If you’re a dedicated runner, your daily runs probably feel like mini-vacations from workaday life: You get away, blow off stress, and return feeling refreshed and invigorated. So why not turn running into the centerpiece of an extended escape? Here are three Colorado-based adventures that use running as your ticket to bliss.
Eleven Salomon Running Experience
With Crested Butte as its home base, Eleven Salomon Running Experience pairs average Janes and Joes with elite runners who are eager to answer everything you’ve ever wanted to know about training, recovery, nutrition, injury prevention and gait. Coaches include Stevie Kremer, Justin Houck, Matt Flaherty, Cassandra Scallon and Adam Chase—all top-ranked, Salomon-sponsored pros—who join participants for one-on-one sessions as well as group runs on CB’s famously gorgeous mountain trails. They’re speedy, but you don’t have to be. You just need to be passionate about running, and have the scheduling flexibility to act fast: This camp takes place June 8–12, and there are still spots available. If you can swing a last-minute getaway, you’ll enjoy more than just running. You’ll overnight at the sumptuous Scarp Ridge Lodge, refuel with chef-made meals, and soak up the scenery in one of Colorado’s prettiest corners. $1,998 for four days / four nights
Hut Run Hut
Lots of Coloradans book winter hut trips (that’s why weekend dates are so hard to come by) but the 10th Mountain Division Huts are just as stunning in summer, when Hut Run Hut offers supported runs visiting five alpine huts linking Aspen and Vail. Views of the jagged Sawatch Range inspire you across high-elevation trails, and delectable food refuels your effort: Chef Dave Krutel of European Caterers serves the likes of grilled lamb chops and lemony kale salad. Two guides accompany the group of 11 participants to allow for varying speeds, and a sag wagon shuttles your stuff from hut to hut, so you don’t have to carry your toothbrush and pajamas while you run. Organizers also drive you from Vail back to Aspen, eliminating the biggest hassle of setting up your own hut-to-hut circuit. And charismatic guides such as Ricky Lightfoot, Anna Frost and Jenn Shelton mix merriment and inspiration. Bonus: Superstar ultra-marathon runner Scott Jurek will accompany the July trip. $2,095 for six days; July 18–23, August 1–6, and September 19–24
Iceland Trail Running + Wellness Retreat
This is running’s ultimate girlfriend getaway. The weeklong Iceland Trail Running + Wellness Retreat pairs participants with Elinor Fish, a Carbondale-based running coach, and local guides who introduce runners to Icelandic culture and cuisine (fermented shark, anyone?). Fish’s specialty is mindful running, which she teaches through her five-week online training system and through her Wellness Retreats (which have proven so popular that Fish plans to expand from four to six retreats in 2017). Runners learn how to set goals, tune into their physical and mental signals, and channel their energy. Iceland also delivers eye-popping scenery, from Vik’s black-sand beaches to glacier-draped peaks. Yet the low-elevation terrain is far less taxing than most Colorado trails, making for a fantastic reward-to-effort ratio. $3,550 for seven days / six nights