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Qi Gong & Trails

A Costa Brava Marathon Adventure

6-10 October 2021

Take some time to treat yourself

Explore the stunning forest and coastal trails of the Costa Brava.

Enjoy daily outdoor Qi Gong practice followed by guided trail runs.

Choose to complete either a 1/2 or full marathon over this transformational 3-day (4 nights) experience.

Our philosophy

We'd like to take you on an adventure. To give you the opportunity to perhaps do something you've always wanted but never quite got around to.

Our adventures are always fun, challenging and rewarding.

Taking time out from your normal routine, doing something different with a small group of like-minded people is refreshing, energising and restorative.

You'll feel a sense of achievement and fulfilment as you complete your journey on foot from the beautiful medieval city of Girona through forest to the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean sea.

Walk, hike, run – it's your choice. You'll be guide by three expert coaches. Go at your own pace – we guarantee that no-one is left behind.

We move naturally as a group, stopping to take photos, for a quick dip in the sea, for coffee and cake!

You are invited to join this challenging but competition-free adventure!

“Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.”

Leonardo da Vinci

The adventure includes

  • 4 nights quality accommodation
  • 3 days of adventure
  • Outdoor Qi Gong 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 (6 & 10 Oct)

Special bonuses

  • Group Zoom introductions and coaching session before we head out
  • 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.

Peter Jaeckel

AI Specialist

Meet The Team

Gray Caws – Retreat Leader

GRAY CAWS

Retreat Leader

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 jacked in 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.

Pablo perfectly embodies the true spirit of this adventure and this year, along with Pablo, I’m 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.

Each morning I’ll guide you through an outdoor Qi Gong 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 places each night. From high-quality hotels to family-run smallholdings. We’ll be 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!

Happy running!

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 comes about by focusing your mind, listening to your body and tapping into your natural, intuitive flow of energy, movement and breath.

I’m a full-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 Qi Gong, training with Lee Holden.

 

Pablo Rodriguez –Trail Guide

PABLO RODRIGUEZ

Trail Guide

Hello

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!

Elaine Jackson – Trail Coach

Elaine Jackson

Trail Coach

Hi everyone, I’m Elaine and I’m delighted to be coaching on the Costa Brava in October 2021. 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 on the Costa Brava in 2018 and I’m still telling everyone about it now! 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.

£1,195.00£1,395.00

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The best parts where the amazing, supportive bunch of people and the team that created this whole atmosphere. It was absolutely phenomenal.

Jane Lelean

Owner of The Institute of Dental Business

The Costa Brava is an amazing place to run, hike, and explore with its rugged coastline and picturesque medieval villages.

You are guaranteed to feel a true sense of satisfaction and achievement on this unique adventure.

The Qi Gong & 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. 

This year they they welcome Elaine Jackson who joined the adventure back in 2018 and loved it so much that she's back this year 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 Qi Gong practice before heading out onto the trails. You can choose to either run a 1/2 or a full marathon over the three days. Whichever you choose we recommend that you are able to comfortably run 10 miles at an 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 worry about speed, we are about traveling together on foot. We are a tribe of adventurers, a team 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 Qi Gong and 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.

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.

Cat Townsend

Founder of The Good Alliance

"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!"

Nicky Dowson

"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!"

Richard Thomas

Mathematician

Is this for me?

I’m an experienced runner looking for a new challenge.

Choose the full marathon option and expected to cover about 7-13 miles each day and complete the 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 Qi Gong flow practice can lead to increased strength and power of 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.

If you are new to running you can opt to walk/run the 1/2 marathon distance over the three days. We believe running 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.

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 for 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. Qi Gong 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.GI want to enjoy running but it hurts too much and I’m plagued with niggles and injuries.G 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 Qi Gong 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 Qi Gong and Oxygen Advantage, you'll soon get to experience the age-old idea that by doing less you can actually achieve much more. You’ll also get practical sessions to help rest, restore, and repair the body.