Have you ever been to Santa Barbara? Talk about a running town! There is a neighborhood called the Funk Zone where you’ll find one of two Santa Barbara Running Company locations. I met Joe DeVreese from SBRC first. He said, “I think my wife may like to try some of these running shorts...” Yes, Oiselle really was a shorts company back then. I have huge gratitude to both Monica and Joe for being our partners and for the way they support and represent Oiselle in their own run family of funky and beautiful Santa Barbara. And especially for the The Santa Barbara Racing Team, a concept that Monica brought to Oiselle.
Small town Santa Barbara harbors some big ideas in women’s running and fashion. The Santa Barbara Running Company’s owner Monica DeVreese captured the heart of the running community and seriously muscled up girl power when she lined up a stellar local team of women through Oiselle.
Calling themselves "The Byrds" and backed by Santa Barbara Running Company and Santa Barbara Running & Racing and of course Oiselle, these ten women have come together to inspire female racing. From the trails to the roads to the track, these women not only cover every age bracket, but they dominate podiums.
SANTA BARBARA RACING TEAM
Monica DeVreese (@monid)
Running competitively most of her life, her passion for running really started to blossom after she was the Oklahoma State Mile Champion her freshman and senior year in High School. She has run over 20 road marathons and has a PR of 2:57. If she is not working at one of her and her husband’s Santa Barbara Running stores or chasing her two little boys around, she can most likely be found scampering in the Santa Barbara trails. Last year she won the Headlands Trail Marathon and was the 40 year old age group winner at The North Face Endurance Challenge 50K. Along with her other Masters Byrd teammates, they took 4th at USATF cross country champs last year, 2nd place Masters Team in 2014 and 2015 at the Carlsbad 5000 and 3rd place Masters Team in 2015 at the USATF Masters 8K Champs in Brea, CA. Her most coveted Oiselle products are the Roga Shorts and the Verrazano Bra.
Her passion for the sport began in high school when her mother dropped her off for cross country practice as a freshman. She went on to lead her team to win the California State cross country championships for small schools. She continued her love for running when she went on to compete in college and earned a full scholarship to run for San Diego State University where she was an NCAA Scholar Athlete and set a school record in the 5000 meters. Chrystee also represented the U.S. at the Ekiden relay in Osaka Japan five times in her collegiate running career. Post college, she continued her passion of running with the marathon. An Olympic Trials hopeful, she pursued the marathon trials qualifying time with wins at the Long Beach Marathon and several road races. After having two children, Chrystee dedicated her time to raising them and continuing her long career as a teacher (21 years!). She continues to run and support youth running programs in Santa Barbara while running races occasionally. Chrystee's favorite race is the 2009 Santa Barbara International Marathon where she finished 3rd after taking a 10 year hiatus from racing. Her mother was able to see her run her first marathon, she had 10 under her belt. "Seeing my mother at the finish line in her wheelchair cheering for me, with my children in her lap, was the most incredible feeling in the world". Chrystee's mother passed away a few months later but was able to cheer her on one last time. Chrystee’s favorite look: Mac Roga Shorts and the Gwen Tank.
Cindy's running career began a long, long, long time ago at the age of 9. She excelled as a middle distance track and cross-country athlete through middle school, high school and college, and participated on 6 Nevada State High School Championship teams and achieved an individual state title in the 1600m. After college, Cindy's focus shifted toward raising her two children and she returned to competitive running when she turned 40. As a masters runner, now 46, Cindy achieved almost all of her lifetime personal records from half marathon down to the mile. Her masters career is high-lighted by a USATF National age group title (8k road championships), national level All American for Masters age group racing, strong performances at the Carlsbad 5000 (18:01 2014) and USATF National Masters 8k championships (29:43 2014), her prized 5k PR of 17:46 accomplished in 2013 at the age of 45, and her road mile personal record of 4:57 (a) at the age of 44. Cindy is also a current All American (nationally ranked in the top 10%) age group triathlete and will be competing at the USAT National Triathlon Championships this Summer. She is thrilled and honored to be a part of the Santa Barbara Oiselle team. Cindy’s Oiselle favorites: Flyte Shorts and the Flyte Long Sleeve.
A 48-year-old mother of three teenagers, DeAnna may have found her niche in distance trail events. DeAnna fell in love with trails while celebrating her 20th wedding anniversary 2 years ago when pairing with her husband to compete in the Transrockies 6 day stage race. She has since dropped the ball and chain (just for races!) and has achieved some nice results over the last few years. First place female in the Headlands 50 mile and a win at the historic Santa Barbara 9 trails were highlights of the last year. To show her range, she joined her Byrd teammates to earn 2nd place in the women’s master’s team division at the Carlsbad 5k the last 2 years and also a 4th place team finish in last year’s cross country nationals, where she finished in the top 20 in the Masters women division. Oh yes, she’s thrown a few road marathons in there too, including a podium finish at the 2014 Santa Barbara International Marathon and master’s podium finish at the 2014 Ojai to Ocean Marathon. Besides spending her days being a soccer and track mom, she also cares for 2 toddlers whose mothers work full time. Her fave Oiselle product is the Roga Shorts.
Desa Marie Mandarino
Desa celebrates wearing Oiselle because the company's message is so pure and substantial: "Women who love to run and race inspire everything we do!" Also, at every race, it's interpersonally-satiating to be approached by other women, inquiring about the "finally fashionable and functional" running apparel, especially Desa's favorite: the eye-catching-candy, Verrazano Bra. This wife, mother, high school teacher was a 12 Varsity Letter athlete (tennis, basketball, softball) in high school. After retiring Intercollegiate softball, she missed the gifts of team, training, camaraderie, and competition. Thankfully, Running recreated these gifts. Since SB Running and Oiselle team involvement, Desa has PR'ed racing in the 1 Mile, 5K, 4 Miler, 10K, 15K, 10 Miler, and half marathon! In 2014, Desa won 1st Place Masters Woman in the Wine Country Half Marathon, the SB International Half Marathon and The State Mile. Additionally, Desa made the Santa Barbara Athletic Association record books with her Super Bowl 4 Miler age win. Genuinely, her favorite distance (frequency) to race is the race of the day! An SBAA Grand Prix, five-time, age-group winner, Desa also races countless biathlons & sprint triathlons because of "the passionate people... and swimming and biking are natural highs for the ideal heartbeat: Running!"
Drea McLarty (@twomotivate)
Drea, who also runs for Oiselle Volee, has been tearing up the local and national scene for several years. She won the Santa Barbara International Marathon in 2009 with a 2:52 and went on to better her marathon time to a 2:50. Drea also placed second in the 2014 ElliptiGo world championships and was the first woman to ever climb Mt. Evans and Pikes Peak on an ElliptiGo. She holds the national standard for the double. Drea enjoys competing in National Cross Country Championships, holds a road 5K PR of 17:07 and posted a club record at the local State Street Mile 4:38. This mother of two also teaches Pilates and Strength classes at Santa Barbara Running Company and The Lab in order to keep other runners healthy and on the go. Drea’s favorite? Flyte Shorts.
Co-Captain of the University of the Pacific NCAA Div I Cross Country team, Jill has now turned her focus to predominately road racing. Jill won the Santa Barbara International Half Marathon in 2013 and has a PR in that distance of 1:20:28. Recently, Jill has dedicated her training to the marathon distance and has a PR of 2:55:25. Every so often, Jill takes her skills to the trails, and she has even run across the Grand Canyon. Outside of running, Jill stays busy as in-house counsel for a myriad of inter-connected companies in Santa Barbara. Jill’s Oiselle favorite are the Cable Knit Arm Warmers.
Kate learned what the phrase "never give up" really means after spending all of 2014 recovering from foot injuries. Now a year after having minor foot surgery Kate is running smarter, happier, and soon faster! Working at Santa Barbara Running Co. helping the community with their running needs, and having such strong and encouraging support from the Byrds, Kate is as ready as ever to tackle her running goals. The marathon is her favorite race distance and the bluffs overlooking Santa Barbara beaches is her favorite place to run. From mountain trails, long bike rides, Drea's Pilates class's, and even the pool, Kate loves nothing more than being active, feeling healthy and having fun with it all. Kate loves the Mac Roga Shorts and Verrazano Bra in Pop!
Mariann began running in high school to get in shape for the varsity basketball team and has been running ever since. She did not get competitive until she moved to Santa Barbara at the age of 35. She enjoys shorter road races as well as shorter distance triathlons. She won the SB Half Marathon in 2001 and set her PR of 1:21:06 at the age of 39. Her favorite distance lately is the 5k because she feels like it is short enough to really give it her all. Mariann’s running peaked in her early 40’s with a 5k PR of 18:32 and 10k PR of 39:08. Now, over the age of 50, she focuses more on age-graded results trying to top out at over 80%. The SB Running/Oiselle over 50 masters team placed 5th at the USATF 8k Master Champs and Mariann was the leader of this team. So far, while running for Oiselle, she is able to enjoy 1st place finishes for women over 50 and running just over 20 min for a 5k. She is also ranked in the top 10% of her age groups for USA Triathlons. When she is not running, she enjoys chasing after her two dogs Ben and Bear, swimming and bike riding. She is a Physical Therapist which also helps to keep her physically fit. Her favorites are the Verrazano Bra and the Mac Roga Shorts.
"I love running because my mind is completely free when I run, from work and everything else. I love running and racing in the Oiselle compression Stride Shorts; I also really like the long-sleeve Flyte tops! My favorite distance is half-marathon, and my favorite race is the SB Half because I trained for it as my A race last year and made my pace goal. Last year I was able to take my running to Thailand and compete in the Khao Yai Trail Half Marathon in Thailand."
Coming together to train, race, and even sport the occasional Oiselle fashion show, this team can boast results such as a fourth place finish at Masters Team USATF Cross Country National Championships 2014, second place at Masters team Carlsbad 5000 in both 2014 and 2015, and national championship victors at the 2015 Brea 8K. The Byrds also dominated the female division of the 100K Tough Enough 2014 team road and trail relay from Carpinteria to Solvang, California.
Oiselle shines best through a collaboration of spirit and strength. This local flock proves that having it all just might mean sharing it too.