A 28-year-old Tibetan woman, Kelsang Dolma Dodin, will create history when she participates in the Ing New York Marathon taking place in New York City on November 7, 2004. Kelsang is participating to raise awareness and funds for Tibet-related projects.
Karma Hardy, the Director of the London-based Tibet Foundation, for whose projects Kelsang is raising funds, said in a statement, “Kelsang is an Ambassador for Tibet, running marathons around the world. The money she raises relieves poverty and gives opportunities for a decent standard of education and healthcare for Tibetans in Ladakh and inside Tibet itself.” In recent times she had raised over ?2400 for Tibet Foundation projects by participating in such races.
Kelsang, who was born in Ladakh in India in 1976, had been interested in sports and music at an early age when she was in the Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) School in Dharamsala. She ran the Bonn Marathon in Germany in just 5 hours and 20 minutes. and the London Marathon in just 4 hours, 54 minutes and 23 seconds.
“New York is a place of records, this was the first city marathon and with 35,000 athletes watched by two million people along the streets, it is still the biggest and best marathon in the world. I’m aiming to break my time of 4 hours, 54 minutes, and I am going to raise more money for Tibet,” Kelsang is quoted by Tibet Foundation as saying.
Over 35,000 athletes will be participating in the 26-mile New York Marathon. Kelsang’s entry number is 83514 and her race number is 41912.
The first New York City Marathon began in 1970 and had 55 finishers In 1976 the marathon moved from the confines of Central Park to the streets of New York City’s five boroughs: Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan. The 2002 race had a separate start for the invited women, highlighting the most competitive women’s field in race history. The 2003 race saw 34,729 finishers.
Kelsang is now hoping to run marathons in different parts of world. She plans to raise awareness of the Tibetan situation whilst fundraising for projects benefiting the Tibetans living in remote areas of India, Nepal and Tibet.