Sonoran Desert Trail Running + Wellness Retreat (2024)

Nov 7 to Nov 10, 2024

Sonoran Desert Trail Running + Wellness Retreat (2024)
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Learn simple yet powerful running and mindfulness practices to better manage stress and avoid burnout as you pursue your goals, whether athletic, professional, artistic or personal

Immerse yourself in a unique landscape for the four-day, three night, all-inclusive Sonoran Desert Trail Running Retreat designed just for women leaders who love to run as part of their self-care and stress management. Master the art of stress resilience through mindful running. Your retreat leader will lead you through a series of on-trail exercises that make the practice of mindful running tangible and immediately applicable to you running style.

You’ll come home from this retreat equipped with a simple yet powerful set of practices you can incorporate into your running and mindfulness practices to better manage stress and avoid burnout as you pursue your goals, athletics, professional, artistic or personal.

From the moment you arrive at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa, you’ll feel yourself start to unwind and slow down. The Starr Pass Resort’s luxury accommodations are inspired by nature and designed to promote relaxation and restoration, making it the ideal base for this retreat.

We’ve selected trails that best showcase the Sonoran Desert’s impeccable beauty, rewarding singletrack trails and unique features, such as giant saguaro cacti. You’ll cruise along soft, sandy trails that meander through gently rolling hills. While it’s not necessary to have trail running experience to participate in this retreat, you should be able to comfortably run at least 8 or so miles on the road and feel comfortable on ground that is uneven, at times rocky. The time on trail ranges from about one to 3 hours, including photo stops, water breaks and such. The pace is relaxed and social, so you don’t have to be fast!

This Retreat is Level II

  • Daily runs at this retreat range from 4 miles to 8 miles on singletrack trails.
  • We recommend you have a base fitness level that allows you to run up to 8 miles at a time on roads.
  • Two guides accompany the group to support the different pace groups, so there’s no pressure to run faster than you’re comfortable.
  • Trail running experience isn’t necessary. Your retreat leader provides trail-running tips for running in this terrain.
  • You’ll encounter trails with loose rocks, and some exposure to heights. You can walk/hike trail sections as you need.
  • The trail surfaces are a mix of loose sand, sandstone rock and dirt trail. None of the trails are truly flat--you have to focus on your footing, which is why we stop often to take photos and soak up the views. 
  • Trail running shoes and a hydration pack that can carry at least 1 Liter of water are required.

    Learn more about how we manage run pacing here:

Guided Mindful Runs

Your dedicated Retreat Leader will lead you through experiences on and off the trail that are designed to help you discover how to run with more ease and flow. And if you've never run trails before, you'll learn how to adapt your road running technique for this new terrain. And if you're an experienced trail runner, you'll take your running to a whole new level of efficiency and joy. 

💮Power Posture: proper alignment to make gravity do more of the work. This reduces the muscular force involved with running so it feels easier and less strenuous on muscles and joints. 

💮 Focus on Efficiency: Use natural running techniques to drastically improve efficiency. You'll practice changing stride length, cadence and tempo on various types of terrain. 

💮 Find the Flow: Put the pieces together to achieve the ultimate trail running experience. Learn to cultivate the circumstances for flow to occur by being relaxed and mindful.

Private Yoga Class for Runners

We'll enjoy a private yoga class with one of Hashani Spa's expert teachers designed to specifically address runners' most-needed areas of tension and recovery. This post-run class will supercharge your recovery and support a meaningful, relaxing recovery state the rest of the day. If your goal is to release physical tension and stiffness while carving out time for your mental well-being, you'll love this mindful, slow-moving yoga pose sequence set to soothing music that helps you unwind from a long day of movement. You’ll exit feeling looser, longer, and lighter thanks to a selection of poses that increase range of motion, flexibility, circulation and stress reduction. 

Mitakuye Oyasin Morning Ritual

Each morning on the Salud Terrace the resort offers a traditional Native American ceremony and unique Sonoran Desert experience. 

The ancient people accomplished a higher perspective via the warming sunrise, the Native American Flute, burning a sage prayer tie and an eagle feather blessing. Begin each day by reflecting on the connection we all have with nature and each other, finding focus and creating lasting memories. In a ritual that is centuries old, you will have the opportunity to make your intentions known to the universe through the traditional burning of sage. Experience this morning ritual and discover "Mitakuye Oyasin".

Dedicated Retreat Leader

Our highly trained retreat leaders provide the space and support for you to have a potentially transformational experience. As experts in mindful leadership, she provides valuable guidance on how to be mindful on and off the trail. Here's more about what you can expect from your retreat leader:
  • Leads the opening meeting on Day 1, explaining what you can expect, the general flow of each day, what's expected of you, how she'll support you and all the other logistics you need.
  • Works with our local staff, such as guides and drivers, to keep things safe, on schedule and running smoothly
  • Leads mindful running clinics that teach you how to run more efficiently and with more flow and ease
  • Manages the pace of each run so that you never feel rushed or get left behind
  • Helps you get to scheduled events like yoga class, spa appointment and dinner reservations on time
  • Facilitates sharing circles, creating a safe space for the group to reflect and share openly
  • She provides emotional support if ever you need it

Hashani Spa

Indulge in treatments at the resort's spa that combine the latest beauty and health technology with the ancient healing techniques and traditions inspired by the indigenous people of the region, using the healing properties of the revered Saguaro cactus, also known as Hashani. Join those who have found healing in the lush Sonoran Desert for centuries. The spa offers relaxing treatments such as body wraps, facials, eye treatments, massages, manicures, and pedicures.

About The Host

The host specializes in trail running- and wellness-based travel experiences that support women’s overall health and well-being. Our programs feature mindful running techniques that help women run better while maximizing running’s stress-reducing effects on the body and mind. Set in some of the world’s most inspiring natural destinations known to runners, each itinerary is an immersion in nature and wellness experiences such as yoga, hot springs, or spa.

We include the specific elements you need to have a wonderful retreat and leave out anything that doesn’t support that mission. 

Why Choose Us

We are about experiencing running as a means to cultivate mental and physical health and well-being. While our purpose is to provide transformational travel experiences for runners like you, our mission is to offer you the time and space to clear your mind and focus on breathing deeply, connect with nature, dial down stress, and release endorphins so that you can relish in the joy and inspiration running brings.

No one succeeds in isolation, which is why the empowering community and connections that women find through our retreats are such a gift. Time after time, we hear the most heartwarming stories of the friendships that were made on our retreats, and why so many women come back year after year (sometimes even multiple times a year!) to run with us in a new location and often with women they’d met before.

When you travel with us, you are choosing to:

🏃‍♀️ connect deeper with yourself because no matter how long you’ve been on this planet, there’s always more to discover about who you truly are. We offer things like travel journals for writing and sharing circles during the retreat that support your inner as well as outer journey.

🏃‍♀️ experiment with mindful running principles that make you a better, more playful runner because there’s nothing like taking yourself too seriously to stifle motivation. Our retreat leaders provide mindful running exercises and tips you can use on an off the trail to run and live more mindfully.

🏃‍♀️ be open to connecting with other like-minded women because meeting new people is less scary than you might think. You’ll meet women who value running as part of a health lifestyle as we all as a sport. It’s amazing how quickly retreat groups bond after the very first run together!

🏃‍♀️ receive support, even when you don’t necessarily think you need it, but are so grateful you did when you realize how great it feels. In addition to the company of our professional running guides and expert retreat leaders, we highly encourage peer support to give you what to need to feel comfortable in this group.

🏃‍♀️ experience the mental health benefits to running that having nothing to do with your last race result or next goal. Our retreat leaders help you replace expectations and performance pressure with intentions and a focus on simply having fun.

🏃‍♀️ be intentional with the words you choose to express yourself, promising to be authentic and forget about trying to be anything you’re not. Intentions are rooted in values, and there’s no better opportunity to reflect on your values than when you’re traveling.

🏃‍♀️ make peace with the runner you are today, knowing that you belong here because runners come in all shapes and sizes and that’s okay. Since this isn’t a training camp, we’re not focused on where the future, but rather, rooted in the present moment, since that’s where the magic happens.

🏃‍♀️ give up the need to control everything going on around you because that’s the only way to find peace, restore your energy and find true joy. Our expert travel planners have worked out the logistics, and our professional guides scouted the routes, which means you can relax and let go.

🏃‍♀️ trust us to take you on a journey that has the potential to be deeply transformational and profoundly meaningful in a way that is entirely unique to you. Our retreat leaders understand that getting vulnerable can be scary, so they’re prepared to hold the space you need to have your experience at your own pace.

🏃‍♀️ forget about comparing yourself to others, either in terms of pace, speed, accomplishments, age or any other way, and focus instead on what you share in common. This is what we mean by community; you don’t have to “qualify” to be here, you show that you belong here by simply being you.

. . . and so much more.


Things to keep in mind