For runners, comfort is key to stride through the miles and stay light on one's feet. For marathon runner Madhusmita Jena however, that seemed to be the last thing on her mind. The UK-based teacher made the decision to run the 2023 Manchester Marathon; the second largest marathon in the United Kingdom which boasts of a flat and runner-friendly course. The event took place on April 16, 2023 following a route that started and ended at Old Trafford. While most participants opted for bicycle shorts, sports bras and moisture-wicking t-shirts for the run, Madhusmita Jena chose otherwise. Originating from Odisha, she put her culture on display when she hit the track.
Along with a pair of peach sneakers, Madhusmita wore a khandua pata saree in a bright shade of red. It featured ikat motifs in yellow, blue and white, which lent a pretty contrast to the ethnic outfit. The khandua pata saree is one of Odisha's most famous exports. It originates from from Cuttack and Maniabandha and hence, is often termed as a kataki or maniabandhi saree. Madhusmita wore a black running t-shirt in place of her saree blouse, tied her hair in a bun and added in a tiny bindi on her forehead to complete the look. She completed the 42 kilometre marathon with an impressive timing of 4 hours and 50 minutes; even more impressive when you consider what she was wearing.
Running a full marathon in a saree!! Yes it is possible. Madhusmita Jena of Manchester, UK ran the Manchester marathon 2023 in 4 hr 50 mins wearing a lovely Sambalpuri Saree ! A good blend of heritage and sports. So proud to be a fellow Odia and Indian. pic.twitter.com/iAcvoeOPik— Rasmi K Nanda 🇮🇳🇬🇧 (@rknanda) April 17, 2023
With layers of cloth and pleats galore, sarees definitely aren't the first item of clothing you think of when you need to stay comfortable and functional. However, Madhusmita's effort to run the entire 2023 Manchester Marathon is a commendable achievable that showcased her Odia origins.Comments