previous Retreat attendees have gone this route--and come away with a new friend.

The price of a suite at the Embassy Suites is the same whether you are solo or have up to three roommates. With every room being a suite with a pullout sofa bed, you can share a room and still have a door for privacy.

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 that you are looking for a roomie; you should be able to find one pretty easily. Once you find a roomie, book a room at Embassy Suites by Hilton Downtown Portland.

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 Retreat to 80 women.

What's included in the packages?

Guided runs; all educational sessions; meals (hot buffet breakfast on Saturday + Sunday; farewell brunch on Monday; lunch on Saturday; evening reception on Friday; dinner on Saturday and Sunday); swag bags; and race registration for Sunday's race.

Travel to/from Portland is not included, neither is lodging: You will book your suite at Embassy Suites by Hilton Downtown Portland separately. Laughter, camaraderie, and sweat: limitless—and free-flowing all Retreat long.

Just so I'm clear: Once I register for the Retreat, I should book a hotel room at the host hotel?

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 Embassy Suites by Hilton Downtown Portland and we have negotiated great room rates. (Room rates apply Wednesday, Oct. 21-Monday, Oct. 26, in case you want to extend your time in Portland.) All the educational sessions, all breakfasts, Thursday welcome reception, and Friday lunch, will take place at Embassy Suites by Hilton.

Do I need a rental car?

Not at all!! Let us repeat that: No, not at all. Portland International Airport (PDX) is close to downtown, and there are numerous, simple ways to get to our host hotel, including a light rail train and all ride-hailing services (Lyft, Uber, etc.). While the Embassy Suites is giving Retreat attendees a break on overnight parking, it's still fairly pricey.

If you fly to Portland, please use public transportation or a ride-hailing service (Lyft, Uber, etc.) to get to the hotel. If you drive to Portland and want to avoid the parking fee, ask us for alternatives on the group's Facebook page once you register.

And if you want to drive around the Pacific Northwest post-Retreat, there are several rental car agencies located a short walk from our host hotel so you can grab it on the day you depart. In Portland, you'll have no need for a car.

What time should I arrive in Portland, and then, sniff, sniff, depart on Monday?

We'll kick things off around 2:00 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23. If you fly into PDX (Portland's international airport), opt for a flight that arrives in the morning or at noon, as PDX is less than a half-hour from downtown.  The Retreat will wrap up around 11:00 on Monday, so best to book a flight home that leaves at 2:00 p.m. or later but know that if you have to take an early morning flight back East, you won't be missing much programming on Monday. (Just an optional group workout and our farewell brunch.)

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 Stroopwafels; and more.

I'm in! Any price breaks on early registration?

Why, YES, there is! Register by February 15, 2020, for $50 savings. If there is still spaces left at Retreat after that, the price will increase to $899.

But what if "life" happens and I have to cancel?

We know broken bones, pregnancies (!!), 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:

200 days or more prior to the start of the Retreat, you receive: 
100% full refund to original method of payment, minus $175 administrative fee. 

150-199 days or more prior to the start of the Retreat, you receive: 
75% full refund to original method of payment.

91-149 days prior to the start of the Retreat, you receive: 
50% refund to original method of payment.

61-90 days prior to the start of the Retreat, you receive: 
25% refund to original method of payment.

0-60 days prior to the start of the Retreat: 
No refund will be given.

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