Meera Rai

On 29th June 2015 by Rachael

She came from a place where movement was a necessity, not a way of keeping fit. Last weekend, Nepalese ultra runner, Meera Rai became the women’s winner of the Mont Blanc Skyrunner World Series

Credit: Stories of Nepal

Credit: Stories of Nepal

 

In a sport that is largely dominated by Europeans, Nepalese woman, Meera Rai stands out. And never more so than now, after taking gold at the Mont Blanc Skyrunner World Series, running 82km with over 6000 metres in altitude in 12 hours, 32 minutes and 12 seconds.

Yet, like many of the young runners I met on my trip to the north east of India two years ago, running is not just a way of getting to and from a place, but a way of winning prize money to fund their education or life.

‘I come from a place where life is the most difficult,’ Meera tells Nepal Life. ‘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.’

In 2005, Meera joined Maoist Rebels, aged just 14, where she stayed for two years.

‘I saw this as an opportunity for exposure,’ she says. ‘I was good in sports particularly running, I excelled and kept to it.’

It was only when she moved to Kathmandu and started to take part in trail races in the surrounding hills and mountains that she realised how good she was. Then she invited to take part in her first international trail race, the Sellaronda 56km and set a new course record.

‘Today I have participated in over 9 international ultra trail runs, running the most difficult of terrains and altitudes in several continents. 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.’

For more information about Meera visit http://www.miraraifilm.com

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