Conversation with Mary Wright (Co-Founder & Director) and Melissa McConville (Co-Founder, Teammate, Visionary)
When Melissa and I kickstarted Arete in February of 2016 with a small group of trusty friends (our original “Legacy Team”), we knew something special was about to take off. We were a group of runners who wanted a collective of local women we could call teammates, but this was impossible to find. We were all busy in our own lives and seeking a group of fierce, no-fuss, fun ladies to share the road. Now almost two years later, in six different cities, we are proud to support and honor dozens of women on their running journeys.
As avid lifelong runners ourselves, we understand that running can help sustain health and fulfillment in busy lives. With a team, this positive impact magnifies and connects us to something greater than ourselves.
With an exciting 2016 start and women saying “we want and need an Arete squad,” inspired us to grow and continue to learn and improve. We have seen several personal records at races, witnessed women come together to overcome life challenges, push through tough workouts, and share laughter at teams socials.
In 2018, we will be doing more running and having even more fun! We are excited to support our teammates in their running and beyond, and we are thrilled to welcome new teammates to our run family. If you are a female runner in one of our current locations who loves to connect and support other women in running and beyond, Arete might be the team of women you never knew you needed. Although we are not currently a beginners club or for professional elites, if you are an intermediate or advanced runner who loves the energy and empowerment that Arete offers, we invite you on board.
Today we announced our team locations and registration details on our public Facebook page: Arete Women’s Running Club & Community. We encourage you to RSVP and spread the word to runner friends. We will be using these event invitations for announcements and to update current and new members as the launch event gets closer.
I took a moment to catch up with Co-founder and Arete teammate Melissa McConville so you can have a peek into where we’ve been and what’s to come!
I have never found an intermediate/advanced running group that I connected to, so we made one! No drama, no pressure… just good vibes! You can make the group of a part of your life in a way that works best for you. The track workouts are so clutch if you are someone who is looking to improve your speed and fitness. The long runs are a great way to have others to share the miles with. The team is a place to learn more about yourself and others. We don’t know where the Arete journey will take you, but we can guarantee you will be inspired to live a better.
Why is Arete something we need?
In childhood, we have so many spaces so open for community to support us. As adults, it’s challenging. We are busy and don’t have the same opportunities to join activities/groups as we did as kids.
Have you ever had that runner in town running towards you, that looks about your pace and thought as you passed each other, “Be my friend! We both like to do this, so we have at least that in common!”?! We have!
Arete fills that space we crave on so many levels: having a supportive group of women to meet with each week that share a common interest, to sweat together, set goals, and give ourselves space to grow in new ways.
I believe Arete should be in every town. If you’re a intermediate/advanced woman runner, I can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t want to be a part of a group like this.
What are your hopes for the 2018 season?
I’m excited to see where 2018 takes us all. It’s only the 3rd year of Arete and there’s already been so much growth. I hope all the chapters feel supported, inspired, and feel the love that started with our Santa Cruz Chapter. It’s so great to see each location with their own flavor but with a common vibe! It would be rad to get one Arete chapter out of California to see how it thrives.
I’m also over the top excited to share some time in Santa Barbara (one of my favorite places!) at the Arete Summer Camp!
On a more personal note, 2017 my goal was mostly survival of all the life things. In 2018 I hope to continue to build my core strength, PR in a marathon and 10k, love my people, and keep having fun!
Thanks, Melissa! We’re just going to keep riding the awesome momentum and bring all the rad ladies along with us.
The team invitation is now OPEN to women in Santa Cruz, Oakland & East Bay, San Francisco Peninsula, Sacramento, Chico, and Santa Barbara.
RSVP on the Facebook event page (be sure to select your local city!) so you can stay in the loop, spread the word to your runner friends, and we’ll see you at the launch parties in 2018.
We are excited for all things Arete in 2018 and thrilled to welcome you into our not-so-secret secret club that’s having all the fun and getting faster every day.
With Gratitude From the Arete Sisterhood,
Mary & Melissa