Rahaf got married in college to her sweetheart Mouhammed, and by the time she was 24, she was a stay-at-home mom with three children and a husband who worked long hours as a physician. She wanted to do something to “contribute to the world”, but raising kids was a full-time job. But when she discovered that a local gym offered daycare, she felt ready to take on more:
I needed to have a bigger impact. I wondered how I could be a positive role model for the Muslim American community.
One day, her son’s gym teacher suggested a 5K race and she “instantly loved the challenge.” That led to a 10K and eventually nine marathons, two triathlons, and 15 half marathons. “When I crossed the finish line in that small local race in April 2012, my life changed,” she says. “I became addicted to crossing finish lines.”