NEW YORK (WABC) -- The freedom to just run is something two women will never take for granted.
"It's just not art of the culture, the norm - for girls to run to have that movement, that extra movement," said Fatima Saadat.
Both Saadat and Hasina Hussain Zada grew up in Afghanistan, where they weren't afforded the same rights as men, including the ability to run whenever and wherever they wanted. In fact, neither even knew it was possible until they joined 'Free to Run.'
Free to Run was started in 2014 with the goal of giving girls and women a sense of self through running, and it has helped several thousand girls do just that in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"Running is this last bastion of masculinity," said Executive Director Sarah Murray.
Both Saadat and Zada left Afghanistan. Saadat now lives in Washington D.C. and Zada lives in Ontario. Running remains a big part of their lives.
"By running I'm feeding my soul and my heart," Zada said.
This weekend they will both run the New York City Marathon together - part of Team Afghanistan, raising awareness for Free to Run and its mission.
"I wish to continue it - I wish to see the same thing for other girls," said Saadat.
"We are running for them and their freedom, The achievements are for you - it's not or us," Zada added.
While they both may receive medals at the end, they are hoping this race empowers others.