As you know, I’m in the process of doing research for a new book on women runners who run covered (such as with clothing prescribed by their religion, or by secrecy because running is forbidden to them for some reason).

A few weeks ago, in the process of doing my first round of interviews, I had the pleasure of meeting (via phone) an extraordinary young woman. Sarah Attar is the first female runner to participate in the Olympic Games on behalf of Saudi Arabia.  Sarah grew up here in the U.S. and runs for Pepperdine University in California. A mature young woman who understands her place in history, Sarah told me she dreams of a day when running for girls in Saudi Arabia is “no big deal,” but just something girls do. I share Sarah’s vision. Running makes a girl feel brave, proud, strong, and free. Girls who run come to know that they can think for themselves and stand on their own two feet–literally and metaphorically.

Graffiti of Sarah's image running in the Olympics by the artist Shaweesh

Graffiti of Sarah’s image running in the Olympics by the artist Shaweesh

 

As a senior in college, Sarah is an art major. And at this time, she is working on a creative project for her senior project. I’d love it if you would consider helping her with it. Check out what she has to say:

“From my experience in the Olympics I have started exploring and researching the idea of participation in sport, and my art has been a great way to do that. With my senior thesis exhibition coming up, I am starting a global collaborative project to collect runs from people around the world. Powerful things happen when people come together, and I would like as many people to be involved with this as possible. This project will demonstrate how all of our runs, while individual and distinct, are all part of a larger community, that we are all connected through the simple and beautiful act of running.

“I would love your help with this. I think we can reach a wide range of people and through that create an even greater global community.” -Sarah Attar

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To be a part of Sarah’s project send the following to [email protected]:

1. Your age.

2. Your gender.

3. An image of a running route you’ve enjoyed (this can be a screen shot or a link to your route online).

4. The country where your run took place.

5. Your story about running (optional).

To learn more about Sarah’s project, visit runningroutesproject.tumblr.com