Nim Gyaltshen, a 68-year-old from Paro, embarked on his maiden competition at the prestigious New York City Marathon. Alongside him, Rinchen Pelden, a 35-year-old hailing from Haa, and Yeshey Choden, 29, added to the Bhutanese presence in this spectacular event. While Nim ventured into the race as a newcomer, Rinchen had established herself as a regular Bhutanese runner in various competitions across the United States since 2014.
The allure of the marathon extended far beyond its 42.195-kilometer course. Nim Gyaltshen faced a unique challenge as he attempted to navigate the bustling streets of New York City to reach the race’s starting point. The sheer volume of participants prompted the closure of traffic, making his journey to the starting line an adventure in itself. Despite this initial hurdle, Nim soon found himself immersed in a race that he would remember for years to come.
As he embarked on the marathon, Nim received sage advice to take it easy during the first half of the race. However, the electrifying atmosphere, marked by the enthusiastic cheers of the New York crowd, proved too tempting to resist. Nim forgot the caution and powered through the initial half in less than two hours, a testament to the infectious spirit of the event.
The second half of the race brought a different set of challenges, with muscle cramps and fatigue testing Nim’s determination. But he remained unwavering and resolute, ultimately crossing the finish line. Nim Gyaltshen’s tenacity paid off as he achieved his personal best, completing the marathon in an impressive 4 hours and 19 minutes. His accomplishment secured him the 20,962nd place among the 51,295 runners, a remarkable feat for a first-time competitor.
Rinchen Pelden, with her extensive running experience, proved her mettle once again. She completed the marathon in an astonishing 3 hours and 35 minutes, earning her an admirable 6,830th place. Yeshey Choden, the youngest of the trio, put forth an inspiring performance, finishing the race in 4 hours and 45 minutes and securing the 29,935th position.
For Rinchen, running is a physical and mental challenge, but it’s one that she passionately embraces. “I enjoy every single mile that I can cover,” she shared, encapsulating the essence of the marathon experience and the dedication of these Bhutanese runners.
The New York City Marathon has long been celebrated for its ability to bring people from diverse backgrounds and corners of the world together in the spirit of unity, perseverance, and achievement. This year, the Bhutanese contingent, led by Nim Gyaltshen, demonstrated the power of determination and resilience, as they navigated the bustling streets and overcame physical challenges to achieve personal bests. Their remarkable journeys are a testament to the unifying spirit of the marathon and the indomitable human spirit that drives participants from all walks of life to partake in this iconic event.