Mrunal Manmay Dash

Hard work never goes unrewarded and if it keeps your physique fit apart from bringing you laurels, then you just can’t ask for more.

At 43, Berhampur’s Aruna Mishra has broken all stereotypes to earn herself the identity of an ultra marathoner. By running her first full marathon of 42.2 km in 2018 at Delhi, she created a niche for herself. And there was no looking back after that.

Highly educated and married to an Indian Navy officer, Aruna had never run in a competition during school or college. It’s her marriage to childhood friend Sandeepani Mishra which infused a zeal to stay fit and attracted her to endurance sport like marathon running.

Aruna herself admitted so much in front of OTV camera. She said, “When I met other naval officers in Mumbai after marriage. I saw them running and taking up so many sports. Some officers even asked me to participate in marathon running in the navy. I ran Standard Chartered Mumbai Half Marathon in 2014. But my first full marathon was in 2018 when I ran for 42.2 km in Delhi.”

After moving to Mumbai in 2018, Aruna participated in the IDBI half marathon in which she stood third in her age and gender categories. Next, she participated in her 2nd full marathon in Tata Mumbai Marathon 2019 (TMM-19) and clocked a timing of 4hr 21min.

This egged on her to try her hand at ultra-marathons. While almost touching 40 yrs of age, Aruna participated in the 50 km BNP Ultra Marathon at Sanjay Gandhi National Park and secured third position. In July 2019, she participated in a 12-hour stadium relay run in which she ran the first two hours of the stadium run. The same year, Aruna participated in a 12-hour individual ultra-running event in Mumbai in which she stood 2nd, clocking a total of almost 73 Kms.

Aruna Mishra With BNP Ultra Marathon TrophyAruna Mishra With BNP Ultra Marathon Trophy

Hailing from Chandraprabha sahi in the Silk City, she can be found training in the city parks every morning. Aruna wakes up at 4 am and starts her practice; comes back before seven and prepares her 14-year old son, who studies in Class 10 in the city, for school. Even after managing home, she never gets herself to divert from the sport, which is her passion. And she gives all the credit to her husband and the in-laws for the support.

Her father-in-law, Khirod Kumar Padhi never objects to her running. He has provided full support for her dreams. Speaking to OTV, he said, “We have never interfered in her matters. It is her perseverance which has resulted in her success. I am proud of her as my daughter-in-law.”

Aruna Mishra With her FamilyAruna Mishra With her Family

Aruna’s trainer, Simanchal Barik takes pride in her achievements too. “I am proud that she belongs to Berhampur. Young runners are inspired from her feat. It is her passion for running that keeps her fit at 43.”

Aruna Mishra With Milind SomanAruna Mishra With Milind Soman

With an unending desire to run, Aruna is all set to break records in the future. At least, her picture with celeb marathoner Milind Soman says so.

(Reported By Jagannath Sahu, OTV)