Manal Rostom has been making groundbreaking moves throughout her sporting career as a hijabi athlete. Be they personal, social or cultural, Rostom knows no bounds and the Dubai based, Egyptian marathoner, mountaineer and running coach, continues to excel.
In 2017, she became the first athlete to ever compete in a major sporting event wearing a Nike Pro Hijab, completing the New York City Marathon in 4 hours and 42 minutes in modest sportswear. After monumentally smashing glass ceilings, she took to Instagram this month to announce yet another breakthrough in her career as she has just become the first Arab, hijabi woman to be featured on the Global Nike + Run Club fitness app.
In her 25 minute guided run on Nike’s running app, she speaks about her personal story about making it as an athlete. She shares the digital training platform with some of the biggest names in sport including Mo Farah and Simone Biles.
Her audio-guided run stars with her talking about her background and then progresses into a motivational training session where you are pushed to work harder throughout your run, whilst Manal roots for you.
In Rostom’s Instagram post, she said, “I have never been given the freedom of expression to tell my story in the coolest setting ever. All the miles, the sweat, the blood, the tears, the questions why, the reasons why, have all come down to this very moment where I share my story UNFILTERED with the world from my heart, to hopefully your heart, as we go through this run together. Today is a very special day for me as a runner who struggled to find my way and pace my way through life.”
In her training podcast on the sports brand’s fitness app, she also references her “Surviving Hijab” Facebook group, “Shoutout to Surviving Hijab coming in at minute 17:25. I hope this can inspire anyone who thinks they are no one to continue to have faith that sometimes life can have a funny way of throwing back miracles right back at your face.”
This March, Manal Rostom was invited by Facebook to speak at their Palo Alto headquarters in California, where she also met with the social media platform’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg.