Guest blog by Tyler Andrews/STRIVE Trips
Hey all – Ty here.
I know I usually use this space to talk about my own training, racing, and reflection about all things running, but I want to talk quickly about a new program I’m going to be leading this summer.
The program is called Running to Machu Picchu and it’s a 10-day running-based exploration of Peru’s Sacred Valley, ending at Machu Picchu – one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
The idea stemmed from the myriad conversations I had with parents of STRIVE students who all basically said the same thing: “I’m SO jealous that my kid gets to take part in this program!”
And it’s true. Even I feel a tinge of jealousy that there wasn’t a program like STRIVE when I was in high school. But for a parent who is passionate about running and exploration and travel and cultural immersion, I can see where the sentiment would be even stronger.
So, I started thinking about how we could include adults. It took some re-working (most adults, for example, don’t have three or four weeks that they can take off for a trip), but I’m confident that Running to Machu Picchu is going to be just as terrific an experience as the classic STRIVE-Peru program.
Running to Machu Picchu combines essentially all my favorite things – breath-taking runs, adventure travel, cultural exploration, and the opportunity to meet amazing, new people.
The trip begins in the ancient city of Cusco, where the group will spend a couple of days to acclimatize to the altitude and explore the beautiful city and surrounding areas. Then, the real adventure begins.
We descend to Pisaq – the home-base for STRIVE programs and the gateway to the Sacred Valley. From there, we follow the Urubamba River from town to down covering ground as the Incas did – on foot (or on bike or in a car if you happen to be the non-runner in the family).
Each day will start off with a point-to-point run which will take the group towards our next destination (and every run will feature a wide range of options for both pace and distance, so don’t worry about being too fast or too slow!). The afternoons will be spent exploring each town and its particular surroundings – from ancient Inca ruins, to beautiful hikes, to white-water rafting, to touring a local estancia (ranch). In the evenings, you’ll be able to relax in luxurious lodging, sample some of Peru’s finest cuisine, and get to know your guides and trip-mates.
The trip culminates with a visit to Machu Picchu, truly one of the most unbelievable sights on this Earth. You’ll learn about the history (or legend) of the area, the architecture and engineering, and have time to explore the site on your own.
All in all, it’s a trip that we’ve created with so many people in mind – people who are passionate about travel but want to be more than just a tourist, people who love to be active and who want to experience something beautiful in a unique context.
I’m truly excited for this program and to meet and run with a whole new group of people. Moreover, I’m excited to continue to share the beauty of this place and these people that stole my heart way back when. I can’t wait to see others fall in love as well!