Review: Run Mummy Run Retreat Weekend 2015

RMR Retreat

“Friendship, support, run, encourage, inspire”


The best weekend I’ve had in a long time involved a country spa hotel, lots of running and 80 of the most wonderful women you could ever meet. Welcome to the RMR retreat 2015.

Always hugely popular and eagerly awaited, the retreat caused a huge buzz on social media as soon as the details were released. This year team RMR descended on the luxurious Cranage Hall Hotel in Cheshire for a weekend of running, fun and laughter.

On arrival there were a few nervous faces as many ladies had come alone, but any concerns were soon dispelled. We were greeted with a warm smile from Jo of RunFitUK, as we collected our packs from the registration desk. The conference room was a sea of smiling, laughing women looking fabulous in their RMR gear. We grabbed a cup of tea and got chatting.


The Running….

What was the running like? Prior to the event there had been a lot of chat as to whether you had to be a ‘good’ runner to attend? We were assured that all levels would be catered for and this was true. The running element of the retreat was organised by RunFitUK, RMR’s sister project. They run non-distance based, fun sessions designed to improve a runner’s fitness, technique and run specific strength, whatever their ability. RunFitUK coaches Cassie Escott and Vikki Roberts put us through our paces.


We started with a mass warm up involving squats, walking lunges, bounding strides and sprints to name but a few. Cassie explained the importance of warming up properly and how easily we could fit in a warm up at home. We tried out specific strength exercises for running to improve our technique and help us to prevent common overuse injuries. Again Cassie encouraged us to build these into our routines. Squats while the kettle boils was a popular suggestion! There were some challenging interval drills where we all worked to our own abilities but found we could push ourselves more than we expected. We came away with lots of simple, practical ideas that we could replicate at home.


During the afternoon session we took part in the RunFitUK challenge. There was a lot of excitement and nervous chatter as we got into our groups. Cassie explained the challenge – Each team would run together, single file, around the course with the front runner holding the baton. At the end of each lap the front runner would pass the baton to the runner behind them and peel off.


Eventually only one runner from each team was left to sprint it out for the final lap and try to cross the line first. The team order was determined by individual 5k times and each team had a mixture of levels and experience. The challenge was great fun with fabulous team work, great camaraderie and a smidgen of good natured competitiveness. This session summed up the RMR spirit to a tee with everyone cheering each other on and running girls home on their final laps. Everyone was trying their best while still supporting and encouraging everyone else.


The final session focussed on running form. Cassie got us to experiment running with our stomach muscles engaged, thinking about running ‘tall’ and lifting our chests. Vikki got us to think about how important our arms are when it comes to running. You soon realise when running with your hands on your head that they are very important indeed!

RunFitUK Retreat Staff

RunFitUK Team Vikki Roberts, Cassie Escott Jo Firth


The Speakers…..

Cassie Escott spoke to the group about common running injuries. Cassie has a degree in Sport Rehabilitation and has run Positive Movement, a successful sports injury and performance enhancement clinic, since 2004. She explained when it is appropriate to use RICE or heat and when you really should seek professional advice. Cassie happily answered questions about specific injuries – she could have been there all day. The take away message from this session was ‘prevention is better than cure’ and to listen to your body.

After lunch it was time for the motivational speaker. This year we were lucky enough to have the inspirational and sparkly Amy Hughes. Amy ran 53 marathons in 53 days last summer as a personal challenge and to raise money for charity. It was fascinating to hear how she arranged her challenge, how it snowballed once it was picked up by the media and the opportunities this has led to. Amy had total belief in herself and her goal so she kept going even when things was against her. We were encouraged to do the same in our own lives, even if on a smaller scale. Amy took lots of questions and was funny, warm and down to earth. She is the queen of selfies and posed with everyone that wanted a picture with her – all of us!

Team RMR

RMR Community Ambassadors and Leann all meet Amy Hughes from ’53 Marathons’

The facilities…..

Part of the appeal of the retreat is the chance to stay in a fabulous hotel, child free. Most of us rarely get the opportunity to treat ourselves so we were determined to squeeze every bit of relaxation and pampering out of our weekend away.

Cranage Hall Hotel combined modern conference facilities with an idyllic spa location all set in 20 acres of beautiful grounds in the Cheshire countryside. The en-suite bedrooms were spacious and inviting and the food was superb. We all ate together in the hotel’s dining room with plenty of big tables so we could all mingle and chat. There was a really lovely buzz.

The fun …..

After the running was finished for the day it was time to head back to our rooms and glam up for the gala dinner. We all looked so different out of our running gear it took us a while to work out who was who. The three course dinner was delicious and the wine flowed freely while we listened to Leanne’s moving and thought provoking speech about the importance of kindness. Smug Pants were awarded as spot prizes. Then, as is tradition now, we heard the story of one of our members. This year it was the turn of the inspirational Holly Parkin, we all shared smiles and tears.


The rest of the evening was given over to laughter and dancing with everyone hitting the dancefloor to the fabulous band <<>> and a disco until the small hours.

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The morning after…..

Despite a late night we all made it down to breakfast. Some of the girls had gone out early for a run, made use of the spa facilities or had a swim, but many decided to make the most of a child free night and stay in bed as long as possible!

At 9am we were back in the walled garden where Cassie got us to repeat the warm up from the previous day and the walking lunges elicited a loud collective groan dues to achey, dance weary legs. As the session closed we were all given our fabulous goody bags and then it was time to say our sad goodbyes.



The Friendship….

The RMR retreat had taught us a lot of things about ourselves and our running but mostly about what the support and friendship of others can help us achieve. It was an amazing weekend filled with like-minded, inspirational, spirited, women.  I will definitely be back next year!

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