Complex Made Simple

Video: Riyadh’s 1st female running collective shaping to inspire

noon, the Middle East’s homegrown online marketplace, caught up with Saudi Arabia’s first female running collective, the Riyadh Urban Runners (RUR), as part of the noon | women series, which continues to shed light on extraordinary women from our region.

RUR is a group of women who have taken hanging out with their besties to a whole new level. At their weekly meet-ups in the Kingdom’s capital city, RUR spend time getting their minds and bodies healthy through group running sessions.

Read: Saudi women could further boost GCC tourism and business

Running at least once or twice a week all year round, RUR takes to the streets later in the evening in the hotter months, to avoid the scorching daytime temperatures. During cooler climes, the ladies raise their heart rates during the daytime, taking in the sights of their capital city as they pound the pavement.

Gearing up for a big run is easier for these ladies than hitting a local gym since they just add trainers, RUR belts, Nike hijabs and wireless headphones to their traditional abayas and go.

‘Yalla Run’ is their motto. Simple.

“The reaction to the collective has been resoundingly positive from both men and women,” said noon. “Ladies have been encouraged to join the weekly meet-ups, while gents often encourage them with words like, “keep going!” to the pack of runners.”

SURVEY: ‘Saudi women drivers will cause more accidents’

The team are looking to expand into other cities in KSA over the coming year and will also welcome a male-RUR group to Riyadh soon.

Last May, a group of women in the Saudi city of Jeddah marked International Women’s Day on Thursday by exercising one of their newly acquired freedoms: the right to go for a jog, Reuters reported.

Arab News reports that Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation is training Saudi women for jobs in key departments, including air traffic control, in a move commended by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as empowering women.

The organization congratulated GACA for accepting 130 women in Riyadh and Jeddah, its second batch of female trainees, for the Air Traffic Control Diploma program.

Related: Saudi women are rescuing the car industry in the kingdom

Saudi women have had a momentous year as the young, reform-minded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman lifted a number of key restrictions on their rights. Women can now attend soccer matches, partake in sports themselves and as of June, allowed to drive cars.

The noon | women series has been developed to shed light on the incredible female talent driving change across our region, by telling the stories of these unsung heroes.

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