What type of people go on Rogue Expeditions running trips? It seems that everyone worries that they'll either be too slow, or too fast. That the mileage will be too difficult, or not challenging enough. That they'll be too old, or too young. That the other people will be super serious running geeks who talk about nothing but training, or that the other people will all be there to take it reeeeeeally easy. That they'll be the only person who doesn't know anyone else.
In truth, there is no "type." The trips attract all sorts of backgrounds, all sorts of ability levels and all sorts of motivations for being there, and the beautiful thing is that it works for just about everyone! To prove it, over the coming weeks we will be interviewing a number of our runners about their running background, pre-trip hesitations, favorite trip memories and most surprising revelations.
First up is Lindy Romanovsky, who currently lives in Boston but is originally from Canada.
Which trip did you do and when?
Run Morocco Mountains and Coast (March 2017)
Describe your running background:
I started running full time (5-6 times a week) in university as a stress reliever. I usually run 5 km (3 miles) five days a week in the morning and two longer runs of at least 10 km plus on the weekend. I have done a handful of half marathons but never a marathon. Despite many years of running I am a mediocre runner who is slow and steady and runs simply because I love it! I tell people running is my drug of choice.
How did you end up on that trip? What led you to the decision?
I finally finished 13 years of university, residency and fellowship and joined the work force which meant I finally had vacation time. I wanted to travel but couldn't convince any friends to take time off from work. My sister in law suggested I look for a running trip as she knew I enjoyed running. I googled and stumbled upon Rogue Expeditions. I was immediately intrigued (the pictures were amazing)! One nervous email to Allison Macsas who reassured me that not everyone were marathon or ultra runners resulted in me signing up without a second thought!
Any hesitations or uncertainties going into it?
I was very nervous to sign up and was worried I wouldn't be fast enough or be able to handle the distances. I didn't want to be that person to slow the entire group down and impact their trip and experience. I remember sitting in the Boston airport en route to Morocco thinking "what did I do?!?!". These nerves were quickly settled on the first run! One can run at their pace and the distance they feel comfortable.
Did you know anyone else in the group beforehand? How was it traveling with a group of strangers?
I didn't know anyone beforehand! Quickly these people became friends and not strangers. Everyone got along great! There was a mix of ages, from 23 to 60 plus, single people, couples and people who knew each other from Spanish class in junior high. Despite the age range and different backgrounds we all got along wonderfully as though we had known each other for years!
What was your favorite run and why?
This is a tough one! Each run was incredibly different and amazing. You will run through remote villages with kids running beside you to running through a palm tree oasis to running where there is no one in sight for miles other then goats precariously balancing on the side of a cliff.
Food is a huge part of any travel experience. What was your favorite thing that you ate?
I am a vegetarian and was worried it would be tough in Morocco where their diet is centered on lamb. I was pleasantly surprised! I am now convinced the idea of farm to table was invented in Morocco.
Both travel and running have their ups and downs. What was your most challenging moment or issue during the trip? How did you overcome it?
The trip was incredibly well run and organized. Allison Macsas, Hamid (local tour guide) and James Dodds made sure there were no downs!. If I have to say there was one down, which really was not a down, is one night my roommate slept walked and spent a few hours grabbing my feet and sitting at the side of her bed staring at me. To be honest, it simply made for a great breakfast laugh!
What surprised you the most about the experience?
Everything! I had no idea of what to expect. Before going I Facebook-stalked their previous trip pictures to get a better idea of what I had signed up for. I had simply chosen the Morocco trip as the dates fit best with my schedule. Prior to going on this trip, Morocco was not on my travel list, but I am shocked that it wasn't! I was astonished by the beauty of the country, the hospitality (can you say mint tea galore!), the cultural immersion and the best runs I have ever had in my life. Allison and James ensure that you have an experience you will never forget and one your friends will get tired of hearing about.
"Runcation" vs a race: what do you think are some of the key similarities and differences? Or are they even comparable?
When I think of a race it cause me to have palpitations and brings out my competitive side. I need to be the fastest and the best! However when I think of a runcation I NOW think of incredible running with like-minded people and not caring about ones pace. Taking in the beauty of ones surroundings! Runcation does not equal race.
Sum up your Rogue Expeditions experience in one sentence:
To summarize 9 amazing days in Morocco into one sentence is difficult but I will give it a try! Morocco was not simply a vacation or a trip, but was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. I left as a stronger runner with 19 new friends and a terrible tan line, overflowing with mint tea, wonderful fresh food and an appreciation for the hospitality and culture of Morocco.