ODISHA ODYSSEY- An Odia woman in a Sambalpuri Saree runs 42.5km in UK Marathon and makes a record:

An Odia-based UK WOMAN, Madhusmita Jena Das made heads turn running a stretch of 42.5km in the UK Marathon in Manchester on Sunday while being dressed in a Sambalpuri handloom saree. She was all decked up in a rich red beautiful coloured Sambalpuri saree with orange sneakers. She made a world record in the marathon running for about 4 hours and 50 minutes at the age of 41.

Photos from the event that day that show her taking part in the marathon with other participants were posted on Twitter. “An Odia living in Manchester, UK ran the UK’s second-largest Manchester Marathon of 2023 wearing a Sambalpuri Saree!” it announced. The woman received acclaim from millions of people for her admirable deed as well as for having the spirit and bravery to run while donning a sari. The deep linkages between the tribal and folk populations that have coexisted for millennia have contributed to the distinctive cultural identity of the Sambalpuri sari. The entire run race was a tough phase especially keeping up with harmony and peace amidst the heat wave prevailing over India for the past few weeks.

On the official Twitter account of Friends of India Soc Intl UK’, there was also a shared video of the marathon showing her great comfort and happiness in a saree as her friends and family could be seen cheering for her from the audience. She is by blood an Indian, staying in Manchester, UK. The event not only changed her life but also helped her proudly showcase her Indian heritage. She also offers a warm take on the traditional Indian garb.

Her records reflect that she has run many marathons and ultra-marathons across the globe. Mrs. Jena’s most recent accomplishment made the UK’s Odia community proud. She was loved and appreciated by the masses for showcasing the rich heritage of her mother country. Many also noted how running in a saree is a difficult task and how she acknowledged it with ease and glee. One user commented by reacting to the tweet saying that now people can easily and happily hopes to see people wearing patta saree and playing in the US Open or wearing Tashar silk and competing in some other triathlon, some other day. Some also commented it was a proud moment and encouraged her to keep up with this spirit. Many also commented on her adorable saree look and have told the world how we all should embrace our culture and accept it willingly without the worry to change it in some other country or other culture. Changing a country doesn’t mean switching immediately to new foreign attire and forgetting your own culture.

Thus, it was a fantastic achievement for an Odia marathoner from the UK to run in the marathon on 16th April 2023. Running such a long stretch of 42.5km is indeed a difficult task that too in a saree that makes the task more difficult. Yet, she ran benevolently the full distance without any pause of trouble. This also highlights the vigilance of Indians to dominate any difficulties, especially when it comes to preserving and upholding our country’s rich cultural heritage.




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