Mary and Melissa have been avid runners and close friends for almost 20 years. Over the years, running has played a huge part in their friendship. More recently they’ve thought, “wouldn’t it be cool if we had a space for women to train and race together in fun way? Women who take running seriously but don’t take themselves too seriously?!” With incredible feedback (thanks to you!) slowly the dream became a reality, and here we are today bringing Arete Women’s Running Team to life.
Mary is an educator, mother to three young children, and has been running for twenty years. She ran competitively at both Division 1 UCLA and Cornell University. She made it a goal to run her debut marathon under three hours while balancing work life and raising two toddlers. She achieved that goal at the California International Marathon in 2015 and is hoping to see more success in that distance in the future.
In the meantime, she realized how much more enjoyable the running journey is surrounded by other strong, positive female runners. She developed a passion for coaching and watching other women set and reach goals and overcome obstacles along the way. She completed USATF Coaches Training and pours her heart into all the best coaching literature and forums. She loves being a student of the sport while finding the best ways to train athletes of various levels. She’s a true running nerd at heart & loves her Arete ladies!
Melissa has been a competitive runner and active in the running community since high school. After a successful career in marketing, she combined her passion for running and community to create the popular She is Beautiful race series in Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara. By creating a space for authenticity, empowerment, and joy, these races have inspired thousands of women throughout the past seven years. Running and being a part of the local running community adds balance to her career and raising two young children. Running has given so much to her through the years that she loves to see how it enriches the lives of others in so many ways.
As an Arete co-founder, she inspires her teammates through her creativity, innovation, and ability to show up for her life and others lives in the most positive way.