Siem Reap, renowned for its annual Angkor Wat International Half Marathon race run in December, will now be host to a full marathon to be held in the low season to attract more visitors to town.
The inaugural 42 kilometre full marathon will be held next year, on August 17, 2014, according to the event manager Muy Lath, and will be called the ‘Angkor Empire Full Marathon.’
He added that, like the half marathon, disabled people can also compete.
Muy Lath said the website for the first Angkor Empire Full Marathon is now under construction, and will be finished next month. But organisers have wasted no time in gearing up for the marathon – officials were in Siem Reap last week busily signing up sponsors, and some details were released about the route which will take runners into the heart of town. And, like the half marathon, the majority of the route will be through the Angkor Archeological Park, a World Heritage site.
So as of next year Siem Reap will become an international runner’s paradise, with two major races: the full marathon in August and the half marathon in December.
Last year the registered number of runners for the 17th Angkor Wat International Half Marathon was 6,241, and this year Muy Lath hopes the number will top 7,000 participants.
But it is too early to predict the number of runners who will compete in the full marathon.
The half marathon is an internationally recognised charity to raise funds for the relief of victims of antipersonnel mines in Cambodia. It has been held annually to give courage and hope to victims of land mines, and as part of an ongoing campaign for a ban on the inhumane use of antipersonnel mines.