Qigong & TrailsA Costa Brava Marathon Adventure
5-9 October 2022
Take time out – treat yourself to the adventure of a lifetime!
Explore the stunning forest and coastal trails of the Costa Brava.
The Costa Brava is an amazing place to run, hike, and explore in the late summer with its fresh forests, rugged coastline and picturesque medieval villages.
This is the perfect adventure holiday for you to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle and escape to vast open spaces and fresh sea air.
If you usually struggle with your running and see it as a chore – something that needs to be endured rather than enjoyed – then this adventure will be a real game-changer.
You’ll enjoy the challenge and finish on the Sunday with a real sense of achievement and renewed energy..
If you can run (not race) 10km at a comfortable pace then you’ll love this.
If you are focused only on personal-bests and not prepared to run as a tribe, spend time walking, snapping pictures, stopping for coffee (or a beer) and taking in the breath-taking scenery then this adventure is not for you.
You’ll also practise Qigong each morning which is a fantastic way to prepare you for the day ahead. The final morning’s sunrise on the beach session being the ultimate way to start your last day.
Our intrepid local trail guide is Pablo Rodriguez of Run The World Adventures and I’m also joined by Elaine Jackson, a seasoned trail runner and a truly fantastic coach.
Elaine has a knack of putting you at ease with her natural coaching style.
We'll be welcomed by the locals and sample the local cuisine.
We’ll stay in high-quality hotels each night as we travel from the city of Girona, known for its mediaeval architecture, through small villages to coastal towns.
So please join us if you’d like to bring just that little bit of Catalonian sunshine into your life this spring.
The adventure includes
- 4 nights quality accommodation
- 3 days of adventure
- Outdoor Qigong practice
- Guided trails with expert local guide
- Trail running technique coaching
- Relaxing breathwork and meditation at the end of each day
- Breakfast, lunch and evening meals
- Airport transfers from Girona Costa Brava Airport (Wednesday & Sunday)
- Private Facebook Group
- 2 x 121 coaching calls with the retreat leader
- 6-month Premium Membership of Breathe. Balance. Move. Bi-weekly classes with Gray
The best thing I learned from you [Gray] and Pablo – running long, slow, and happy is the best. I completed a 100k the other weekend! It went so well. There's hardly a day that we don't run.
Meet The Team
If you’re like me then you love nothing better than to get outside and explore.
I find that if I need a bit of a motivational boost – to get that feeling of true contentment – then to be outdoors running, walking, playing is where I need to be.
Back in 2012 I met the amazing Pablo Rodriguez. Pablo had just left his IT job, deciding to build a business around his passion for trail running.
He invited me to his family home on the Costa Brava to explore the trails that he was running with the view to us setting up a Costa Brava Trail Running Adventure.
I immediately fell in love with trail running, the Catalan coastline and culture. I made new friends in Pablo, Cristina (his wife) and their young family.
We knew that this would be a fantastic experience to share. Hence we started planning one unique, amazing adventure that I just knew everyone would enjoy and get a real sense of achievement from.
Every year since then (apart from 2020) I've been taking small groups back to the Costa Brava.
When I’m there it takes me back to my childhood days of playing outside dawn til dusk. Making secret dens that no one else knew about. Feeling tired but so fulfilled at the end of each day.
This adventure is a true highlight of my year. It is a real joy to work with like-minded people to share the trails and enjoy the challenge.
We have fun – go exploring – experience the team spirit, the good weather, the food, the people, and the Catalan countryside.
This is what running (and exercise) is all about; not something to be endured but something to enjoy.
We are now a three-strong team. Pablo perfectly embodies the true spirit of this adventure and Elaine Jackson, a seasoned trail runner and a truly fantastic coach has a knack of putting you at ease with her natural coaching style.
Each morning we'll prepare for the day ahead with an outdoor qigong practice.
We’ll then head out on our day's adventure; exploring new places, stopping for coffee and cake; energising and nourishing mind and body as we have a great time journeying from forest to coast.
We’ll stay in different top-quality hotels each night, welcomed by the locals and sample the local cuisine.
So please join us if you feel this is for you. We can guarantee you a fantastic, fun-filled adventure of a lifetime!
PS: I founded Adventures In Movement & Breath in 2015 with the aim of bringing a different approach to fitness training. I believe that true health and vitality come about by focusing your mind, listening to your body and tapping into your natural, intuitive flow of energy, movement and breath.
I’m a qualified personal trainer with over 10-years coaching experience, running coach, and breathworker with a master certification in the Oxygen Advantage and Buteyko methods. I’m also a teacher of Qigong, training with Lee Holden.
Every year I look forward to welcoming the fantastic group of people that Gray and the team bring over to the Costa Brava.
A little bit about me, I'm often referred to as the mountain goat! I'm not quite sure why but Gray says it could be something to do with the way I leave him standing on the steeper downhill trails!
But do not fear! Here in the Costa Brava we take things at our own pace – often stopping for coffee (or a beer) along the way.
I am a former professional triathlete who has turned my passion for running into my job. I enjoyed competing but felt I was missing out on a whole other aspect of trail running where you are not judging yourself by time and distance but rather enjoying the moment! Or indeed many moments.
In 2011, along with my wife Cristina, I founded Running Costa Brava and then Run The World Adventures in an effort to bring running back to its origins, as a means of transportation, exploration and joy!
I look forward to welcoming you to my world!
Hi everyone, I’m Elaine and I’m delighted to be coaching on the Costa Brava with Gray and Pablo. If you’re like me, I’m sure you want to know more about the team you’ll be with, so let me share with you!
With a background in dance teaching, I started running to enhance my fitness but very quickly realised it was more than that.
I found a sense of freedom and space, which was always welcome at the end of a day in school! Over the years I’ve taken part in various events from 5k to the London marathon in 2016, and subsequently qualified as a running coach in 2017.
My passion lies in helping others to progress, to achieve their own goals but more importantly, enjoy the journey along the way.
I joined Gray as a client on the Costa Brava in 2018 and I’m still telling everyone about it now! Was then over the moon when Gray asked me to join the 2021 adventure as a coach and what a magical time we all had! The scenery, the people, the camaraderie and fun make it an adventure never to forget. I’m really looking forward to experiencing this again, I hope you’ll join us.
£1,497.00 – £1,697.00
"The best bit was the amazing, supportive bunch of people and the team that created this whole atmosphere. It was absolutely phenomenal."
The Qigong & Spring Trails: A Costa Brava Marathon Adventure is organised by Gray Caws, alongside the formidable trail runner and local guide Pablo Rodriguez of www.runningcostabrava.com. Running Costa Brava has received recommendations on TripAdvisor and featured in RunnersWorld UK and London Metro.
Gray and Pablo have been running this adventure since 2012 and have witnessed first-hand the transformative effect that the three days can have on people.
They are also joined by Elaine Jackson who ran the adventure back in 2018 and loved it so much that she's back as a member of the coaching team.
You’ll spend each day outdoors surrounded by beautiful scenery traveling through medieval towns, forest, and coastal paths.
You’ll stay in quality accommodation, sample excellent local cuisine, experience true Catalan culture, and enjoy the company of like-minded people.
Each morning starts with qigong practice before heading out onto the trails. We aim to travel up to a marathon distance over the three days. Therefore we recommend that you are able to comfortably run 10 miles at your own easy pace. There are plenty of opportunities to walk and it is certainly not a race!
Each day will conclude with a restorative practice to help relax and restore the body before our wholesome evening meal.
This adventure is suitable for all ages. We don't worry about speed, we are about traveling together on foot. We are a tribe of adventurers, moving at a different pace sometimes but no one is left behind. This is not a place for ego or competition.
You are joining an adventure that holds the essence of true Catalonian philosophy. You are a traveler rather than a tourist. Enjoy the experience, discover a true sense of joy and freedom.
Places are limited to ensure complete personal attention.
Not included: Flights, insurance, drinks and snacks
If you travel outside of the scheduled dates then you will need to arrange your own transfers. Breakfast lunch and dinner provided from the Wednesday evening dinner to the Sunday morning breakfast.
"I can now officially conclude that this has been the best holiday of my life. And there are lots of factors that go into that... The location was breathtaking. Every peak, twist and turn of the Catalonian countryside left me gasping in awe. The skies so clear, the sun so warm, the seas so blue and the landscapes so vivid. And in running I really felt like I saw parts of this wonderful place that even the locals don't know exist… After so many weeks and months of trying – I really feel like I have found my stride."
"I felt I can run forever on the Costa Brava with its wonderful scenery, medieval villages and challenging terrain. Can’t wait to go back!"
"Gray changed my life within the first 10 seconds of seeing me run! I have been a serious runner since childhood but had all kinds of injuries. Then in my mid 30s I started getting calf tears more and more regularly. I tried everything to no avail. Someone put me onto the Chi Running book, which helped somewhat but not completely. Then I discovered Gray. Within 10 seconds of him watching me run he spotted things that no book could. He transformed my running immediately, and each week improves it further. I can now run as far as I like in complete confidence that I won’t get injured. Thank you Gray!"
Is this for me?
I’m an experienced runner looking for a new challenge.
We aim to cover about 7-13 miles each day and complete approximately 26 miles over the three days. There are also different levels of trail, so expect to spend some time scrambling over rough and steep ground. Whatever your level of running or fitness, expect to be challenged. Pablo also leads day-long marathon running adventures to Costa Rica and Morocco so he knows first-hand how to encourage his team. You’ll also learn how Qigong flow practice can lead to increased strength and power in your running. You'll get exercises too in breathing techniques to improve energy efficiency, and relaxation techniques to help rest and restore the body.
I’m new to running.
We believe that easeful running (not sprinting or running a race) is the most efficient mode of transportation to get to know a new place. Having this as your intention is a great way to start with no pressure at all to cover a certain distance. Whilst we aim to cover 26 miles over the three days, there are plenty of options for you to run a shorter distance with no-one being left behind or feeling held back. We guarantee this!
From the experience of past adventures, many new runners have run far more than they expected, simply by setting their intention to ‘travel’ rather than ‘exercise’. And since there is so much to see, time goes quickly and before you know it you’ve covered several miles. Our guides will make sure that you keep a steady pace so that you don’t tire too soon.
I’m looking for a way to take a break from the stresses of everyday life.
Everyday life can be stressful. Everybody needs some ‘me-time’. This adventure is a great opportunity to get away from it all, meet new people and enjoy time outdoors. Numerous studies show that being active and outdoors is a proven way of reducing stress.
We'll spend time in the forest drawing on the therapeutic powers of nature and connecting with the natural environment. Qigong practice will focus on efficient movement and breath, with an emphasis on rest and restoration of the mind and body. At the end of the adventure, you'll feel a sense of enormous achievement, more body awareness, and greater clarity of mind.
I like to meet new people and explore new places.
This adventure is the perfect way to meet new people and see new places. We journey from place to place by running and hiking, giving you the time to explore, absorb the atmosphere and the amazing scenery. You’ll meet like-minded people from different walks of life with a common purpose of enjoying the outdoors and working together as a team rather than in competition. The small group ensures no-one feels overwhelmed or left out.
I want to enjoy running but it hurts too much and I’m plagued with niggles and injuries.
With anywhere between 30-80% of runners affected by injury it’s no wonder it has a bad reputation but this adventure will teach you a different approach to running. You’ll experience running with the intention to travel rather than exercise or to get fit, burn calories or get faster. Often just this change in mindset makes a huge difference to how you run.
The Qigong flow practice each morning will relate directly to improved power in your running, exploring how ease of movement comes first through relaxation. During Oxygen Advantage breathing practice, you'll discover how breathing too much air can be bad for your health! With the unique combination of Qigong and Oxygen Advantage, you'll soon get to experience that by doing less you can actually achieve much more. You’ll also get practical sessions to help rest, restore, and repair the body.