A UK-based woman from Odisha has gone viral since she was pictured running a marathon in the city of Manchester in north-west England clad in a traditional Sambalpuri saree from the Northeast region.
Madhusmita Jena, 41, covered over 42 km over four hours and 50 minutes in her brightly colored saree and sneakers on Sunday, a feat being showcased across social media since then.
"Madhusmita Jena, an Indian living in Manchester, UK, comfortably runs the Manchester Marathon 2023 in a lovely Sambalpuri Saree. While proudly showcasing her Indian heritage, she also presents an inviting perspective on the quintessential #Indian attire,” tweeted the Friends of India Society International (FISI) UK diaspora organization.
It was soon picked up by several others, a majority of whom applauded the achievement, while some also wondered about the practicality of the outfit.
"Kudos to the spirit of the lady to run the marathon. No mean feat by any stretch of the imagination. It's an inefficient choice of clothing to run though… could easily have shaved time off and reduced effort in running attire. Each to his/her own” noted one Twitter user.
Jena enjoys running marathons and has completed other runs around the world over the years. Meanwhile, her choice of garment in Manchester to showcase Indian culture and inspire others to take up running continues to make waves. "Imagine how fast she would run in normal marathon clothes. Well done," noted another Twitter user.
The Adidas Manchester Marathon is one of the UK’s premier running events, known for its "fast, flat, and friendly" 26.2-mile route.