Rohini Raut could not have expected a better result in her maiden attempt at running the full marathon. The 22-year-old from Nagpur has overcome great odds to grab the third place in the Indian women's elite category on Sunday.
"I come from a family which is not well off, my father is a truck driver so you can imagine," said the 22-year-old, whose twin Monika Raut is also an athlete. The duo made news in 2007 after they had a 1-2 finish in the 6km race at the Asian Cross Country Championships in Amman. She has been running for the past ten years, starting off with 600 metres in school.
Parents don't know
Raut will have some explanation to do when she gets back home, since her parents were under the impression their daughter was taking part in the half marathon. But the Rs. 3,00,000 prize money should answer it all and help the youngster improve her training.
"Our diet expenses come up to around Rs. 13,000 a month, so it is tough," said the postgraduate student adding, "People may think this is big money but it won't be sufficient for long since I need better facilities."
"There is no special track where players can go and run in Nagpur. Recently, a university track was built, but even there if you want to run more laps, dust blows into your face, making it difficult to breath. So to run more is impossible. We run on the hills," she said. Even the travel allowance she is getting seems meagre.
"They said if we complete the race within three hours and fifteen minutes they will give some travel allowance. I will get Rs. 2,000. I have spent close to Rs. 4000 for this trip in expenses," she said.
Raut now looks optimistic for a government job under the sports quota, which would not only give her training a boost but a steady income to help with the family expenses.
"I have sent in my applications to Central Railway, Western Railway and Income Tax," she said, eager that a call would land at her doorstep soon.