The brainchild of Michael and Sarah Crouch, Go Run Vacations seamlessly brings their love of travel and running together to share with those who are equally enthusiastic. With a mission to offer an unparalleled experience for any runner who has a sense of adventure, the Crouches have trips currently on the calendar for Northern Arizona, with projected expansion into Big Bear, California for as soon as 2020. We caught up with Michael to inquire about this new venture, how this idea came about, and what you can expect when booking your Go Run Vacation.
AthleteBiz (AB): You and Sarah have seen the USA through the lens of elite professional racing and training. Did you chose your own favorite locations as initial vacation spots for these travel adventure offerings?
Michael Crouch (MC): We’ve lived in Flagstaff for about two years now and have completely fallen in love with all that the area has to offer, from the red rocks of Sedona to the incredible vista of the Grand Canyon. We are so fortunate to have gorgeous running vistas and incredible sights right in our backyard and it dawned on us that this would be a great thing to share with other runners, particularly those who spend most of their miles on cramped city streets. Every runner should get to experience how we live as professional athletes training in a beautiful mountain town, even if just for a week each summer.
AB: You ran professionally for ZAP Fitness for a few years. Did your exposure to adult running camps at ZAP influence this idea?
MC: Absolutely! What Pete and Zika have done at Zap Fitness for the last two decades has really set the standard for the adult running camp experience. There is something very special about the energy and community of a group of runners of all abilities enjoying a vacation together in a beautiful location and the experience we gained helping with the Zap Fitness camps has proven invaluable as we’ve planned our own version of the adult running vacation. Pete has actually been a big part of helping me put this camp together. He shared his experiences from the last 20 years to help me make this camp as enjoyable for the athletes as it can be.
AB: How would you describe the mix of “running” versus “vacationing” on your trips? Would someone who is beginner runner (or even a non-runner) feel welcome and have fun on these trips?
MC: Perhaps the best parts of our Go Run Vacation are the moments spent not running, but standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon, watching the sun set over Sedona and peering through the same telescopes that discovered Pluto. There is so much to do outside of running that even the non-running spouses and friends of our campers will enjoy the trip immensely. Besides, all of our running venues here in Northern Arizona are absolutely breathtaking and can be enjoyed just as well at a walking pace!
AB: Will the vacationers get the chance to have quality time with you and Sarah and learn from your considerable training, nutrition and injury prevention knowledge?
MC: Of course! We look forward to getting to know all of our campers and to learn from their life and training experiences even as we share our own!
AB: You’ve promoted the Northern Arizona trip and previewed the Big Bear trip. How do you feel about the interest levels in these unique travel opportunities so far?
MC: Within just over a week of going public, we’ve reached capacity for our Northern Arizona camp and are strongly considering planning a second mini-camp for a bit later in the summer. We look forward to arranging a Big Bear trip for next summer and perhaps even expanding beyond that!
AB: Do you still have elite running ambitions, and what can you tell us about Sarah’s future racing plans?
MC: Absolutely! I am still chasing my Olympic Trials Standard in the marathon. I have had a few bad seasons from injury, but as of now, I am healthy and training is going great! Sarah is currently training for Boston. This year’s field is looking to be a very competitive on the U.S. women’s side and Sarah is hoping to mix it up with the best.
Book your Go Run Vacations package – check out the just-launched Northern Arizona mini-camp, taking place August 8-11th!
About the Go Run Vacations Team
A native to Southern California, Michael pursued his collegiate and professional running career in North Carolina where he trained under Zap Fitness, formerly a Reebok sponsored training group. Michael has raced every distance from the Mile to the Marathon with personal bests of 4:04 in the mile, 13:40 in the 5k and 2:21 in the Marathon. Michael has coached hundreds of runners to personal bests, Boston Qualifiers, and even those who are just getting started in the sport. Michael founded Go Run Vacations in the hopes of getting more runners into the mountains and out of the polluted city air!
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Sarah fell in love with running due to the abundance of trails and beauty the area has to offer. After attending Western Washington University, Sarah started her professional running career and is currently sponsored by 361usa and is one of the top 10 marathoners in the United States. Not only is she an elite athlete, but she has also written articles for competitor magazine and has been featured on many podcasts. Sarah holds a marathon PR of 2:32 and was the top American at the 2018 Chicago Marathon. Sarah has helped hundreds of athletes on their journey to reach their potential and achieve their running goals.