Rahaf Khatib, a practicing Muslim who was born in Syria and raised in the U.S., wants to clear up a few common misconceptions about her religion. First off, women are NOT discouraged from being active. “The Koran reminds us that we have a duty to take care of our health,” she says. Even so, when she lines up at races, she is usually the only woman in a hijab. The stay-at-home mother of three kids, ages 6 to 10, hopes her participation in 5Ks and marathons alike will inspire other Muslim women to start running. Since entering the contest, Khatib has been contacted by local and national groups asking her to start running clubs for Muslim women. “The running community is so positive, so welcoming, and so open-minded. I love it,” she says. “I preach to my fellow covered sisters that no matter how you look or what you wear, don’t let that stop you from running!”
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