SPOKANE, Wash. – A young Spokane woman ran Bloomsday for the first time on Sunday. It is a first because just a year ago, Nedira Ahmed was living a much different life.

Ahmed ran with a group of refugees and staff from World Relief, an organization that helps refugees resettle in Spokane.

On Sunday, the 20-year-old was full of spirit as she cheered on other runners and walkers, just as people cheered for her during her first Bloomsday run.

“All the people were nice,” said Ahmed.

Ahmed spent her childhood in a Somali refugee camp and came to the United States when she was 11. She said she was excited to have a chance to be a part of such a large event.

“It was my first. In my country, we didn’t do running or stuff like that. It was amazing!” said Ahmed.

Ahmed did admit that the race was a bit tough.

“I was like ‘Oh my goodness. Are we done? Oh, we’re not done?’” said Ahmed.

Though difficult, Ahmed said the crowd helped her get through the race. As she reflected on her first Bloomsday, Ahmed hopes her journey to the finish line will inspire continued support for the refugee community.

“I want to tell the people to help the refugee people,” said Ahmed.