Pradeep Pattanayak

A Sambalpuri saree-clad UK-based Odia woman completed a 42.5-kilometre marathon in 4 hours and 50 minutes at Manchester, giving her co-runners a run for their money. 

A high school teacher in Manchester, Forty-one-year old Madhusmita Jena turned many heads when she arrived draped in a Sambalpuri saree to run the marathon. She was the lone one in the saree. 

This was not the first marathon that she completed. Before this, she had participated in many marathons and ultra-marathons across the globe. Last year, she was also felicitated for sports excellence at Odisha Society of the UK convention.    

But this was the first time when she participated in a marathon wearing a saree. 

Running in a saree is always a difficult task. But, an active member of the North West England Community, Madhusmita could do it with uncommon elan. She proved all of them wrong who would think women can’t run wearing a saree. 

Even in England, Madhusmita, who hails from Kusunpur village in Kendrapara district, wears saree, more so in Summer. 

With her feat, she has made the entire Odia community of the UK and Odias back in Odisha proud. She has since been lapping up accolades from different quarters. 

Madhusmita’s husband works in Egypt and they have two sons.