women's running retreat

Miles of riverside running trails, scenic bridges, Midwestern hospitality, tasty food, a welcoming city so cool the musician Justin Vernon of Bon Iver (!) calls it home: Eau Claire, Wisconsin, we’re talking about YOU—and ready to host another women’s running Retreat here!

Yes, we have such fond memories from our 2019 Retreat in this charming city, we decided it’s time to return.

Whether you want to learn more about running and self-care from Train Like a Mother Club coaches and other experts; participate in a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, marathon, or 4-person marathon relay (phew, so many choices!); have a 1:1 session with a coach, Sarah or Dimity; indulge in recovery yoga; be part of a podcast recording; sing karaoke with abandon; or befriend other BAMRs, you will be delighted by the extended-weekend offerings.

Join a bevy of BAMRs for the 4-day, 3-night Run + Refresh Retreat in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Friday, April 28 – Monday, May 1, 2023.

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THE Location

The moment we stepped foot in this Midwestern indie-city gem, we were smitten with Eau Claire. Located at the confluence of the sparkling Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers, this university town has an alternative-and-welcoming vibe. It’s a 90-minute drive from the Twin Cities and an easy drive from so many parts of the Midwest. Join us as we groove, run, race, and laugh in Eau Claire.

  • women's running retreat
  • women's running retreat

THE Hotel

The Lismore Hotel is a gem in the heart of downtown Eau Claire. The cozy, boutique-style DoubleTree property is mere blocks from rivers lined with parks and a bike trail, making it an ideal base for our run-centric extended weekend. The Lismore is sleek and modern, and many rooms offer sweeping views of the city.

The hotel boasts a 24-hour fitness center; hip rooftop bar for enjoying adult beverages with friends old and new; EC/DC, a local coffee house that makes some mighty fine lattes; and a contemporary restaurant with tables big enough for a bunch of BAMRs (bad*ss mother runners)!

THE Race

Great races reflect the attitude and spirit of their organizers, which is one of the many reasons our women’s running Retreat loves Eau Claire Marathon: It’s a family-owned race run by two sisters (who are mother runners—listen in to a conversation with them here).

Starting and ending in downtown Eau Claire, the marathon takes runners across eight memorable bridges. Not up for 26.2? Take your pick of a variety of distances: 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and the 4-person marathon relay. (Sarah had a blast running the anchor leg for her 2019 team!) BibRave ranked the Eau Claire Half Marathon in the Top 5 U.S. Half Marathons.

Local residents cheer on runners, while university students pull out all the stops in the Blugold Mile, a loud distraction that comes when participants need it most (Mile 25 of marathon + relay; Mile 12 of half). Cue the marching band!

  • women's running retreat
  • women's running retreat
  • women's running retreat
  • women's running retreat
  • women's running retreat
  • women's running retreat

THE Party

Our welcome reception will most likely happen at The Brewing Projekt that makes “stubbornly crafted beer.” To kick off our women’s running Retreat, Dimity hosts icebreaker games to draw out even the most reserved introvert. Afterward, we’ll record an episode of our 11-years-running podcast, letting you see how the magic is made!

Our traditional final-night, post-race celebratory dinner will be held at a lovely event space called Forage. (The fresh, farm-to-fork food served here at our 2019 Retreat is arguably the tastiest meal we’ve ever had at a Retreat, according to foodie SBS!) 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.

In between, you’ll be treated to other delicious meals, including a pre-race dinner that sets you up nicely for race day.

THE Extras

If you’re a fan of art, grab at hot bevvie at EC/DC at the Lismore, then explore the free, walkable Sculpture Tour Eau Claire: the second largest sculpture tour in the nation with 70+ sculptures. Or go in search of the myriad new murals painted in 2021 on the sides of numerous downtown buildings. (Sarah’s a sucker for street art so she’s excited!)

Soak up local lore by visiting the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum or pose for an Instagram-worthy image with its bigger-than-life statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. Speaking of Blue Ox, that’s the name of our favorite local running shop in town, one of many locally owned stores and boutiques that makes shopping in Eau Claire so enjoyable.

  • women's running retreat
  • women's running retreat
  • women's running retreat
  • women's running retreat
  • women's running retreat
  • women's running retreat

THE Schedule

The final schedule will be available about six weeks before the women’s running Retreat, but know that it will include all of the fun things we have done in the past, plus some new additions. Group runs, strength classes, expert-led sessions, 1:1 advice (or gab!) 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 2019 Eau Claire Retreat schedule and to get a sense of how the weekend (and fun!) flows. And here’s a write-up by Dimity after our 2019 Eau Claire Retreat.

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running retreat

FAQ

The women’s running Retreat is Friday, April 28 to Monday, May 1, 2023.

Eau Claire, Wisconsin, is in the west-central part of Wisconsin. It is an easy 90-minute drive from the Minneapolis/Saint Paul (MSP) airport.

Yes, for the first time on any of our products, we now offer Affirm Pay over time option on our Retreats. During Checkout, below where you enter your credit card, click Affirm and you can choose your option–4 equal payments spread out every two weeks for no fee or interest, or a longer payment option that charges fees (that Affirm keeps–not us!).

$179/night for standard king or double queen room. Rates are subject to increase based on triple or quadruple occupancy.

In the next few months, we’ll provide a special phone number to book your room at the Lismore Hotel. We have a block of rooms reserved, so no fear of them selling out!

You mean other than being away from laundry-duties, having cooked food magically appear, and a bed all to yourself?

All activities at the women’s running Retreat are optional–no judgment if you want to sleep until 9:00, stroll on the riverbanks, read a novel by the lobby fireplace, 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.)

Thank you for asking! In order to create the best environment for our attendees, staff, and speakers, we require every individual directly involved with our Retreat to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival in Eau Claire. At this point, we are not requiring booster shots (subject to change). This requirement is now common practice at large events, concerts, and sporting events.

You need to email us a copy/photo of your vaccination card prior to March 15, 2023.

Newbies to ultra-marathoners are all welcome at our women’s running retreat. 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, ranging from 5K to marathon. Or join members of Team AMR as part of a boisterous cheer squad! The race is completely optional.

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!

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 scenic, beautifully organized Eau Claire Marathon/Half-Marathon/Marathon Relay/10K/5K!

Not at all: 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!

The race is the cornerstone of the Retreat, so we’re planning around that Sunday morning event. Check out the complete schedule of our 2019 Eau Claire Retreat in a nifty PDF; we’ll have the 2023 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 1:1 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 downtown (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 town, go shopping, or whatever else you choose to do! As we have done at other Retreats, 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. Sunday night, as has become an Another Mother Runner Retreat tradition, we’ll do karaoke after dinner. #DoNotKnockItUntilYouTryIt

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.

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. Our host hotel also has a 24-hour fitness room if you have specific strength moves you want to do on your own or with a buddy.

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.

The Eau Claire Marathon is a Boston Qualifying course certified by the USATF. All race distances start and finish in Eau Claire’s downtown district focusing on the beauty of the city. Throughout the 26.2 miles, you will cross eight bridges going over the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers. The fast second half includes the Blugold Mile coming through UW-Eau Claire’s lower campus.

If you’re part of a marathon relay team (which you can “organize” on our Retreat’s private Facebook page), the race provides shuttle buses to get you to the correct spot to meet your teammate, then pick you up to take you to the finish area.

Most definitely: We welcome locals and out-of-towners alike with open arms! But know a big part of the women’s running Retreat experience comes from staying at the host hotel and being part of impromptu hangout sessions or drinks at the rooftop bar.

In the coming months, we’ll provide a special booking number to call to book a room at special rates secured by AMR.

Um, do we sweat when we run? Yes, yes, yes, attend solo! We promise, you’ll have a coterie of running buddies within the first mile—or actually, the first hours. At previous women’s running Retreats, the majority of gals attended solo–but they weren’t alone.
In fact, it always seems like it’s the self-proclaimed introverts who laugh the loudest when they hit the dance floor at the farewell party!
That said, you’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy some much-needed quiet time in your room, shopping local, or exploring the sculptures and murals in town. 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.

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.

In the next few months, we’ll provide a special phone number to book your room at the Lismore Hotel. We have a block of rooms reserved, so no fear of them selling out!

Yes, we want to ensure everyone has a memorable, meaningful experience, so we are limiting the Retreat to 70 women.

Guided runs and strength workouts; yoga; all educational sessions; meals (hot buffet breakfast on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday; lunch on Saturday; evening welcome reception on Friday; dinner on Saturday; celebratory dinner on Sunday); loaded swag bags; and race registration for the Eau Claire Marathon race distance of your choice.

Travel to/from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, is not included, neither is lodging: You will book your choice of rooms at the the Lismore Hotel separately. Laughter, camaraderie, and sweat: limitless—and free-flowing–all Retreat long.

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 modern, boutique Lismore Hotel, and we have negotiated great room rates. (Room rates apply three days before and three days after the Retreat, in case you want to extend your time in Eau Claire.) All the educational sessions and all breakfasts will take place at the Lismore Hotel.

In the coming months, we will provide a direct number and/or landing page for booking a room. Please wait to book your accommodations until we send an email, letting you know the hotel is accepting reservations for our group.

If you fly into Minneapolis/Saint Paul (airport code: MSP), you can take a shuttle but you might prefer a rental car. You can also 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.)

The Retreat welcome is at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 28, so plan on being at the Lismore Hotel, our host property, by that time, if at all possible.

Book a departing flight on Monday, May 1 at 1 p.m. or later, if possible, so you can say your farewells. (And not have to cut short Sunday night partying!) But leaving earlier on Monday won’t mean you miss too much.

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 goodies; running socks; and many (many!) more. Plus, we present each Retreat attendee with a special gift (past Retreat welcome gifts have included a custom Vooray backpack, limited-edition BoCo Gear running trucker hats, a custom Buff, and 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!

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.

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

200-249 days or more prior to the start of the Retreat, you receive: 75% full refund to original method of payment.

151-199 days or more prior to the start of the Retreat, you receive: 65% full refund to original method of payment.

91-150 days prior to the start of the Retreat, you receive: 50% full refund to original method of payment.

76-90 days prior to the start of the Retreat, you receive: 25% refund to original method of payment.

0-75 days prior to the start of the Retreat: No refund will be given.