Meet KSA’s first female running group pounding the pavements to reach their health destination

Who run the world? That's a rhetorical question, btw...
Meet KSA’s first female running group pounding the pavements to reach their health destination

Grazia is proud to spread the word on the latest female force in Saudi - Riyadh Urban Runners. This group of inspirational women are KSA's first female running group and are ultra badass, to put it mildly. 

We got together with team member Amal Maghazil, who explained why the girl group was formed. "Regular exercise is important for our physical and mental wellbeing, so we wanted to create a community that encourages active lifestyle by running outdoors."

"We are a diverse group, with members from different age groups, fitness levels, nationalities and professions. We welcome anyone who wants to explore running and a wish for a healthier lifestyle." 

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The group currently has 60 members, with 10-12 runners attending the weekly sessions. "We started with three runners in 2016 and we continue to grow," Amal explains. "We have one or two weekly runs throughout the year." The ladies are also planning on creating running groups in other cities across KSA.

So, what has the reaction to the runners been like? Amal replies, "At first, women were hesitant to run outdoors because they were either used to running indoors or had never run in an abaya. That changed when they experienced it and saw how accepting the community has been." 

Fellow runner Alanoud Alhumaid added, “Do I play sports just to be skinny? No! Does sports only mean walking? No! Can I run while I’m wearing my abaya?  Yes, for sure. Sport to me means that I challenge myself. I challenge my body and before that, I challenge my brain. The girls and I will reach our destination, which is to achieve better health and lifestyle. We will get there and inspire other girls as well. We will soon be a bigger group and support each other like sisters. I always look forward to hanging out with my girls." 

The video of the runners was created by noon - the Middle East's homegrown digital shopping destination - and is part of the noon|women series, celebrating and championing women of the region. 

Photos and video: Supplied