This month I wanted to highlight the BayBirds retail racing team. San Francisco Running Company is located in the trail running paradise of the Marin Headlands. Brett Rivers and Jorge Maravilla opened the shop in January 2013. I waited with excited anticipation for the opening knowing that SFRC and Oiselle would be fast friends and partners — kind of like a sister-brother relationship with the same smart, hippy, and artistic parents!
Oiselle loves the unique SFRC brand experience, passion for running and athletes, and community engagement. And, woo-hoo there’s a flock of rad women runners in that community that love wearing Oiselle.
BayBirds “hatched” and the singlet design was outstanding. We couldn’t wait to get these women racing in their kit and welcoming them to our extended team. It’s been really fun being at store events with them, watching them race hard, seeing them become new moms and return to sport, following them on social media channels, etc. Big thank you to Jenny Maier for helping us highlight these awesome birds!
BayBird kits waiting for pick up.
The group before our first Tuesday night track practice with Coach Mark McManus.
There are way too many to list but many BayBirds raced this month in everything from marathon relays to ultra trail distances. They began their racing season this month with the Napa Marathon, Way Too Cool 50K and the Marin Ultra Challenge. More will race at the Oakland Marathon, Gorge Waterfalls, American River and Lake Sonoma later this spring. Check back with the team to see how the year is progressing. (follow @baybirdsracing)
Math and science teacher and elite runner YiOu Wang racing her way to a podium finish at the Way Too Cool 50K.
New mom to a 7-month old bundle of energy, Ashley Relf climbing out of Rodeo Beach during the Marin Ultra Challenge 25K where she earned a second place finish.
Vegan athlete and law student Maggie Tides racing the 50-mile distance at the Marin Ultra Challenge.
Devon Yanko, co-owner of MH Bread & Butter in Marin, BayBird and Oiselle Haute Voleé won the Napa Valley Marathon in early March.
The BayBirds racing team includes women who run roads, trails, short distances to 100-milers, for recreation or personal improvement and some that race at the competitive and elite levels. Many BayBirds are mothers and/or career professionals, balancing their work and lives with their training. Despite different racing backgrounds, lifestyles and goals, a mutual passion for running and respect for each other and appreciation for the Bay Area running community are shared. For instance, here are a few active members who inspire us daily.
Many of the BayBirds were coming to SFRC Saturday group runs well before the “BayBirds” even existed but now the team uses them for their long runs or for coached workouts like hill repeats or intervals.
Lara is a road runner turned triathlete turned trail runner. She is experienced at the 50K distance but would like to tackle a 50 miler soon. Lara is a new mom of an adorable 5 week old, and is working on getting back to pre-baby fitness. Her favorite Oiselle is the Roga Short and is excited about getting back into running and racing long enough to use all the pockets in the new Toolbelt version!
Lara, racing while pregnant at the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco.
Larissa was an athlete from the day she could walk. Larissa has run over 40 races at the marathon or longer distance, including two top 10 finishes at the San Diego 100 miler. She is the mother of Tamzen, a 19-month old BayBird-in-training, and when she is not running or hanging out at her husband’s running store, she is working at the fitness start-up, Strava. You should join; she loves giving kudos. She says making that time to run makes her a better parent, co-worker and friend.
Larissa at Pantoll crossing during the competitive Table Rock 27k. Fellow BayBird and SFRC employee Lauri Abrahamsen was volunteering that day.
Kara didn't discover running until moving to the Bay Area in 2004 and in 2009 she discovered the trails! Kara now spends her time on the trails with her favorite 4-legged training partner, Woody. She has completed multiple 50K through 100-mile distances and when not racing can be found volunteering at the many local events. Kara was only half kidding when she said her favorite Oiselle piece was the Yeti...
Kara at the Red Hot Moab 55k last month.
Maggie is a second-year law student at Boalt (UC Berkeley School of Law) who finds time to run despite her busy schedule and even claims that taking time to run around 12 hours a week actually makes her more productive and engaged when she is studying. Maggie is a vegan athlete and her favorite post-run recovery treat is tortilla chips with tabasco sauce. Maggie recently PR'ed the 50-mile distance at the Marin Ultra Challenge and at 28 years old, was the youngest female finisher. She and her boyfriend, Stephen (one of the rockstar SFRC employees and shoe gurus) live in Marin with their two adopted blind cats.
Maggie at the Marin Ultra Challenge 50-miler. (Photo credit: Nate Dunn)
Jessi is an avid runner on and off the trails, and you’ll always spot her from a mile away with her red hair in her signature pig-tails, mac rogas and a smile on her face. This year, Jessi had her first attempt at the 100-mile distance at Antelope Canyon in northern Arizona but after running through calf-deep sand and below freezing hail and rain conditions on slickrock, she called it quits at 90 miles and would love to try that distance again for a bit of redemption. Next year, Jessi would love to travel for a destination race, embracing one of the things she loves about running--getting to see and experience places she may not otherwise.
Jessi still smiling despite the difficult trail conditions at the North Face 50-miler last December. (Photo credit: Allen Lucas).
Good luck to all BayBirds this Spring!