Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, was practically created to be home to an Another Mother Runner Retreat: The island is shaped like a running shoe! With wide, fine-sand beaches, a vast network of paved bike paths, abundant natural beauty, and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, Hilton Head Island offers a relaxing and welcoming vibe that makes it a perfect vacation destination.
The Beach House is Hilton Head's only beachside boutique hotel. This property is literally a stone's (seashell's!?) throw from the beach and offers amazing views of daily sunrises. The hotel has a laid-back and friendly beachy vibe.
Whether you're up for sampling Lowcountry cuisine at the Porch Southern Kitchen & Bar, listening to live music daily at the Tiki Hut, hanging out at the outdoor fire pits to gab with other gals, or chilling on Coligny Beach just beyond the pool deck, there are endless ways to kick back and have a truly memorable, oceanfront escape.
After the rousing success of the inaugural WMNRUN race at our 2020 Retreat, we're delighted to kick off year two!
WMNRUN, an all-women's race, is planned in close coordination with a trusted local race organizer. It offers a range of race options: half-marathon; quarter-marathon; and 5K. The races, which start and finish in front of the Retreat's host hotel, will be held Sunday morning on the wide, firm-sand beach along the Atlantic Ocean at low tide. (We can almost guarantee bottlenose dolphins will cheer on participants!) We suspect Dimity and her girl-gang will once again set up a cheer-tunnel for an energy-filled race finish like you've never experienced!
After the finish line, race participants (Retreaters + other runners from around the country!) will enjoy post-race yoga sessions, pickup games of volleyball and cornhole, and a lively party on the beach. (Kudos; namaste; and cheers!)
Our traditional final-night, post-race celebratory dinner will be held at the famous Tiki Hut right on the beach. We'll celebrate our accomplishments--and new friendships--with tasty food, adult beverages, and special desserts, then sing and dance like mothers as we karaoke the night away. (There's even a stage!)
The Margaritaville vibe of the Tiki Hut makes for an epic dance party! #lastnight #party #singing #EnthusiasmGoesALongWay
Hilton Head Island is a barrier island graced by weathered live oak and cypress trees draped with Spanish moss and countless Palmetto trees (the S.C. state tree). Explore the beautiful island on a bike ride (rental bikes abound on the island) or a beach stroll. Browse nearby boutiques for that perfect "what'd you bring me, Mom?!" souvenir. A delightful coffeeshop with tasty baked goods is a short walk from our host hotel.
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. Group runs, strength classes, expert-led sessions, one-on-one advice sessions, podcast recording party, karaoke, race, and many more ways to experience all that an AMR Retreat has to offer. Above all else, it's an escape from daily life with friends, old and new!
Check out the 2020 Hilton Head Retreat schedule and to get a sense of how the weekend (and fun!) flows.
When we opened the 2020 Hilton Head retreat, 90% of the spots were filled in the first week so don't delay: Sign up today!
When is the Retreat?
Retreat is Friday, February 25 to Monday, February 28, 2022.
Where is it?
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, which is a 45-minute drive from Savannah, Georgia, and a 2-hour drive from Charleston, S.C. Many commercial airlines, including Delta and American, fly directly into Hilton Head airport (code: HHH).
What are the room rates at the hotel?
$149/night for standard king; $159/night standard queen. Those rates include Resort Fee, which is charged by ALL HHI resorts.
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, quarter-marathon, and 5K. Or join members of Team AMR as part of a boisterous cheer squad! The race is totally optional.
What does the schedule look like?
The race is the cornerstone of the Retreat, so we’re planning around that Sunday morning event. Check out the complete schedule of our 2020 Hilton Head Retreat in a nifty PDF; we'll have the 2021 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 party, complete with a get-acquainted icebreaker (Dim always organizes great ones!). We'll record a podcast this evening, as well. On Friday afternoon and on Saturday morning, there are optional one-on-one sessions attendees can sign up for to talk privately with Train Like a Mother Club coaches, Dimity, and Sarah.
Saturday morning will start with a shake-out run 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. Saturday afternoon will feature a relaxing yoga session. Packet pickup and exploring Coligny Plaza shopping center (if you want) will round out the day before we enjoy a pre-race dinner together.
Sunday morning is race day, followed by lunch in town and a group yoga session. There will be lots of free time in the afternoon to explore the island, ride bikes, go shopping, or whatever else you choose to do! Like in 2020, we hope to have licensed massage therapists provide massages the afternoon after the race. (For an extra cost.) Every night there will be delicious, friendship-forming dinners, and Monday morning we’ll wrap up our weekend with a celebratory group brunch.
One thing we DO know for sure:he The final evening festivities will be in a beachside tiki hut!
We're still working out programming and guests, 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: 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 led by running and self-care experts. Plus, you can add another race medal to your collection with the beautiful WMNRUN Hilton Head Island Race Series! It's going to be an unforgettable race experience, run entirely on hard-yet-still-forgiving packed sand right next to the Atlantic Ocean at low tide just after sunrise.
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 each of our Retreats, we've had attendees who aren't moms--and moms of older offspring 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, stroll by the sea, read a novel poolside, or knit in your room. We are also looking into having certified, vetted massage therapists give 50-minute massages on the afternoon after the race so you can set up an unwind session. (Not included in price of Retreat.)
What if I like to mix in cross-training?
On Saturday and Monday mornings, when some Retreaters do a group run, Dimity always offers a strength session bookended by a warm-up/cool-down walk.
What's up with Train Like a Mother Club program being incorporated into the build-up of the Retreat?
I live near Hilton Head. Can I attend?
Most definitely: We welcome locals and out-of-towners alike with open arms! But know a big part of the Retreat experience comes from staying at the host hotel and being part of impromptu hangout sessions or drinks at the Tiki Hut.
This fall, we'll provide a special booking number to call to book a room at special rates secured by AMR.
Should I attend solo?
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're looking for a roomie; you should be able to find one pretty easily. Or, if you're a get-it-done type of gal, book a room, then find a roommate. The order is up to you.
This fall, we'll provide a special phone number to book your room at the Beach House. We have a block of rooms reserved, so no fear of them selling out!
The race sounds gorgeous. What is the course like?
This all-women's race went off flawlessly in 2020, and it was a blast! Once again, we are working closely with a well-respected local race organizer, who knows the island super-well. All three race distances (half-marathon; quarter-marathon; 5K) are run exclusively on the wide beach, starting directly in front of our host hotel (the apt named Beach House). Depending on the wind direction on race day, participants will either head north or south first, then turn around--the start and finish of every race is in front of the Beach House. (After going through a cheer tunnel organized by Dimity!)
The race kicks off at 7:30, shortly after sunrise at low tide. The beach is incredibly wide and flat (not canted!!), and the sand is well packed (since it's low tide). The sand is firm, yet gently forgiving. At the 2020 Retreat, even sand-skeptics were won over by how firm, yet forgiving, the surface was! Bonus: Pods of bottlenose dolphins are often spotted close to shore.
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 70 women.
What's included in the packages?
Guided runs and strength workouts; yoga sessions; all educational sessions; meals (hot buffet breakfast on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday; lunch on Friday; evening welcome reception on Thursday; dinner on Friday and Saturday; celebratory dinner on Sunday); loaded swag bags; and race registration for WMNRUN Race.
Travel to/from Hilton Head Island is not included, neither is lodging: You will book your choice of rooms at the The Beach House 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 wait to book a 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 beautiful Beach House, and we have negotiated great room rates, including getting the Resort Fee waved. (Room rates apply two days before and two days after the Retreat, in case you want to extend your time on Hilton Head Island.) All the educational sessions, all breakfasts, Friday lunch, Friday dinner, and Sunday celebratory party will take place at The Beach House.
In the fall, we will provide a direct number for booking a room with our personal agent. Please wait until we send an email, letting you know the hotel is accepting reservations for our group.
Do I need a rental car?
It depends on where you fly into. Airlines, including Delta and American, now offer more flights into and out of Hilton Head airport: If you fly into the airport on the Island, you would not need a rental car. But if you fly into Savannah airport, then you'll need to rent a car or coordinate with other Retreat attendees to share a rental car. (The private Facebook page we'll invite you to will help you facilitate plans like that.)
What time should I arrive in Hilton Head, and then, sniff, sniff, depart on Monday?
The Retreat welcome is at 2 p.m. on Friday, February 19, so plan on being at the Beach House, our host hotel, by that time, if at all possible. (If you fly into Savannah airport, pick a flight that lands before noon; if you get a flight into Hilton Head itself, you can cut it closer.)
Book a departing flight on Monday, February 22 at noon or later, if possible, so you can say your farewells. (And not have to cut short Sunday night partying!)
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 Gels, Chews, and Stroopwafels; Balega socks; and many (many!) more.
And, as have become a signature at our Retreats, ShopGal Sarah will host a pop-up store of Another Mother Runner merch (tees, hats, sweatshirts, etc.) at Retreat sign-in. A great way to feel and try on all the goodies you eyeball in the Mother Runner Store—as well as a fun way to interact with other Retreaters. No pressure to buy, though!
What happens if COVID-19 makes it so we can't convene in South Carolina in February 2022?
In the unlikely event AMR is forced to cancel the event completely, guests can opt to transfer their registration to a future Another Mother Runner Retreat.
But what if "life" happens and I have to cancel?
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