Clad in saree, Odia woman runs 42.5 km in UK marathon
A high school teacher in Manchester, she is an active member of North West England Odia community.
KENDRAPARA: Draped in a Sambalpuri handloom saree, a UK-based Odia woman left her co-runners awe-struck and people of Odisha proud when she ran a 42.5 km marathon at Manchester on Sunday.
Forty-one-year-old Madhusmita Jena completed the marathon in 4 hours and 50 minutes. A high school teacher in Manchester, she is an active member of North West England Odia community.
She has taken part in many marathons and ultra marathons across the globe. But this, reportedly, is the first time Madhusmita participated in a marathon clad a saree. “I was the only person to run the marathon wearing a saree. Running for such an extended period of time is in itself an uphill task but doing so in a saree is even more difficult. But I am happy I was able to complete the entire distance in 4.50 hours,” said an elated Madhusmita while speaking to The New Indian Express.
Madhumsita drew her inspiration from her mother and grandmother who as she was growing up saw wearing sarees on an everyday basis. “Many believe women cannot run wearing sarees but I proved them wrong by doing the task draped a Sambalpuri handloom. I anyway wear sarees during summers in the UK,” said the 41-year-old whose family belongs to Kusupur village, around 30 km away from Kendrapara.
“Madhusmita was felicitated for sports excellence at Odisha Society of the UK convention last year. She always inspires us with new feats but this time she went an extra mile by running in a saree. The entire Odia community of the UK is proud of her achievements,” said trustee of UK Shree Jagannath Society and the former secretary of Odisha Society of UK Sukant Kumar Sahu. Sachin Das, Madhusmita’s husband, works in Egypt. Her father Nirendra Mohan Jena and two sons were delighted by her achievement.