Friday, 9 December 2011

All-Star Running Retreats in Vegas

Something I've been working on for a while with Gill and Francesca of Bad to the Bone Events (the Ultra Race of Champions 100k Race Directors) is a new way to do running camps. So we thought about what would make it fun and exciting and came up with 'All-Star Running Retreats'.

For 3-days/4-nights, based in Las Vegas in February (16-19th), I'll be joined by Geoff Roes (barely needs an introduction but if you're reading this blog you certainly know he won and broke the course record at Western States last year, as shown in the new film 'Unbreakable'...which is an incredible watch). And road and trail demon, Devon-Crosby-Helms (current USATF 100k road champion, Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier and course record holder at JFK 50).

Hey, even if it's just those two guys and myself out on the trails, including around Red Rock Canyon and the Valley of Fire, I know it'll be fun. But the whole point, of course, is to offer runners of all abilities the luxury Vegas experience (including the Blue Man Group, the Strip etc) mixed with the great trails out of town and the chance to learn from and socialize with some of the top ultra runners out there (plus me shepherding it all).

Below is the full press release but if you're interested then have a look at the website here. It will be a lot of fun and I can't wait to meet more runners at the retreats.

The press release, is as follows:

December 9, 2011, Charlottesville, VA— From the folks who brought you UROC 100K, the groundbreaking, rule-changing Ultra Race of Champions, Bad to the Bone Endurance Sports founders J. Russell Gill and Dr. Francesca Conte are excited to announce a new concept in running camps for 2012. Not a grueling boot camp for runners, or a dense, pack'em in (runners and miles) seminar, All-Star Running Retreats allows runners to combine the fun of a weekend getaway at a unique destination with running and learning from some of the fastest and knowledgeable elite ultra runners competing today. The February retreat will take place over three days and four nights in Las Vegas, NV. It will feature Ian Sharman (US Trail 100 Mile Record Holder), Geoff Roes (Western States 100 Miler Record Holder) and Devon Crosby-Helms (US 50 Mile Champ; 100K US National Champion and world class chef).

The dates for the 2012 Las Vegas winter retreat will be February 16 through February 19. All training runs will take place on the most scenic trails in and around Las Vegas, including Red Rock Canyon and the Valley of Fire. Each retreat includes all meals and accommodations, two daily training runs focusing on different aspects of running and training, roundtable discussions with the All-Star staff and social activities, including the "must see" Blue Man Group on the strip. 

"The concept of a running camp is not new, but the combination of an All-Star staff with different strengths and knowledge bases, plus a unique destination like Las Vegas certainly is. The retreats will focus not just on the mental and physical aspects of running, but will also include the social aspect of running--Vegas baby!" says Gill. Retreat Leader Ian Sharman adds: "I am very excited about running and spending three days on the trails around Las Vegas. I have been to Las Vegas many times, and I know how much it has to offer."  Lead Runner Geoff Roes, who spends much of his time in Alaska, echoes that sentiment with enthusiasm: "I can't wait to run in Vegas in the winter!" The retreats will also showcase other qualities of the All-Star athletes, including the culinary knowledge of Devon Crosby-Helms who focuses her cooking on the perfect foods for endurance training. Crosby-Helms will offer a cooking masterclass for all the participants. 

Maintaining their "best of the best" motto, Bad to the Bone All-Star Running Retreats will house participants at the Vegas retreat in a luxury mansion, which they will share with the All-Star staff and other participants. "This will foster the close culture already present in the sport of ultra running," says Conte  "while taking advantage of the best that Las Vegas has to offer." While the philosophy of the All-Star Running Retreats is to offer participants an exceptional opportunity to interact with the All-Star staff in a unique environment, the winter retreats in Vegas also represent one of the best, early training opportunities for runners to get ready for any spring or summer race. 

To learn more about Bad to the Bone All-Star Running Retreats and to register for the January or February dates, visit

About Bad to the Bone Endurance Sports
By directing premiere endurance events, Bad to the Bone Endurance Sports strives to motivate athletes of all backgrounds to challenge themselves. For almost 10 years, Bad to the Bone Endurance Sports events have reflected owners' Gill and Francesca's decades-long knowledge and passion for running.  

About Ian Sharman
Ian is a Brit and started running 6 years ago after seeing a TV documentary about a race across the Sahara. He kind of got addicted and started running races most weekends around the world, mainly in Europe. Then he moved to the US in 2009 to get married and found the ultra culture to be even more fun this side of the pond and makes it his mission to race the most interesting courses and most competitive fields he can find globally. Ian is also a coach. 

About Geoff Roes
Geoff grew up running cross country and track in school and then after nearly 10 years without running much at all he found his way back to running because of his desire to get out into the mountains and explore his surroundings. He considers ultra running to be the perfect blend of mountain exploration, high level competition with some of the best athletes in the world, and plenty of time for personal introspection. He can't think of anything he'd rather be doing with his life right now.

About Devon Crosby-Helms
Devon is a certified personal chef specializing in organic, natural cooking as well as special diets. She runs her own personal chef company, Fast Foodie, in San Francisco. Also, she absolutely loves to run and enjoys trails, roads, and every surface in between from distances of a marathon up to 100 miles.

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