I only know of Mira because my son and daughter-in-law live in Kathmandu and I follow their Facebook page. All are runners, but Mira is something apart, though she didn’t know it the first time she entered a competitive trail run. She didn’t have any special training or equipment, but she does now — in spades.
To most of the people of Nepal, Mira has become an inspiration at a time when the country needs something to cheer about. To the women of Nepal who often work long hours for no pay and with little recognition, she offers hope.
In her words:
“I come from a place where life is the most difficult. The nearest source of drinking water was 40 minutes from my house. Everyday I walked several hours with over 25 kilos of weight in my back. And my family’s immediate concern for many years was the next meal. Rough terrain and hard labour was the way of life. But I always knew one day I will do something, become someone. I was always looking out for opportunities. In 2005, I joined the maoists rebels and was involved in their activities for 2 years. I saw this as an opportunity for exposure. I was good in sports particularly running. I excelled and kept to it. 12 months back I got an opportunity to participate in a 50 km race and I grabbed it. I won and I never looked back. Today I have participated in over 9 international ultra trail runs – running the most difficult of terrains and altitudes in several continents and I have won 8 of those races breaking records in 4. But my story will always start from where I came from, from the days I walked 40 minutes every day for many years just to fetch water.” (Mira Rai, Sano Dumdi – 9, Bhojpur, Nepal) #repost
So cheer for Mira, and in doing so, you are cheering for Nepal, Nepal’s women, and the success of a nation in the aftermath of a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on April 25th. And, while you’re at it, don’t forget to send something to the relief effort. With the monsoon in full swing, they’re still living under tarps and tents in many regions of the country. (See previous posting for information about Maps For Nepal.)