Finally a race for women.
Melissa McConville founded the she.is.beautiful run in 2011 because she felt that Santa Cruz was missing something like it.
“There aren’t that many events just for women,” said McConville. “I wanted to start a race for all women, for the competitive and for those who have never done a race before.”
The race will begin and end at Lighthouse Point with a different start time for each division. There is a 5k and a 10k course. The 10k begins at 8 a.m. with the baby mama division following at 8:05 am, and the 5k begins at 8:15 am with the baby mama division following at 8:20 am.
The baby mama division is for those women who like to work out while pushing their little one along in a stroller.
“In most races you can’t even use a stroller because it’s a safety hazard,” said McConville.
However, since this race is specifically catered to women she wanted to create a safe space where they could participate as well.
The race unintentionally takes place on St. Patrick’s Day this year and McConville is really going with it.
“It will be the pinkest race on the greenest day.”
Allthough it isn’t mandatory most women dress up in pink or something sparkly.
“Wearing pink makes you want to do better," said McConville."It makes you want to be more positive."
She finds the color pink very empowering and believes that the other runners feel the same.
“There is so much pressure around how you work out and what you look like while you’re doing it,” said McConville.
"Running is as much a mental game as it is physical. The confidence and the mentality all have to come together when you run, which can be especially hard for women," said McConville.
With the she.is.beautiful run women can feel comfortable enough to participate and compete to their fullest, she said.
The number of participants this year has doubled from last year's event. The 2013 she.is.beautiful run sold out at 3,000 women ranging from ages 4 to 82 competing. And with more runners this year the finish line festival has increased in size as well.
Whether the women are running for fun or for the competition everyone is sure to have a winning experience. Including the Walnut Avenue Women’s Center who will be receiving the proceeds from this year’s race.
For more information about the race go to runsheisbeautiful.com
Check out this interview with founder.