Chengdu Running Retreat
New to the Gone Running, GreenRace and Red Dot Running Company run retreat line-up, this 4-day trip over the Dragon Boat Festival weekend (June 15-19) takes runners to Wenchuan town in Sichuan Province at the foothills of the Tibetan Plateau. A Qiang Tibetan town, it’s quietly growing into a new tourist attraction that has a lot to offer, not least magnificent mountain trails!
Set amidst the captivating mountain range that climbs above 5,000m, this trail running camp is for the runner seeking out a new destination to explore and new challenges to take on. With elevations from 1,300m to 4,000m, this 4-day camp (with shorter 3-day option) is perfectly suited to prepare runners who are planning on tackling big-mountain ultras like Eiger Ultra Trail, CCC, TDS, UTMB, or other races with large climbs and descents. And even if you’re not racing soon, but you just enjoy big mountain running, this retreat is for you, too!
Limited to 30 runners, a HK100 minimum performance level of 24 hours or equivalent - note this has been changed - is needed to ensure appropriate fitness and group cohesion for this exciting new retreat. Many runners have been asking when we can offer a China mountain retreat—now’s the time!
- Daily distance options with 20km to 40km per day
- Total distance from 60km to 100km
- Total elevation from 5,000m to 6,000m
- Running guides for different levels of runners
Based in the valley of Wenchuan town, Sichuan Province, each day’s running route will explore mountains to both the West and East of town. With views of snow-capped 5,000m peaks and above, it’s a running paradise.
Friday 15 June
- Transfer from airport to hotel
- Welcome drink and short briefing
- Night in 3-star hotel in Chengdu
Saturday 16 June
- Breakfast at Chengdu
- Bus transfer to Wenchuan (2 hours) and check into hotel
- 21-34km run with 2,000m D+
- Mid-run village snack
- Traditional Tibetan dinner
Sunday 17 June
- Breakfast at hotel
- Run up Dragon Mountain – 22-38km with 1,600-2,400m D+
- Optional summit attempt for faster group
- Mid-run village snack
- Classic Sichuan dinner with local produce
- Traditional Qiang dancing in the town square
- (Transfer back to Chengdu for 3-day runners)
Monday 18 June
- Breakfast at the hotel
- 17-30km with 1,200-1,600m D+
- Mid-run village lunch
- Finish and transfer back to Chengdu (2.5 hours)
- Arrive in Chengdu by 6pm and shower at hotel
- Buffet dinner downtown
Optional 3-day package transfers runners back to Chengdu on Sunday night and allows for Giant Panda Base visit OR Chengdu city tour on locally-made bamboo bikes. Transfer to airport Monday late morning.
Tuesday 19 June
- Morning activity options:
- Chengdu morning run
- Panda Base tour
- City tour on bamboo bike
- Free time for shopping or city exploring
- Group lunch
- Airport transfer
Wenchuan ErMa Hotel (or similar) - The hotel is conveniently in Wenchuan, near the river in downtown Wenchuan and near many markets and restaurants. It includes comfortable and air-conditioned rooms with Western toilet and plenty of hot water! Twin rooms with single bed supplement available upon request.
Chengdu Hotel - To be confirmed.
Located in the northeast corner of Chengdu, the Giant Panda Research and Breeding Base opened in 1987 with the goal of becoming a "world-class research facility, conservation education center, and international educational tourism destination." With just six pandas taken from the wild over 30 years ago, in 2008 the Base had a total of 83 captive pandas and over 124 births. This non-profit center has revolutionized captive panda breeding as well as becoming home to other rare animals including black-necked cranes and the red panda. There are a couple other panda-viewing bases within an hour or two of Chengdu, but this base is unique in its location being within the city limits.
Simple Bikes Bamboo Bike Tour
In 2015 in Chengdu, Abu Ren first produced a few prototype bamboo-frame bikes for some friends. As their initial reviews were very positive, he saw that his dream of starting "a company that will contribute to making eco-friendly and sustainable bike transportation a fun and affordable lifestyle for everyone!" was a feasible one, indeed! Abu and his team build bamboo frames using carbon and hemp fibre joints to ensure a durable, soft ride and ensures your safety as the frame design is ISO certified by the U.K. Bureau Veritas. He enjoys seeing people revisit the simple joy of riding on two wheels and hopes that each person will come to share his value of "(loving) to ride while having fun protecting the planet." Simple Bikes offers bamboo bikes for a leisurely tour around Chengdu that will lead you to both some of the treasured ancient sites like the Brocade Museum and TianFu Square and modern attractions like TaiKooLi, the riverfront and ends at a cafe or restaurant so you can refuel.
DanDuo International Buffet
Whether it's fresh seafood, sushi, steak or vegetarian fare from the East or West, this international buffet has something for everyone. After running for 3 days in the mountains, you'll enjoy topping up your energy stores with a wide array of Sichuan food, Japanese sushi, sashimi, Western salads and meats including lamb, duck, steak, sausages and more. Then there is the typical Chinese cuisine from across the country along with fresh fruit, vegetables, seafood aplenty, and pasta. To satisfy your thirst, white and red wines, beer and cider, fresh fruit juice, dairy choices, tea and coffee are all included. Then to end your night, Haagen-Daaz ice cream and desserts are on tap. Suffice to say, you won't be leaving here hungry as you wind down your last night in Chengdu.
- Trail running backpack with water supply (1.5L min)
- Suitable running clothes for a range of temperatures in alpine mountains
- Waterproof, breathable jacket with hood
- Visor or cap
- Buff, foulard or stocking cap
- Sunscreen (including lip balm)
- Headlight with battery (spare battery or light recommended)
- Emergency whistle
- Space blanket
- Watch with GPX function and map function
- Mainland China-capable cell phone with SIM card
- Change of trail shoes (trails can be wet this time of year)
- Wind pants are recommended in case weather turns mid-run
- Running gloves, with waterproof or windproof preferred
- Flip-flops for hotel usage or shower as needed
- Anti-chafing cream like Gurney Goo
We will return to the Wenchuan hotel each night so runners need only bring what they need for the day, and can leave luggage can be stored in your hotel room. Key cards can be carried on your person or left at the front desk as each run is started and picked up after the run ends. Lock box is available at hotel front desk.
All-inclusive price for the 4-day trip is HK$3,950. For those that can't get a day off work, the 3-day trip is HK$3,200.
- 60-100km of beautiful mountain trail running around Wenchuan
- Running guides for different levels of runners
- 3-star twin-share accommodation in Chengdu and Wenchuan hotels
- All transfers (airport, in-city and city return)
- Three meals per day including special Tibetan, Sichuan and buffet dinners
- Daily running nutrition including At One and Runivore energy bars and Tailwind endurance fuel
- Bilingual team for organization, safety and on-trail support
- Panda Research Base OR Bamboo City bike tour
- Clothes washing optional at hotel as needed
Please book and pay directly at www.gone.run/products/chengdu-running-retreat.
NOTE: Price excludes international airfare, China visa, travel insurance, personal snacks and drinks, and alcoholic beverages.
We recommend flying either Cathay Pacific (Dragon Air codeshare) or Sichuan Airlines on the following flights from Hong Kong, and will organise group transfers around these flights. Runners from other countries are also welcome to attend.
15 June: Hong Kong to Chengdu on CX5824 (KA824) 19:25-21:55
19 June: Chengdu to Hong Kong on CX5821 (KA821) 13:55-16:55
15 June: Hong Kong to Chengdu on 3U8618 17:10-20:00
19 June: Chengdu to Hong Kong on 3U8617 16:15-18:30
We recommend the 4-day trip but, for optional 3-day trippers, we recommend the following return flights on 18 June: Chengdu to Hong Kong on CX5821 13:55-16:40 on Cathay 3U8617 13:45-16:10 on Sichuan Airlines.
For any questions regarding our Chengdu Running Retreat, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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