Meet the Lady who Ran A Marathon In Sari To Promote Handloom And Encourage Women, Jayanthi Sampath Kumar
Whoever claimed that running was best done while dressed in a tracksuit? Jayanthi Sampath Kumar decided to go against convention and run a marathon clad in a saree. Gathering the interest of all spectators. 20,000 people ran the 42-km-long Hyderabad marathon on Sunday. They tried their best to finish the race. Most of them did and eventually grabbed the spotlight. But Jayanthi Sampath Kumar had drawn everyone’s attention much before crossing the finish line by wearing a saree and not just that, she also managed to cover the entire 42-km stretch.
Complete with sandals and a bindi, in the garb of the traditional Indian woman, Jayanthi went on to say why she decided to break the odds of the convention. According to a report, she was quoted saying, “I want to promote handloom and encourage women. This is a statement of my support. I am a cyclist and ride very often, and notice a lot of plastic pollution happening around us. I am keen to curb that and want to use this platform to oppose it. For that, maybe I should run in a sari made of plastic wrappers people throw”.
Jayanthi took up running about eight years ago. She participated in the Hyderabad marathon and ran her first 10K race.
She says “The full marathon was difficult, and I wouldn’t be doing justice if I said it wasn’t. After completing the half marathon I decided that my next goal would be the full marathon. What keeps me going is my family. My husband and I run together often.”
“Running in a saree wasn’t a breeze. The planning for this began five months ago; I tried running in a 6-yard, 9-yard, Maharashtrian style and Madisaar style of saree. I tripped and fell multiple times. Finally what worked for me was the madisaar style with some modifications and adjustments.”
While it was motivating to hear back from Guinness book, for me the larger aim was to promote wearing handloom sarees and instill a sense of confidence in women clad in sarees.
Through all this, the 44-year-old might just have made it to the Guinness Book of World Records. Jayanthi has applied to win the title to have run the ‘fastest marathon in a sari’.
Jayanthi reiterates by saying none of this was easy. “It has taken a lot of training and complete dedication to have been able to do this. While completing this has been high, I have had my share of lows as well. On many runs, I have tripped, fallen, and hurt myself.
This Madisaar mami has a lot of swag. Here’s wishing her all the very best.
“Nothing is difficult if we have our heart and soul dedicated to it.”