The New Run Retreats That Don’t Force You to Actually Retreat From City Life

These new weekend-long shindigs aim to give you the fun of a retreat — without forcing you to abandon your life completely. 

You know how sometimes, you see a wellness retreat that you’d LOVE to go to (like, say, this one), but there are a few problems with actually going: maybe you don’t have a car that can survive a two-hour drive through the mountains (me and my 2000 Saturn are with you there), or maybe you can’t ditch all your responsibilities — kids, book club hosting, whatever — for days on end. Well, this, my friends, is why local runner Carly Pelerin decided to start South Jersey Run Retreats.

SJ Run Retreats’ aim is to put on weekends filled with the fun of a running retreat — think: fitness classes, group runs, group meals, and so on — without the huge time commitment and sleepovers. Think of it as retreat-lite. And the first one is right around the corner.

As Pelerin tells us, she wanted to give people the experience of a fitness retreat — getting your butt kicked in classes you’ve never taken before and meeting new people who share the same interests — without forcing them to abandon their day-to-day lives completely. “So many people have different responsibilities: they have their kids, they have parties they need to go to,” Pelerin, who recently had a baby herself, says. “I know for me, I love going to retreats to kick my butt and meet knew people.” She figured, South Jersey has some awesome cross-training studios — why not bring people together at those studios and through group runs throughout one weekend and take a stab at doing exactly what a retreat would do?

For the first retreat, going Friday April 7th through Sunday, April 9th, all of the programming — which includes gait analysis, cross-training classes at Collingswood’s Upcycle and Haddonfield’s Dhyana Yoga, a group brunch at Heartbeet Kitchen and, of course, a run every day (including one at Cooper River Park) — takes place in the morning and into the early afternoon. That way, you get your retreat fix, and then you head back to normal life. No sleepovers. No traveling.

The first retreat group will be limited to 15 participants and if you want in, you’ll want to sign up stat; the registration cut-off is April 1st. The weekend of activities will run you $175, which gets you everything — including brunch — mentioned above, along with a sweet runner’s swag bag. Following this first run retreat, Pelerin hopes to host the retreats seasonally, switching up the programming each time.

You can learn more and sign up here. Happy semi-retreating!

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