Muslimahs Compete In Reebok Running Challenge

Community News

AllStar WrapStars are 12 Muslim women from Georgia, North Carolina, and the DMV who will take on Ragnar DC, a 206-mile relay race from scenic Cumberland, Md. to Washington D.C. on Sept. 22-23, 2017. This is the 10-Year-Anniversary of the Reebok Ragnar. The course takes runners past iconic 18th century homes and alongside the Potomac River before the sunset. They will run through historic towns and sites and a finish line in the nation's capitol. Many of the women running are mothers, professionals and active in their communities. The women in their communities are celebrating their run as a gust of good news in a harsh year.

A common question asked is why are they choosing to run this race and their answers are as varied as they are.

The captain of the team is the Fitness Doc, Muslimah 'Ali Najee-ullah, Ph.D. of Baltimore. She is a trained anatomist and neuroscientist, wife, mother and founder of Fit and Healthy You. She is running Ragnar DC because she believes life it's about going beyond what one is typically comfortable with —mentally and physically. “I'm running Ragnar to challenge myself, to do something out of the ordinary to become extraordinary. Turning 40 years old put a new perspective on living your life to the fullest and this race screams that,” says Dr Najee-ullah. She will complete 15 miles of the race. The race is unique in that only one runner is allowed to run at a time.

Demi is the first runner of this fun race. She lives in the DC metro and enjoys a good challenge, so when the Ragnar opportunity presented itself, signing up was her default option. “I'm a long shot from being a runner, but I've always been curious about how I'd perform if I tried it out. The cherry on top is the opportunity to do this with fellow Muslimahs. I certainly look forward to the race," says Demi.

Another local running is Fatima Fanusie who will run the 4th leg of the race, around 14 miles. "As a Full time Historian, Archivist, Wife, Short-Order Cook, Chauffer and Mother of 3 beautifully spirited human beings, juggling my personal health and fitness remains my most pressing (and at times elusive) challenge to date,” she says. After a car accident this past October, made running, one of her favorite past times, extremely difficult. “I am running my first Ragnar in order rebuild mileage and my love of running, “she shares.

Running with Muslim sisters is also a notion on the minds of these women as Ragnar is a team event. “I am also excited to create and nurture relationships with a group of women with whom I share a faith and desire to grow as runners,” says another team member.

Leg 6 will be run by Nura who is based out of Atlanta, Ga. "I decided to run Ragnar DC simply because I LOVE to run. I love to challenge myself. I love to compete. I love being around others who share this passion, particularly my Muslim sisters,” says Nura.

For many of the sisters, running is a way to maintain their health, as their children become adults. Soyini who will run Leg 2 of the race says she needs to refocus on her health as she has gotten away from taking good care of her self. "I have a quote on my refrigerator that says, "What would you attempt to do if you knew you couldn't fail." My response to that question is "I would do EVERYTHING, so why not do this type of race? I love to push myself, physically and mentally. A Ragnar will push me to be a better me. Additionally, my children are young adults (22, 19, 16) and we are less than two years away from being empty nesters,” she stresses.

The Muslim community is welcome to support the team at the finishing line at Anacostia Riverwalk Trail.