A new ‘Run The River’ running cruise on the Danube has been launched by A-Rosa and Charitable Travel. Credit: A-Rosa

Run the river with A-Rosa and Rory Coleman

Author: Vicky Mayer

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A-Rosa River Cruises has teamed up with Charitable Travel, a tourism social enterprise, to launch a new running cruise holiday in October 2023. Lifestyle and marathon coach, Rory Coleman, has the low-down

Participants will get to run 10km a day, over five unforgettable days, through some of the Danube River’s most spectacular landscapes and cities, all under the personal guidance of leading UK lifestyle and marathon coach Rory Coleman.

We caught up with Coleman, the 1,000-time marathoner, ultra-runner and performance coach, to find out more about A-Rosa’s 'Run The River' charity cruise.

Can you tell us a bit about the ‘Run The River’ cruise?
This new cruise is totally unique, and I truly am excited to be leading it. I’ve been a lifestyle and running coach for many years now, training everyone from 18 to 81-year-olds, but hosting a running cruise is something completely new.

We will run 10km a day, over five unforgettable days, through some of the Danube River’s most spectacular landscapes and cities.

Everyone taking part will be under my personal guidance and be able to use my years of experience to help them on this journey. This will be 50km like never before, discovering new places, making new friends and some incredible personal achievements.

'Run The River' has been created by A-Rosa River Cruises in partnership with Charitable Travel, so runners raise money for their chosen charity at the same time. And this is just the first one, watch out for which river we might run on next.

Rory Coleman is one of the UK’s leading lifestyle and running coaches. Credit: A-Rosa

Do you have to be an experienced runner to join this special cruise?
Absolutely not. This challenge is open to everyone who has an interest in running. From the moment guests book I will work with them to develop their running skills – all anyone participating needs is determination and commitment, and the reward will be all theirs for the taking.

In the months leading up to the cruise I will create personalised training plans for each runner, work on nutrition and all the other elements need to build up their stamina and fitness toward achieving the ultimate goal in October.

I fully understand that many people can run 10k but running it every day for five consecutive days is an incredible challenge. However, using my years of experience and guidance it will be amazing to watch people achieve things they never believed they could. I honestly can’t wait.

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What are you expecting to be the highlights of the runs?
I know there are just going to be so many. Not only will runners get to explore some of the amazing cities along the Danube a little differently – they’ll do it all with me by their side proving encouragement, support and tips along the way.

But this holiday is not just about the physical running, this is about so much more – this is about a journey into finding a better you, about setting goals, working towards and achieving them.

For me, another huge highlight will be running with a likeminded group every day. In my experience, people pull together to support each other and provide all the encouragement needed throughout.

Which routes will you be running?
Every day will different as we run a total of 50km in five days along specially created running routes around the ports A-Rosa Donna visits.

We will run in city locations such as Vienna – one of the marathon capitals of Europe, Bratislava and Linz, plus stunning scenery will also be in abundance with highlights such as the breathtaking Danube Bend, (known as the Schloegener Schlinge), where the mighty Danube makes an almost perfect 360-degree bend, or the picturesque Wachau wine valley, surrounded by legendary castles at every turn.

When on board, passengers can take advantage of A-Rosa Donna's amenities. Credit: A-Rosa

If you can’t join this cruise, can you give our readers three tips on how to improve their runs?

Absolutely. Here you go...

1. Train ‘Like a Champion’
At the start of your training write down the reason WHY you are training and put it on your fridge as it will remind you and let everyone else in your household know what you are trying to achieve.

2. Give yourself ‘some time’
Getting fitter, faster and leaner doesn’t happen overnight, its more of a life-journey. If you stick to a training programme it will deliver the results you are looking for. There’s nothing better than knocking a couple of minutes off your best 5km or completing your first 10kn run.

3. Create a ‘team me’
Build a supportive team around you. Get your partner/family/friends onside and they will be able to see your daily commitments to your training. This really helps. If you have a friend or colleague to run with, they will help keep you motived and committed to training dates and times.

How will the charity element work for the cruise guests?
This cruise has been created in partnership with unique tourism social enterprise Charitable Travel. Everyone participating is able to give something back, because every holiday booked with Charitable Travel includes a five per cent donation to each customers chosen charity, plus they will be encouraged to work with your nominated charity to raise further funds.

I can’t wait to hear about which charities our runners are choosing to support and why – I am sure there will be some incredible stories to share over dinner once we’re back on board A-Rosa Donna.

Get on board
This running cruise holiday departs on October 25, 2023 and is priced from £1,299 per person.The ground package includes one night’s pre-cruise B&B accommodation in Engelhartszell; five nights’ onboard A-Rosa Donna on a premium all-inclusive basis including all meals and drinks; plus the full ‘Run the river’ programme and pre-cruise coaching and guidance with Rory Coleman. Flights/rail are extra. Based on two sharing.

For the full low-down, please click here

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About Vicky Mayer

Vicky began her career working on young women’s magazines before moving on to TV and entertainment titles. Her passion, though, has always been travel, so as Editor of World of Cruising, she combines her love of magazines with the chance to shout about cruise holidays around the world.