She.is.beautiful’s Mission and Position Statement
She.is.beautiful is an inspiring, uplifting, and welcoming space for all womxn to come together to sweat their story in all the seasons of life. We are dedicated to staying fluid and evolving to serve our local and global community. We are built from a foundation of love, joy, resiliency, and compassion and will stand united on our journey towards our best selves.
We believe that beauty is more of a feeling than a physical attribute. We believe everyone deserves to feel beautiful, strong, smart, and capable in their own unique way. We believe so strongly in the power of sweat and community. We think there is something powerful that happens when a women/girl learns how strong she really is and how this can impact the rest of her life.
THE BACK STORY: She.is.beautiful was born on a dream, optimism, hard work, and love. It was fueled by a passion for running and to celebrate life in all its mess and beauty. Running brought so much strength, gratitude, power, and grounding to Melissa’s life since she began running regularly on her high school’s cross country team at age 15. Melissa knew her passion for running was a feeling shared with others yet she was also aware there were many others who had yet to feel the magic…and she wanted to both change and celebrate just that. She.is.beautiful was built on the idea of showing up and reminding women and girls how strong they truly are in their bodies can give them a new confidence that will positively affect other aspects of their life. Seeing a woman or girl develop and own her body and life, that, that right there is beautiful!
Endorphins, kindness, joy, empowerment, and support for yourself and those around you…that is something worth celebrating!
With a background in marketing, event production, dreaming, and a separate full time job, at 24 years old Melissa kicked off the first year of SIB. Her barely-older sister was in Physical Therapy School at UCSF at the time but agreed to show up and help with the race- which is good because not only is Sara quick on her feet and has great ideas, but she’s also SO MUCH FUN. With a love for community, self love, health, girlfriends, sweat, confidence, and keeping it real, She.is.beautiful started with 500 women on a start line in Santa Cruz, CA and has now grown to 6,000 women in Santa Cruz and 3,000 in Santa Barbara, CA. Hearing the stories and journeys of the women and girls that participate in the event is what keeps the sisters inspired to make each event better than the last.
Over a decade later, the course is still lined with inspirational sassy sayings, the ladies tend to show up in pink (but not required), and the positive energy created on these race mornings can move mountains and make you want to crush the rest of your life with more joy and overall badass-ness. You deserve to live a life that makes you feel good!
Since year one, She.is.beautiful has donated to Walnut Avenue Women and Family Center in Santa Cruz and Girls Incorporated of the Greater Santa Barbara Area. SIB has donated over $110,000.00+ to Walnut Avenue Women and Family Center since inception.
Melissa Leigh McConville
She.is.beautiful Founder, Race/Brand Director, Lover of Sass, Runner, horrible cook and speller, UCSB alumni, Co-Founder of Arete Women’s Running Club, and Mother of two: Deacon and Josie.
Proudest Running Moment: Breaking 3 hours in the marathon in 2018.
Favorite things in life: Early morning runs, family, friends, random acts of kindness, coincidences, green smoothies and making up healthy recipes, yoga, cappuccinos, and ice cream.
Sara Marie Tanza
She.is.beautiful’s Chief of Fun, Assistant Director, and Community Liaison, Runner, Big hugger, UCSB and UCSF alumni, Sunday morning waffle maker, Doctor of Physical Therapy specializing in Pelvic Floor at her own Clinic Pelvic Potential, and Mother of Dominic and Logan.
Favorite things in life: Family, friends, ocean and forest everything, morning coffee, inspiring podcasts, spandex, and peanut butter.