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Breakaway success

Former Nepalese child soldier emerges as a star in one of the world’s toughest sports

By WITW Staff on October 5, 2015

Mira Rai, a young Nepalese women who grew up in poverty and was recruited into a Maoist guerilla army in her early teens, is now excelling in one of the world’s toughest sports: running mountain races of 50 to 100 km. She only started last year, as her friends convinced her to run a 50km race in the mountains surrounding Kathmandu — which she ran and finished without formal training, as the only female participant.  She has since run races across the world, winning a major race of 80 km around the Mont Blanc in France, and winning enough prize money to put her siblings through school and help her parents break away poverty. With her impressive accomplishments, she is hoping to inspire other Nepalese women to “follow their destiny” and break with the country’s deep-rooted conservatism: “There has been some progress, but not enough,” Rai told The Guardian. “I want women and girls in remote villages like mine to have opportunities. We need to change attitudes. It will not be easy.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.